Kinosian is joined by Chicago favorite Alan Schmuckler. The show has music and book by Kinosian and lyrics and book by Kellen Blair. Performances play Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Jeff Award winner David H. Bell directs the production, which is presented by special arrangement with commercial producer Jayson Raitt. Opening night is May 17.
According to CST, "This comedic Agatha Christie-like whodunit musical comes with a surprising twist: one actor plays the inspector, the other plays all ten suspects, and both play the piano. This 75-minute premiere features the show's co-creator Joe Kinosian playing the slew of hilarious would-be criminals and Chicago favorite Alan Schmuckler performing the role of the inspector."
Developed at CST under the guidance of creative producer Rick Boynton, Murder for Two — A Killer Musical "mixes the suspense of an Agatha Christie mystery with old-fashioned musical comedy and a dash of modern panache to tell the tale of an inspector's crime investigation at the home of a recently deceased novelist. Hoping for a promotion to the ranks of detective, the inspector takes on the dangerous task of interrogating the murdered novelist's eccentric relatives and so-called friends (all played by Kinosian) — and discovers that no one is who they appear to be."
Murder for Two creators Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair met in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, where they are advanced members. Kinosian received a Jerry Harrington Award for Creative Excellence from the BMI Foundation in 2009.
Schmuckler is a celebrated Chicago musical theatre actor who was recently Jeff Award-nominated for Sugar at Drury Lane. His acting credits at CST include Much Ado About Nothing, The Two Noble Kinsmen and Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew. Schmuckler wrote the music and lyrics for last summer's CST Family musical The Emperor's New Clothes, a CST-commissioned adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic story, and he is also the co-creator of CST's original musical based on Aesop's Fables, How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back? Bell's credits at Chicago Shakespeare include productions of The Three Musketeers, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and The Comedy of Errors. Bell's extensive work as a director, choreographer and writer at many Chicago theatres has earned him ten Joseph Jefferson Awards. Bell is the recipient of a Helen Hayes Award, two National Endowment for the Arts Playwriting Fellowships and a nomination for London's prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for Hot Mikado.
The production team for Murder for Two includes scenic designer Scott Davis; costume designer Jeremy Floyd; lighting designer Jesse Klug; sound designer James Savage; wig and make-up designer Melissa Veal; and properties master Chelsea Meyers.
Tickets for Murder for Two — A Killer Musical are $25-$30. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's box office at (312) 595-5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com, or visit www.murderfortwomusical.com.
Recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is run by artistic director Barbara Gaines and executive director Criss Henderson.