MURDER FOR TWO
Opens Tonight
The Phoenix Theatre Company Stages
Socially-Distanced, Live Outdoor Musical
Text and Photos Courtesy of The Phoenix Theatre Company

Even during a time of social distancing, mask mandates and heightened public health measures, there are still ways to enjoy live entertainment in the Valley. The Phoenix Theatre Company (TPTC) opened its socially-distanced outdoor venue in November 2020 to keep the arts alive in Arizona. Now, it’s premiering its fourth show of the season, a murder mystery packed with intrigue, comedy and heart—it’s the perfect adventure for a fun night out.

Above: The live, outdoor musical Murder for Two opens on Wednesday, February 17.

\Murder for Two is an award-winning modern noir musical comedy. One actor investigates a crime, the other plays all of the suspects. Officer Marcus Moscowicz is a small town policeman who dreams of making detective. One fateful night, shots ring out and great American novelist Arthur Whitney is killed. With the nearest detective an hour away, Marcus jumps at the chance to prove his sleuthing skills. It’s up to Marcus, and the audience, to answer the question: whodunit? 

Michael Barnard, producing Artistic Director of TPTC says, “We applaud Actors’ Equity Association for its diligence in protecting the health and safety of its members. We both share this commitment to maintaining robust health and safety standards, for our staff, our artists and our audiences. Our non-profit mission is to bring relief by illuminating our community and bringing joy and happiness to the forefront even if only for two hours. We believe we can do that and keep people safe. I am thrilled we’re able to do this show, with two incredibly talented actors!”

The cast of two includes Phoenix Theatre Company audience favorites Seth Tucker as the detective and Toby Yatso as a host of suspects. 

Above, left: Veteran actor Toby Yatso portrays multiple suspects in Murder for TwoRight: Director Michelle Chin promises a hilarious and fast-paced storyline that will leave the audience on the edge of their seats.

“Knowing this is the first Equity-approved show in Arizona since March, I’m feeling hopeful and full of pride,” says Tucker. “It has also been 10 years since I performed with TPTC, so it feels warm and familiar, but exciting and new…like returning home for the first time as an adult.” Having majored in Business Marketing and Music Theatre at ASU, Tucker is a playwright, director, producer and performer. His favorite credits include Leo Frank in Parade, Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam, Miss West Coast in Pageant, and Emcee in Cabaret.

“I can’t wait to be back doing live theatre with this fantastic team of artists,” exclaims Yatso. “Murder for Two will be a hilarious and thrilling adventure every step of the way…produced in a safe environment for all!!”  As TPTC’s Artist-in-Residence for over a decade, Yatso’s numerous stage credits include Elf,Cookin’s a Drag, Avenue Q, Little Shop of Horrors, It’s Only a Play, Bullets Over Broadway, Baskerville, The All Night Strut, The Wizard of Oz, Buyer and Cellar, Mary Poppins, The 39 Steps, ‘S Wonderful, Spamalot, The Spitfire Grill, Hairspray, Glorious, Curtains, Company, Forbidden Broadway, The Producers, Lucky Star, The Full Monty, and Guys and Dolls. Other credits include several concerts with The Phoenix Symphony, numerous galas, industrial shows, special appearance performances, directing over a dozen productions and teacher on the music theatre performance faculty of ASU’s School of Music. 

Above: Seth Tucker returns to the TPTC stage as Officer Marcus Moscowicz, a small town policeman who dreams of making detective.

 

“The actors and the audience will have plenty of opportunities to use their imagination—in a way that’s only possible with live performance,” shares Michelle Chin, director of The Phoenix Theatre Company’s Murder for Two. “These incredibly talented artists are guiding you through a hilarious and fast-paced storyline that leaves you on the edge of your seat.” 

The staging maintains COVID-19 health and safety protocols. “We’ve had to completely reimagine how we tell this story so that we protect the safety of our artists while still conveying rapport and maintaining artistic integrity,” says Chin. “I think we’ve all had to make adjustments in our own lives. But at the end of the day, we still need characters to root for; we still love an underdog story and we all crave human connection. Live theatre gives us the escape we all desperately need.”

The Phoenix Theatre Company’s Murder for Two will be staged at its socially-distanced outdoor venue located a half-block north of the theatre’s campus. Staff and guests are required to wear masks and there is a temperature check upon arrival. Tickets are $59. To purchase tickets call 602-254-2151 or visit www.phoenixtheatre.com/murderfortwo