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When we think of traditional whodunits, we think of a carefully plotted murder, a list of suspects, and an inquisitive detective who gradually pieces new clues together until the crime is solved. Marriott Theatre’s “Murder for Two” is just that, albeit a musical-comedy that stars just two actors taking on 13 roles. How is that done exactly? With a lot of precision, spot on timing and with a special actor named Jason Grimm who bravely takes on the roles the twelve party goers (all suspects) as well as the victim.

When a surprise birthday party goes bad and Great American Novelist Arthur Whitney is murdered, small town cop Marcus Moscowicz decides to use his sleuthing skills to find the killer since the nearest detective is an hour away. Everyone in attendance of Whitney’s birthday party are suspects including Arthur’s wife, Dahlia, who relishes in the thought of being a “murderess”, prima ballerina, Barrette Lewis, renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Griff, Whitney’s niece, Stef, who is studying criminology in college, an elderly couple that bickers every chance they get and a handful of other interesting characters. Moscowicz wants badly to make detective and the clock is ticking, giving him less than an hour to solve the crime before he must turn the case over.

Noel Carey stars as Marcus and does a bang-up job as the eager detective-wannabe, perfectly complimenting Grimm as he goes from suspect to suspect – and back again. Both Carey and Grimm take turns playing the piano whether it be for a musical number or just ambience music.

Directed by Jeff Award Winner Scott Weinstein, “Murder for Two” is a fast-moving, suspenseful ride that offers big laughs in rapid-fire succession.

“This production provides a fantastic evening of murder mystery, zany comedy, and true virtuoso performances. There are only two performers that take on 13 roles throughout the entire 90 minutes, “says Weinstein. “They not only remain on the stage for the entire show, but one or both of them are also playing the piano throughout. Whether you are a fan of comedy, mystery, or anything in between, this production will have you begging for more.”

Weinstein couldn’t be more correct. Grimm’s ability to go from personality to personality without pause is nothing less than astonishing. The script is rich with humor and holds the perfect amount of suspense. The set's impressive revolving stage keeps all the action moving - literally.

“It is 90 minutes of nothing but silly,” Grimm says. “One character accidentally incriminates himself. One character, for attention, loves the idea that she is a suspect and basks in it.”

Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair are the writers behind this exciting comedy and Carey and Grimm couldn’t be better cast (Carey has starred as Marcus in the musical’s national tour).

Highly recommended.