BWW Review: MURDER FOR TWO at Actor's Playhouse
He's Back! The Man With A Thousand Faces...
No, not Lon Chaney. He's a little beyond his prime. I'm talking here of Martin Landry, one of the two beyond talented actors starring at Actors' Playhouse in "Murder For Two", a fast, funny riff on a stiff on the floor.
An evil doer has knocked off sales king author Arthur Whitney. His invisible body is lying down stage center. In a pool of blood. Caused by a bullet. Fired by? A reader? A family member? Maybe a critic? Regardless, almost detective, piano playing red haired Marcus (Mark Schenfisch) with a dopey grin, has only an hour to solve the crime. It takes him 100 minutes. He has to sing, dance, narrate, worry about his career, and did I mention, play the piano.
Marcus also has to handle ten character Landry, who comes equipped with about 6ft 8ins of octopus arms and legs writhing continuously from suspect to suspect. His eyes and neck and head and lips and eyebrows and ears are the never ending peek a boos into the secrets of the widowed wife, hot stuff girl friend, tough talking psychiatrist, innocent honey bunch niece, three double entendre ganglings and a guy parking cars across the street. And a couple of audience members. And Good Lord, do not rise to take a bathroom break in the middle of his song.
They both play the piano. Apart. Together. On top of each other. And under. They are just terrific.
Speaking of terrific, Joe Kinosian wrote the music with lyrics by Kellen Blair and the pair wrote the book. Which is fast, funny, weird and witty and you better pay attention or you're gonna miss a rim shot moment.
Difficult to miss, thankfully, are the sound effects to match the mimed action and the exploding props when the crazed gunman cranks off a dozen rounds. Fun stuff.
Gene Seyffer and Jodi Dellaventura co-designed the imaginative basement of a New England mansion and working at their usual high level, Eric Nelson designed the lights, Shaun Mitchell the sound, Ellis Tillman the costumes, Jodi Dellaventura the set dressing and props and Jill BC Du Boff the sound effects design.
Martin Landry is also the musical director.
Actors' artistic director David Arisco has presented a summer show that's all smiles, chuckles and laugh out loud moments. It'll make you feel the very best.
"Murder For Two" plays through August 11 at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. 305-444-9293 https://www.actorsplayhouse.org
L to R: Martin Landry, Mark Schenfisch
Photo by Alberto Romeu