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"Murder for Two" Makes For Witty Musical Duet

Jeff Blumenkrantz (right) and Brett Ryback play a cast of characters in "Murder for Two."
Jeff Blumenkrantz (right) and Brett Ryback play a cast of characters in "Murder for Two."

Off-Broadway Musical Parody


In a flurry of popular one person shows, sometimes things are twice as good with two.

As is the case with “Murder for Two,” a funny musical romp with just two actors, who also play the music and act out all of the parts. In a sublime revisit to days of Hercule Poirot in which the rich and famous find themselves suspects in a murder, “Murder” hits just the right chords, bringing a bit of nostalgia to a theatre scene full of modern effects and gimmicks.

In our story, the murder takes place at a birthday party in which apprentice detective, the sexy Brett Ryback, is summoned to solve the crime, simply because he was closest to the scene ( the real savvy detective is at least an hour away).

On scene, Ryback investigates what lead up to the shooting and he talks to a cast full of characters all played by the witty Jeff Blumenkrantz, who is able to go from high brow hostess to a grumpy old man in a twirl.

Blumenkrantz and Ryback really get a work out on stage too. Not only due to playing multiple parts, but there are various scene changes as the two run from side-to-side on the one stage, creating a different feel to the various “rooms” due to their own body movements or quick use of props, such as a chair quickly being held in front of their face to serve as a window. Sounds odd, but it works.

They are a great team, completing each other like salt and pepper. It’s a real testament to trust when you’re only one of two people in a show as they both know if the other one doesn’t give it 100%, they could bring you down as well. Fortunately, both actors give it their all and the audience is the one to benefit in the end.

The show itself is a witty homage to Agatha Christie herself and is a great addition to the Off-Broadway’s New World Stages, after having started at Second Stage Uptown. Kellen Blair and Joe Kinosian’s songs are witty and charming and brought to great life by our two leads with their voices and piano playing. Also worth noting is the sound design of Jill BC Du Boff, whom has perfectly timed moments that could easily have gone awry i.e. the sound of tea pouring needs to be done in sync with the actual act.

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