Queens Theatre presents a musical murder mystery

By Merle Exit

Two actors take on 13 roles in a comedic mix of murder, mayhem and music in Queens Theatre’s next production “Murder for Two.”

“‘Murder for Two’ is the story of Officer Marcus trying to solve the murder of famed novelist Arthur Whitney before the real detective shows up at the scene of the crime,” performer and co-author Joe Kinosian said. “But poor Marcus keeps getting distracted by the wacky suspects who care little for the victim and the fact that he died. The audience should know that this show is first and foremost a comedy, a fun, freewheeling farce, that happens to take place around a murder mystery.”

Ian Lowe plays Marcus to Kinosian’s 12 suspects — and both men play the piano throughout the 90-minute show.

“The piano is played live throughout the entire duration of ‘Murder for Two’,” Kinosian said. “There is no prerecording whatsoever for either of the two roles. The music is live, the voices are live, and you’re seeing it all happen right in front of you in real time.”

Kinosian co-wrote the show with Keller Blair and has been portraying the slate of suspects since the show’s beginning at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in 2011. He pops in and out of the touring production and will be in the Flushing version.

Kinosian’s favorite theater job was being cast in a live stage version of the movie “Clue.”

“My part involved playing the piano as well as playing the roles of all the victims,” he said. “I grew up loving that movie and it was such a blast to get to do it on stage.”

Lowe started out understudying the role of Marcus for part of the off-Broadway run at New World Stages in 2014.

“I love playing Detective Marcus and I think the role suits me very well,” Lowe said. “I have so much admiration for Joe and all the other actors I’ve seen do The Suspects successfully.”

Besides his current stint as Marcus, Lowe has played other roles in regional theater companies around the country, including Leo Bloom in the Mel Brooks’ musical “The Producers.”

“‘Murder for Two’ is definitely one of my favorite career experiences thus far,” Lowe said.

And while the story involves a murder, Kinosian wants to stress the comedic aspect of the show.

“The mystery is there and is real and really gets solved but priority No. 1 is the comedy,” he said. “So expect to laugh and have a great time.”

If you go

“Murder for Two”

When: March 4 – March 6

Where: Queens Theatre, 14 United Nations Ave. South, Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Cost: $25-$42

Contact: (718) 760-0064

Website: www.queenstheatre.org

Murder For Two will have four performances beginning Friday, March 4 at 2pm. Other performances are: Saturday, March 5, 2 pm and 8pm, Sunday, March 6, 3pm.

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