Joe Kinosian
Joe Kinosian

LOWELL -- Joe Kinosian, the original star and co-creator of the Off-Broadway sensation "Murder for Two" will lead the Merrimack Repertory Theatre cast of the musical-comedy/whodunit Oct. 17-Nov. 11 at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall.

"Murder for Two," framed by the authors, Kinosian and Kellen Blair, as the Marx Brothers meet Agatha Christie, will be the second show of MRT's 40th anniversary season and its 264th production since 1979. For tickets or information, visit www.mrt.org, or call 978-654-4678.

"A hilarious musical whodunit," according to The New Yorker, "Murder for Two" played off-Broadway for nearly two years and earned a slew of Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and nominations.

Martin Landry
Martin Landry
The New York Times called the show, "Ingenious! A snazzy double-act."

Making his New England debut in the show, Kinosian plays all six of the suspects in the murder mystery, and he will be joined by Martin Landry as the detective in this original musical with book and music by Kinosian and book and lyrics by Blair. JC Clementz will direct.

Part Vaudeville, part murder-mystery spoof, "Murder for Two" features one murder, two actors, six suspects, and one piano, wildly shared by both actors. In the zany story, every guest has a motive. Was it the prima ballerina, the widow, the niece, the psychiatrist, or even the detective? The two actors play 13 roles in the homage to everything from Agatha Christie to "Murder She Wrote" to the board game Clue.


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A veteran of more than 700 performances in the role, Kinosian said his grandmother showed him his first Marx Brothers film as preschooler. "Their anarchic combination of intellectual screwball wordplay and physical zaniness has never stopped appealing to me. Like vaudeville, we definitely wanted to channel that comedically broad 'anything for a laugh' approach."

Kinosian has played the role in a two-year tour of America, as well as in productions in Korea, Japan, England, and China.