Bristol Riverside Theatre Kicks Off 35th Season with Hilarious Musical Murder for Two and Champagne Boat Cruise

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events
Feature photo: Joe Kinosian in Murder for Two, by Joan Marcus

Bristol Riverside Theatre (120 Radcliffe Street) kicks off its 35th Anniversary Season with the hilarious two-person musical murder myster Murder for Two, written by Joe Kinosian (Book and Music) and Kellen Blair (Book and Lyrics). This side-splitting, madcap, quick-change musical is directed by J. Scott Lapp, and features the perfect blend of music, mayhem and murder! In this hilarious 90-minute show, two performers play 13 roles—not to mention the piano—in a witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries. For this production, Kinosian himself returns to the stage as the Suspects, with the detective being played by Martin Landry. The show runs September 21 to October 10, 2021, with opening night announced for Thursday, September 23rd at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 to $55, with discounts available for students and military. A limited number of $10 tickets are available for Bristol Township residents courtesy of Flager & Associates, PC. As always, Bristol Borough residents can receive $5 tickets for preview performances. For the first show of the season, audience members must show proof of vaccinations and wear a mask. A special performance is set aside on Saturday, October 9th at 2:00pm for those that can not be vaccinated. A negative COVID test will be required. For tickets and health protocols, visit brtstage.org or call 215-785-0100.

BRT is also offering a champagne cruise down the Delaware River and tickets to Murder for Two. On Saturday, September 26th and October 3rd for $100 a ticket, audience members can meet at the Trenton Marina and enjoy a champagne cruise from the Trenton Marina to Bristol and arrive in Bristol in time to have lunch before the curtain goes up. Audiences interested in this special opportunity can call 215-785-6664 to purchase these tickets. Tickets include admission to the show.

“We picked Murder for Two for our return to the stage because it’s pure joy onstage,’” said BRT Producting Director Amy Kaissar. “It’s a musical that is funny, impressive and wildly entertaining. I don’t think we could have picked a better show to open back up again. I cannot wait to stand in the back of the dark theatre and hear our audience laugh and clap. There’s nothing serious about this one. It’s just pure laughs and pleasure.”

Bristol Riverside Theatre returns to in-person shows on their mainstage with one of the most uproarious musical comedies in the country. Officer Marcus Moscowicz is a small town policeman with dreams of becoming a detective. One fateful night, shots ring out at the surprise birthday party of Great American Novelist Arthur Whitney and the writer is killed…fatally. With the nearest detective an hour away, Marcus jumps at the chance to prove his sleuthing skills—with the help of his silent partner, Lou.  But whodunit?  Did Dahlia Whitney, Arthur’s scene-stealing wife, give him a big finish? Is Barrette Lewis, the prima ballerina, the prime suspect? Did Dr. Griff, the overly-friendly psychiatrist, make a frenemy? Marcus has only a short amount of time to find the killer and make his name before the real detective arrives – and the ice cream melts! The New York Times called it, “Ingenious! A snazzy double-act that spins out a comic mystery animated by funny, deftly turned songs.”

“I’m excited to see the playwright starring in his own show,” said Kaissar. “We rarely get to meet the playwright at BRT. But for this one, audiences can expect to enjoy the show performed directly by one of the people that conceived it. That’s a very rare privilege.”

Murder for Two was originally developed at The Adirondack Theatre Festival and 42nd Street Moon. Chicago Shakespeare Theater presented the World Premiere Production in May, 2011, which was extended 4 times and ran for more than 6 months. Kinosian and Blair were recognized with a 2011 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Musical. Murder For Two opened at Second Stage Theatre’s uptown home, the McGinn/Cazale Theatre, in July, 2013. It was extended twice due to popular demand. The Second Stage production transferred to New World Stages, where performances began on October 23, 2013, and played its final performance on June 29, 2014. The National Tour launched at Arizona Theatre Company in Tucson on November 29, 2014, and played its final performance at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, FL on May 1, 2016.

Bristol is bringing the original design team in for this production. BRT Producing Director Amy Kaissar is producing the show. The BRT show is directed by the show’s original assistant director J. Scott Lapp. Wendy Seyb is the choreographer. Beowulf Boritt is the set designer. Adrea Laurer is the costume designer. Jason Lyons is the lighting designer. Jill BC DuBoff is the sound designer.

“Finally being back to making theatre indoors is exciting, nerve-racking, and a big relief all at the same time,” said Kaissar. “This is the first time that most of us have gone this long without making something to share with an audience since we were small children. I saw my first indoor show last week on Broadway and cried at the “please turn off your phones” speech. I was so moved. So I’m sure it’ll be emotional when we’re finally with our audiences inside BRT again.

Murder for Two runs September 21 to October 10, 2021. Tickets are $15 to $55 with discounts available for students and military. Subscriptions run between $150 to $200. There are a limited number of $10 tickets available for each mainstage show for Bristol Township residents courtesy of Flager & Associates, PC. As always, Bristol Borough residents can receive $5 tickets for preview performances.

Subscriptions and tickets are available online at brtstage.org or by phone at 215-785-0100.

