Each season, Weston Playhouse Theatre Company lives up to the challenge of producing a schedule that appeals to its wide-ranging and devoted audience. Family-friendly events, blockbuster musicals, and masterworks are off-set by critically-acclaimed contemporary plays and performances.
Fresh from an extended Off-Broadway run, Murder for Two is one of these remarkable pickups, just in time for the Company’s 80th anniversary season! It opens August 11 on Weston’s second stage. Two actors play thirteen roles – and one piano – delivering 90 minutes of music, mayhem, and murder. Come along for the ride as small town cop Marcus Moscowicz desperately tries to solve the murder of Great American Novelist Arthur Whitney before the real detective shows up.
Penned by Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian, it’s classic musical comedy meets madcap murder mystery, accompanied by Kinosian’s “funny, deftly turned songs.” Developed in part at The Adirondack Theatre Festival, Murder for Two premiered in 2011 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater where it ran for more than six months, and where Kinosian and Blair were recognized with a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Musical. The show was such a success Off Broadway that it launched a National Tour in November of 2014. In a recent interview, Blair described Murder for Two as “fun and frothy all the way through” with an ending that leaves you pleasantly surprised about “how much you care.” He says he and Kinosian strive to make shows like this. The New York Times calls their whodunit “ingenious” while the San Diego Times calls it “Simply irresistible!”
Weston’s cast includes a finely matched pair of performers in Ian Lowe and Kyle Branzel, both with Murder for Two’s national tour under their belts. Branzel is making his first Weston appearance, and Lowe is delighted to return. The production is led by Producing Artistic Director Steve Stettler and Choreographer/Associate Director Wendy Seyb. Seyb’s award-winning portfolio includes work on and off Broadway, various national tours (including Murder for Two) plus gigs with HBO, Disney, NBC/Universal, and Nickelodeon. Stettler and Seyb are joined by Scenic Designer Brian Dudkiewicz (Weston’s Forever), Lighting Designer Travis McHale (Weston’s Man of La Mancha, Broadway’s Something Rotten!), Costume Designer Rachel Kurland (Weston’s David Copperfield, Fences), Sound Designer Andrew Bradford Ferry, and Production Stage Manager Nancy Uffner.
Stettler, who’s been following the production from its start, says he’s thrilled to bring such a buzz-worthy new work to Vermont. “It’s a chance to watch two triple-threat performers at the height of their powers enjoying one another, and sharing with an audience something that is the essence of theater.”
Murder for Two runs August 11 – September 4 at Weston’s OtherStages (982 Route 100S in Weston). Show Times are Tuesday – Saturday at 7:30 pm, Saturday at 2 pm, and Sunday at 3 pm. One hour and thirty minutes run time, without intermission. Get tickets online or call the Box Office (802) 824-5288.