On Friday, April 26th, North Carolina Theatre will debut its production of Murder for Two. Described as the perfect blend of music, mayhem, and murder, this hilarious show features two performers who play 13 roles–not to mention the piano–in a witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries.
In the production, Martin Landry will play The Suspects. Since joining the national tour of Murder for Two in early 2015, Martin has appeared as both The Suspects and Marcus at nine different theatres in eight different states. His New York credits include Til Divorce Do Us Part, George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, and Son of a Gun.
Here at Triangle Arts Review, we were lucky enough to ask Martin five key questions about his upcoming role and this exciting new show.
How many "suspects" do you play in the show?
We were immediately intrigued by the vast number of characters...portrayed by only two actors, so we just had to ask Martin this question. He tells us that he plays "ten suspects, as well as a few other special surprises." "It's a LOT," he added.
What is the most challenging thing about playing so many roles?
Martin explains that, "Besides just keeping all of [the characters] straight in my head while also playing the piano, I'd say the most challenging thing is tracking each character's emotional status throughout the show."
He goes on to explain that, "If I'm having an argument with myself as Murray and Barb (the older married couple who despise each other), that argument might be interrupted by [any number of other characters." Martin gives a quick rundown of a few of these colorful characters, including Barrette Lewis, the suspicious prima ballerina; Dr. Griff, the psychiatrist who has a few issues of his own; and Dahlia Whitney, the attention-starved widow who is surprisingly unfazed by her husband's murder.
And, as if playing those characters and dealing with interruptions wasn't enough, Martin says that, "When I return to Murray and Barb, in the split second I have to make the physical transformation, it's not enough to simply change my voice and my posture. I have to be right back in the steaming-mad, bickering mindset."
However, all of these challenges seem to be made easier for Landry by the people he's surrounded with. He says, "Thankfully, I have a great director (J. Scott Lapp), choreographer (Wendy Seyb), and co-star (Brandon Lambert), who all help me manage this monster show."
What or who do you consider your "inspirations" for your performance?
Martin had no shortage of great inspirations to list for his performance. He cited "any performer who has ever delivered over-the-top comedic material in a completely believable way." Getting into the specifics, Martin mentioned Leslie Nielsen in Airplane!, Rita Wilson in Sleepless in Seattle, Awkwafina in Crazy Rich Asians, and pretty much anyone in Monty Python.
He also stated that his own upcoming show is "stuffed with over-the-top comedy, and if we're successful, this will be a night you will never forget."
What is, in your opinion, the funniest moment in the show?
This question was a tough one for Martin, pointing to the fact that this show is jam-packed with humor. He joked, "Now I know how Sophie felt when she made her choice. That's tough."
However he ultimately said that, "If I have to choose, I'll choose this one: without giving anything away, there is one specific moment in the show where I'm allowed to surprise Brandon and ad lib a little bit. You'll know it when you see it. It's happened before, but if I can make him laugh so hard that he cries in front of a paying audience, then I'll say that's my favorite moment."
What do you think audiences will most enjoy about the production?
If our last question was overly difficult for Martin, this one made up for it.
He answered easily, "It's simply hilarious. I've been doing this show for four years, and it still makes me cackle. I firmly believe that, even if you're dealing with physical and/or emotional pain, this show offers 90 blessed minutes to forget everything and just laugh. And also, we are actually playing piano, so there's that."
Martin's answers have us convinced: this show is going to be a hilarious laugh riot. To get in on the action, buy your tickets now! The show runs through May 5, 2019 in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, but tickets are going fast!
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