A Perfect Crime was a perfect time

January 27, 2010

by Stacie Rabinowitz

Last Monday night Fabrice and I had the pleasure of going to see the longest-running play in New York, “A Perfect Crime.” Although neither of us had heard much about it, as theater and mystery buffs we decided we should form our own opinions. Luckily, we were not disappointed! The plot is a murder mystery that keeps you on your toes till the very end. Although normally I hate excessive plot twists, and usually find them either predictable or gratuitous (sorry David Mamet), in this case each surprise was unique in its execution and built upon clues earlier in the play that were subtle enough to keep us in suspense while still integrated enough that each new development made sense and followed from the data we had been given. In fact, the various twists and turns were so devious that Fabrice and I came up with completely different theories as to what was happening, only to both be proven right at the end!

In addition to an intriguing storyline, the play was just plain fun. The dialogue was witty and well-delivered by an enthusiastic cast. The actors’ timing was superb, and I appreciated their ability to work well with difficult theatrical techniques such as phone conversations, tape and video recordings, and speaking to characters offstage. Clearly the long run of the play allowed these elements to develop into the cohesive piece that we saw before us, and all of the set pieces, lighting, and sound cues flowed into a well-rounded piece of theater. The play is not amazingly intellectual and has no important political statement, nor does it feature famous movie stars to draw a crowd. Sadly, Fabrice counted the people in the theater and hypothesized that it had to be losing money that night. But it is entertaining and amusing, which I’m sure is what has sustained its 23-year run. Go see it soon!

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