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BWW Interview: Star & Co-Creator Joe Kinosian Talks MURDER FOR TWO: HOLIDAY EDITION at Farmers Alley Theatre


The festive whodunit runs 11/19-12/12

BWW Interview: Star & Co-Creator Joe Kinosian Talks MURDER FOR TWO: HOLIDAY EDITION at Farmers Alley Theatre

Murder for Two: Holiday Edition opens tonight at Farmers Alley Theatre! This updated version, written by Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian, is a hilarious musical murder were one actor investigates the crime, the other plays all of the suspects, and they both play the piano. Great American Novelist Arthur Whitney has just been killed...fatally. But whodunit? The scene-stealing wife? The prima ballerina? The overly friendly psychiatrist? Detective Marcus Moscowicz must solve the case before candy canes crumble and the killer strikes again! BroadwayWorld Detroit had moment to speak with star and co-creator, Joe Kinosian, about creative and festive show happening in West Michigan.

BroadwayWorld Detroit: Quick! Describe Murder for Two in five words.

Joe Kinosian: hilarious - surreal - vaudevillian - musical - mystery

Can you give our readers a brief background of yourself and your theatre career as an introduction?

I'm a writer, composer, and performer living in New York City, originally from Wisconsin. I often consider going to nursing school but I'm really not good at anything other than writing and making faces on stage, so here we are.

I've read the press release, but I want you to describe Murder For Two.

Murder For Two is a fun, silly, joyous evening at the theater. It's as though the Marx Brothers were putting on an Agatha Christie story, with heavy doses of The Simpsons- and Family Guy-style surreal humor. The story involves the murder of a well-known novelist at his birthday party, but the conceit is that show is performed by only two actors: one plays the investigator, one plays all nine of the suspects, and both play the piano.

Where did the idea of this show come from?

When my writing partner (Kellen Blair) and I were starting out, we wanted to write a full book musical that only required two actors and a piano - not necessarily any sets, props, or costumes. All the characters needed to come from the actor's body language and vocal changes, and although now when the show is produced there are production elements, the fun of Murder For Two is how the actor must be clear in conveying characters without accoutrements, and the audience must use their imagination to complete the picture.

How fun was it to create the music?

BWW Interview: Star & Co-Creator Joe Kinosian Talks MURDER FOR TWO: HOLIDAY EDITION at Farmers Alley Theatre
Joe Kinosian

Lots of fun. I wanted it to have a "neo-vaudeville" feel, and thus was inspired by the brilliant piano stylings of Chico Marx, and the novelty ragtime music of Zez Confrey, who wrote "Kitten on the Keys" a century ago, in 1921.

Do you have a favorite moment, line, and/or song in the show?

As the character of Dahlia, the victim's loopy widow, I really enjoy saying "I actually have the ability to close my ears" every night.

What is like playing nine characters?

It's a lot of work, but also very rewarding. I want the audience to feel they're in good hands, and that's on me, to be clear and focused every second of the 100 minutes that I'm on stage.

Do you have a favorite character to play?

Without giving any spoilers, there is a last-minute surprise guest who shows up at the three-quarter mark, totally throwing the detective off their game. It's a totally bizarre moment, and I always enjoy doing it.

What makes Murder for Two special/unique compared to other holiday shows?

It's not A Christmas Carol, not even a little bit. You're welcome!

What would you say to someone with no prior knowledge of Murder for Two to get them to see the production?

It will provide you an occasion to laugh a lot, and leave your worries at the door for the duration of the show. Now more than ever, I think we could use a brief respite from the world, right?

How can our readers connect with you?

Please refer to my website, Thanks!

Murders for Two opens tonight and runs through December 12th at Farmer Alley Theatre in Kalamazoo. For more information and tickets, visit Tickets are $44 Fri/Sat/Sun and $39 on Thursday nights. There is no Senior Rate. Group rates for parties of 12 or more and Season Subscription packages in groups of 6 or 12 admissions are also available.

Farmers Alley Theatre is committed to having a safe and clean space for its employees and patrons. Cleaning efforts have been increased, sanitizing stations are located throughout the theatre, and improvements to our air ventilation system have been made. All of Farmers Alley Theatre's artists, designers and staff will be fully vaccinated and we require that patrons of Farmers Alley Theatre are fully vaccinated when attending a performance. All patrons must also wear a mask at all times when inside Farmers Alley Theatre. If you are sick or feeling ill in any way, please stay home. We will work with you to reschedule your tickets. All COVID, mask and safety regulations will be continually monitored and are subject to change due to the advice of health experts and the State of Michigan.

Connect with Farmers Alley Theatre on Instagram at @farmersalleytheatre, on Twitter at @farmersalley, and on Facebook at

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