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Review: MURDER FOR TWO at Gretna Theatre

Review: MURDER FOR TWO at Gretna Theatre
Photo Credit: Michael Feldser

What happens when you mix Agatha Christie, dueling pianos, and a Broadway-quality stage production? No, it's not the next big show coming to Vegas - it's Murder for Two at Gretna Theatre.

The hilarious whodunit has just two actors: the one who plays all the suspects and the other that plays a wannabe detective. Together through musical twists and turns they search for the killer of an eccentric author after he is shot in the head at his birthday party.

As my gym teacher used to say: if you aren't sweating, you aren't doing it right. The two person cast of Murder for Two was sure sweating. Whether it was the heat in the outdoor theater or pure dedication, Trevor Dorner (The Suspects) and Eric Longo (Marcus, the detective) were high energy and on the ball with every cue and trick they performed. You want two people playing piano at the same time? You got it. To-the-second lighting and sound cues? They're on top of it.

Longo and Dorner brought the heat and kept the musical interesting and easy to follow, even as Dorner flitted between some ten or twelve characters, sometimes while singing and playing piano. Bet he can even walk and chew gum at the same time.

The set design and lighting and sound worked together just as seamlessly as the actors. Kyle Dixon (set design) and Diana Duecker (lighting) brought characters and settings to life. What was pantomime became blurred by sound effects and lighting that suggested certain props were really there. An innovative use of shadows and doors made it possible for the show to go on without chopping it up with closed curtain scene changes. The set itself was all the haunted mansion you'd expect from a murder mystery, while also bringing the audience into what looks like a classic piano bar.

In all, Murder for Two was a great way to spend a summer evening. The best part is that the fun doesn't end after the show. Mt. Gretna has lots to see and do, so make a trip out of it. Up next, Gretna Theatre hosts the USO Show Troupe from Aug 22-25. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

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From This Author - Alyssa Biederman

Alyssa Biederman is a senior journalism and political science major at Temple University with a passion for theater. Since leaving her theater career as an actress and singer behind after ente... (read more about this author)