Murder For Two
At The Lyric Stage, Boston
Two actors playing thirteen characters while singing, dancing, and playing the piano. Sounds a bit complicated. That’s what I thought as Murder For Two began Sunday afternoon. How would I ever be able to keep track of all that was going on? Well, when the two actors are Jared Troilo and Kirsten Salpini it is not a problem. Add in the fine direction of A. Nora Long and a very funny and fast moving script and music by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, and you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy a great time at the theater.
The story is set at the home of the great American novelist Arthur Whitney where his wife has arranged a surprise birthday party for him.
Unfortunately for poor Arthur, he runs into a bullet before he is able to open his presents. This is where police officer Marcus Moscowitz (Jared Troilo) comes on the scene. Moscowitz is mistaken for a detective, a confusion he does nothing to dissuade the suspects from believing. Marcus sees cracking this case as his ticket to a promotion, as long as he can do it before his superior officer gets there. He is going to go strictly by Protocol, which also happens to be the name of his first musical number.
He begins interviewing the suspects, all of whom are played by Kirsten Salpini. She also plays the members of a boy’s chorus who have been hired to provide entertainment for the party. They are a mischievous lot and very funny. Ms Salpini switches roles from moment to moment without the aid of costume changes. She manages this, and very well I might add, by changing her voice and accent along with some very creative body language. I have seen some impressive performances where one actor plays multiple roles solely by changing voice and movement, most notably Chaz Palminteri in A Bronx Tale and John Douglas Thompson in Satchmo At The Waldorf , and while Kirsten Salpini does not rise to their level, she is certainly a contender and does a fine job in her many roles. Ms Salpini is funny, creative, and a joy to watch. Her singing is the icing on the cake.
Jared Troilo as pseudo Detective Moscowitz is right at home in his role as the nervous cop trying to solve the big crime. His singing and dancing is a reminder of how much fun theatre can be, even if it’s about a murder. While the part was not written for him he performs it like it was.
Finding two actors who can sing, dance, and also play the piano had to be a challenge for director Long. Finding two with these talents who could also work so well together had to be almost impossible, but with Jared and Kirsten she found a theatre match made in Heaven.
I will not spoil the fun by letting on more about the details of the play, only to say that there was also another crime committed during the party, and those of you with a sweet tooth may consider that one the more serious.
Murder For Two is a great way to take some time out during this busy time of the year to enjoy a very funny and fun play. A little song, a little dance, a little murder, what could be more enjoyable?
Murder For Two Through December 24th
The Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston
(617) 585-5678 http://www.lyricstage.com