At The Merrimack Repertory Theatre From
October 17 through November 11
Joe Kinosian, the original star and co-creator of the Off-Broadway sensation Murder for Two will lead the Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) cast of the musical-comedy whodunit October 17 – November 11 at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall, according to Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas.
Murder for Two, framed by the authors, Kinosian and Kellen Blair, as The Marx Brothers meet Agatha Christie, will be the second show of MRT’s 40th Anniversary Season and its 264th production since 1979.
“A hilarious musical whodunit,” according to The New Yorker, Murder for Two played Off-Broadway for nearly two years and earned a slew of Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and nominations. The New York Times called the show, “Ingenious! A snazzy double-act.”
Making his New England debut in the show, Kinosian plays all six of the suspects in the murder mystery, and he will be joined by Martin Landry as the detective in this original musical with book and music by Kinosian and book and lyrics by Blair. JC Clementz will direct.
Part Vaudeville, part murder mystery spoof, Murder for Two features one murder, two actors, six suspects, and one piano, wildly shared by both actors. In the zany story, every guest has a motive. Was it the prima ballerina, the widow, the niece, the psychiatrist, or even the detective? The two actors play 13 roles in the homage to everything from Agatha Christie to “Murder She Wrote” to the board game Clue.
A veteran of more than 700 performances in the role, Kinosian said his grandmother showed him his first Marx Brothers film as preschooler. “Their anarchic combination of intellectual screwball wordplay and physical zaniness has never stopped appealing to me. Like Vaudeville, we definitely wanted to channel that comedically broad ‘anything for a laugh’ approach.”
Kinosian has played the role in a two-year tour of America, as well as in productions in Korea, Japan, England, and China. His New York credits as an actor also include the cult favorite Dear Edwina. His regional theatre credits include The Nerd, An Act of God, and Dirty Blond with Emily Skinner.
Landry’s credits include the national tour of Murder for Two and the Off-Broadway productions of Dragons Love Tacos and Dear Edwina. A longtime affiliate of Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, director Clementz lists Irving Berlin’s I Love a Piano and The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith among his credits.
For tickets or information, visit www.mrt.org, or call the Box Office at 978-654-4678.