Imagine if the Marx Brothers put on an Agatha Christie story, threw in a little Alfred Hitchcock and turned it all into a clever musical. Get ready for a zany blend of musical comedy and madcap murder mystery in this fast and funny whodunit where one actor plays the detective, the other actor plays all the suspects, and they both play the piano. “Murder for Two,” playing Nov. 8-10, at The Public Theatre in Lewiston, is a hilarious musical murder mystery that spoofs, celebrates, and reimagines both the murder mystery and musical theatre genres.

Originally nominated for an Outer Critics Circle award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway musical, this entertaining, vaudeville-style romp with clever music has left audiences leaping to its feet wherever it has been produced. On the eve of his surprise birthday party, legendary novelist Arthur Whitney is murdered by an unknown killer. Seizing the opportunity to impress his chief, a young detective takes charge of the investigation hoping to crack the case by interrogating a colorful slew of suspects before the senior detective arrives on the scene.

“This musical is a tremendously fun and clever show,” says Public Theatre Artistic Director Christopher Schario. “We saw “Murder for Two” this summer at Theater at Monmouth and enjoyed it so much that we arranged to bring their production to The Public Theatre to share with our audience for one weekend in November.  After co-producing the musical “Grease” this summer with MSMT, we thought it would be great to be able to offer our audience the chance to see another musical on our stage.”

Audiences who missed seeing “Murder for Two” this summer at Theater at Monmouth, or fans of that production, will now have a chance to see it again. Theater at Monmouth’s original production team including set designer Daniel Bilodeau, lighting designer Jim Alexander, sound designer Rew Tippin, and costume designer Jonna Klaiber and actors will recreate their work at The Public Theatre, with director Adam Blais at the helm. Adam is also a member of The Public Theatre’s staff.

Actors Quinn Corcoran and Robbie Harrison will reprise their roles as the detective and the 13 suspects including a widow, her niece from the city, a prima ballerina, an eccentric psychiatrist, a squabbling married couple, and three members of a 12-member boys’ choir.

“Murder For Two” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Fri, Nov. 8; at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sat, Nov. 9; and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10. Opening night will feature a free pre-show wine-tasting at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby courtesy of Central Distributors.  Tickets are $25. For reservations call 782-3200 or visit thepublictheatre.org.

Robbie Harrison and Quinn Corcoran in Theater at Monmouth’s 2019 Summer Repertory Production of “Murder for Two.” Courtesy photo by Aaron Flacke.

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