MURDER BY TWO

The recipe for this play, currently running at Park Square Theatre, requires one piano, four hands, and a baker’s dozen of characters. That’s a tall order for just two actors.

This murder mystery musical comedy mashup is the brainchild of Joe Kinosian (music and book) and Kellen Blair (lyrics and book) and features Nic Delcambre as young policeman Marcus Moscowicz and Andrea Wollenberg as everybody else. After a famous novelist is shot to death at a surprise party, Marcus attempts to solve the crime himself to prove his worth to his superiors.

Wollenberg conjures character after character for Marcus to question, often with just the merest suggestion of a prop, an accent or an expression, in a frenzied display of versatility.

Oh, and then there’s all the piano playing, as Delcambre and Wollenberg accompany each other during songs interspersed throughout and finish the evening with a dazzling four-handed tour de force.

There’s no room in this script for niceties of character development and the murder plot is predictable, but that’s hardly the point in the face of such inventive and well-executed gimmickry. Director Randy Reyes and his cast keep this ambitious high-wire act on pace with split-second timing, frenetic energy and a strong sense of the ridiculous.

LISA BROCK

 

When: 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sat.; 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Nov. 1.

Where: Andy Boss Thrust Stage, 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul.

Tickets: $27-$60. 651-291-7005 or parksquaretheatre.org