About the Actors and Director
Joe Kinosian (The Suspects/Book and Music) is the composer and co-bookwriter (with lyricist Kellen Blair) of Murder for Two, which he’s also performed in over 700 times. Murder for Two had its world premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, receiving the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Musical and earning Joe a nomination for Best Leading Actor, before going on to an acclaimed off-Broadway run, where it earned Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. A two-year national tour and well-received productions in Japan, China, Korea, England, Chile, and Argentina followed. Joe and Kellen’s new musical, It Came From Outer Space, adapted from the Universal Studios film, is slated to open summer 2022 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Joe is the recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award, selected and presented by Stephen Schwartz. His acting credits include Two Pianos, Four Hands, An Act of God, Dirty Blonde, and the title role in The Nerd. Joe was also the arranger for, and performed in, The Gorgeous Nothings: In Concert, produced by Life Jacket Theater, which sold out its run at Joe’s Pub and was subsequently broadcast by Playbill.com. www.kinosianandblair.com

Martin Landry (Marcus Moscowicz) is excited to make his BRT debut! Although based in NYC, Martin has appeared on several Philly-area stages, including Philadelphia Theatre Company, Bucks County Playhouse, and Bucks County Center for the Performing Arts. Among other credits, Martin has appeared as (and/or been standby for) both “Marcus” and/or “The Suspects” at 13 different theatres in 11 different states (thanks, Joe and Kellen!).  www.martinlandry.net

J. Scott Lapp (Director) is thrilled to be working again on Murder for Two with all the usual suspects and this wonderful team at Bristol Riverside Theater! Jeremy is an award-winning director, a proud member of the SDC and the Artistic Director at The California Center for the Arts, Escondido in Southern California. Associate/Assistant Directing credits include Broadway: Bonnie & Clyde; International: The Prince Of Egypt (West End, Fredericia Teater); Off-Broadway: Murder for Two (New World Stages), Freedom Riders (NYMF); National Tour: Murder for Two, Xanadu. Regional: Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Paper Mill Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse); Rain, Into The Woods, Good People, A Room With a View (Old Globe); Secondhand Lions (5th Ave). Selected directing credits include International: Murder for Two (Calgary, Japan); Regional: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Farmers Alley); The Bridges of Madison County (Public Theatre San Antonio); Godspell, Disenchanted, First Date (Prima Theater); Hairspray, First Date (SDMT); World Premiere Murder for Two: Christmas Edition (Bucks County Playhouse); Little Women, Spring Awakening, Chess, Carousel, Peter and The Starcatcher, Urinetown (The Barn Stage Company).  He is a recipient of Noel Craig, PAMTA, Inland Theatre League, Patté, National Youth Theatre, Billy & Director’s Choice awards. He just returned from London where he served as the Associate Director on Dreamwork’s The Prince of Egypt, currently playing at The Dominion Theatre on the West End. Upcoming projects include productions of Once, Light in the Piazza and the world premiere of Witnesses, a song cycle at The CCAE.

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS
For the production of Murder for Two, all audience members will be required to wear masks at all times when inside the theatre and show proof of full vaccination with a matching identification. Full vaccination means the performance date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. There will be no exemptions to the above rules for any performance other than the matinee on Saturday October 9, 2021 at 2:00pm. At that performance only, those who are unable to be vaccinated will be able to enter with proof of a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 48 hours of the performance start time. For future shows, please stay tuned for continued updates that follow CDC, state and local guidelines.

For continued COVID protocols, BRT has upgraded its filtration to a MERV-13 as recommended by the CDC. The theatre will continue thorough and more frequent disinfection with CDC recommended products and special attention to high-touch areas. The theatre has installed touchless paper towel dispensers in all bathrooms. Hand sanitizer will be available in the lobby at all times. Updated health and safety protocols will be updated on the website during the season for each show and special event.

WHAT’S NEXT
Murder for Two is followed by a timely play from the pen of the award-winning playwright, Dominique Morrisseau, Skeleton Crew (November 2 to November 21, 2021). In the new year, audiences follow a mystery between two high school students in Lauren Gunderson’s I and You (January 25 to February 13, 2022). Next, audiences will roar with  laughter at the hilarious Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors (March 8 to March 27, 2022). The season closes with Aaron Sorkin’s searing masterpiece A Few Good Men (May 3 to May 22, 2022). The season will also include BRT’s popular holiday special event, An American Christmas Songbook (December 9 to December 19, 2021).

Subscriptions for the 2021-22 season are available now starting at $150. Single tickets are also on sale starting at $43.

ABOUT BRISTOL RIVERSIDE THEATRE
Since 1986, BRT has continued to bring acclaimed theatre to Bucks County. The theatre is the recipient of over 71 Barrymore Award nominations. Now under the direction of Producing directors Amy and Ken Kaissar, and General Manager David J. Abers, the theatre serves as a cultural hub for the community. In addition to its mainstage productions, BRT offers the William Penn Bank Summer Music Fest, the holiday tradition An American Christmas Songbook concert, the new play development series America Rising, the summer theatre arts camp ArtRageous, and a range of education programs for local youth. For information, visit www.brtstage.org.

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