Mayfield, Wisconsin native Joe Kinosian met his writing partner Kellen Blair at a musical theater writer’s workshop in 2008. It wasn't long until their successful two man murder-mystery musical comedy, Murder for Two, was born. The show debuted in Chicago in 2011 and has basically remained in production ever since.
The idea behind the award-winning production came when the writing partners were trying to find a way to fill their summer. “[We thought,] what if we wrote a show that we could self-produce, that had as few actors as possible, as few instrumentalists as possible and no production demands? Kinosian remembers. "You know, you could do it with a set but you would not have to.”
Some of Kinosian and Blair’s inspiration also comes from their love of old movies like the Marx Brothers and The Thin Man films. “So, the notion became what would it be like if fictitious Marx brothers put on a fictitious Agatha Christie story?”
Reflecting on the experience, Kinosian says, “I always talk about how lucky we were, and it sounds like I’m being falsely modest but we were so, so lucky. From the first reading to the first full production was less than a year, which never ever, ever happens.”
Murder for Two premieres this Friday at the Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret.