Chaos of a comedic kind reigns on the Old Globe Theatre’s main stage with the two-man musical comedy Murder For Two, This music-hall mystery dares you not to like it. In spite of one-liner after one-liner, formula gimmick after formula gimmick, Murder For Two’s Joe Kinosian (composer of the show’s music and co-creator of the book) and Ian Lowe manage to make you laugh and somehow keep you involved in a whodunit where it doesn’t matter whodunit. Kinosian does howling quick-change character duty, portraying all 10 suspects at a birthday-party murder, young and old, male and female. (Lowe is the hapless sleuth trying to sort through all the alibis and silliness, while providing some silliness of his own.) The songs are rendered at a lone piano on stage, sometimes by both actors. Murder For Two gets out of control here and there, but that’s its charm. For example, how can you not love a song that snarkily rhymes the awful Broadway musical Mamma Mia! with “diarrhea”?
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat