For Everyone, An Instant Comedy
“Murder For Two,” playing at the Red Barn Theatre, is a mesmerizing, delightfully implausible, old-fashioned good time. Imagine a full-production play with a dozen characters and musical score, but only performed by two actors. The charismatic leads are the playwright himself, Joe Kinosian, and Noel Carey, who bring to life the full-fledged musical comedy whodunit murder mystery all on their own. The actors command every inch of the stage in a precisely choreographed off-kilter comedy that is as inventive as it is entertaining.
Understanding the cadence of the play takes a few minutes, but after the rhythm reveals itself, settle back and enjoy the show. Policeman Marcus Moscowitz, an overly enthusiastic wannabe detective played by Noel Carey, bumbles through a murder investigation of a high profile novelist while surrounded by a variety of suspects. Each suspect, with distinct visible and character traits, is portrayed by the talented Kinosian. With comedic timing and physical comedy comparable to classic John Cleese, Kinosian instantaneously switches from a ballet dancer to a un-bereft widow, a wily psychiatrist to falsetto teenage girl. His skill at creating believable, humorous characters is downright convincing, fascinating and a joy to watch. It’s as if Carey is the maypole that Kinosian dances around, weaving rapid-fire plot and suspense. Both actors take turns at the piano and burst into song underscoring the play’s layered skill and masterly production.
Opening night in Key West was Kinosian’s 569th time performing his hit “Murder for Two.” He has been performing and reworking the play since 2009. It has been produced around the world, and the biggest difference among venues, Kinosian said, is “adjusting to the size of the stage, which is always a challenge.” He is referring to The Red Barn Theatre’s most endearing quality, the intimacy between stage and audience, which Kinosian seamlessly mastered.
“Murder for Two” has been called “Ingenious!” by the New York Times. Critics around the country have hailed it as one of the best contemporary Off-Broadway musicals, calling it a “tour de force” and “vaudeville style romp” – and Key West is lucky to have the show stop here.
“We are delighted and thrilled to bring in out-of -town talent to augment local talent,” said Mimi McDonald, Managing Director of the Red Barn, “We jumped on the opportunity to have them.”
“Murder for Two” runs until Feb 11, 2017
www.redbarntheatre.com for showtimes and tickets