BWW Review: MURDER FOR TWO at ACT Slays with Laughs
Expect to be killed when you attend the current production of "Murder for Two" at ACT Theatre in conjunction with The 5th Avenue Theatre. You won't be shot or stabbed but you certainly run the risk of busting a gut, passing out from a lack of oxygen, or just generally dying of laughter largely due to the comic brilliance of its two leads.
In this 90 minute tuner, we're at the surprise birthday party of novelist Arthur Whitney. But the biggest surprise for Arthur will be that he'll be shot as soon as he enters the room. So now it's up to Officer Marcus Moscowicz (Chris DiStefano) to figure out who dunnit from amongst Whitney's party guests. There's his wife Dahlia, his therapist Dr. Graff, the bickering Barb and Murray Flandon, the prima ballerina Barrette Lewis, his Niece and aspiring detective Steph, or the local boys choir (all hilariously played by Richard Gray.
The show as directed by Daniel Knechtges and performed by DiStefano and Gray is so packed with laughs there barely a moment to recover from one laugh to the next. And those laughs are only compounded with the wonderfully inventive set from Carey Wong.
But it's the supreme talent of the hilarious duo that truly sells the piece. DiStefano nails the earnestness of the eager Officer and his comedic timing is on point. And he is perfectly matched by the powerhouse of comedy that is Richard Gray. Gray manages to switch back and forth between characters at the drop of a hat (or glasses, or fan, or ...) sometimes within the same sentence or song and each character is funnier than the last. And if all that weren't enough, the two of them not only kill it with their characters, they're also their own accompanists as they switch back and forth taking turns on the piano.
The show is a complete winner for anyone unless you're adverse to laughter. And so with my three letter rating system I give ACT and 5th Avenue Theatre's production of "Murder for Two" a still giggling the next day YAY+. You're sure to have a great time, just be sure to turn off your cell phone. No really, turn it off. You have been warned.