Ann L. Bernstein Theater
at The Theater Center
June 12, 2021
Perfect Crime is a
mind-boggling murder mystery… or is it? In the first scene you witness a murder.
At the end of Scene 2, the murder victim enters, unscathed and very much
alive. Scene after scene you are given
incriminating evidence for every character, pulling you deeper into intrigue caused
by suspicious behavior. Playwright Warren
Manzi sustains this intrigue all the way through to the end of the play when the
truth finally unravels.
Photo courtesy of Perfect Crime
Psychologist, Margaret Brent (played by Catherine Russell) is on the brink of fame, as her new book is about to be released. When Inspector Asher (played by Patrick Ryan Sullivan) visits to investigate her husband’s murder, her husband (played by David Butler) appears just as Margaret is about to be arrested. In a session with Lionel, a severely psychotic patient (played by Charles Geyer), Margaret discusses murder fantasies as Lionel analyzes a painting by Margaret’s husband that hangs over the mantle. Inspector Asher returns and questions Margaret’s husband, who turns the tables by grilling Asher on his attraction to Margaret. Asher does not let up on his belief that Margaret is a murderer until her dark past is revealed and all questions are answered.
The success of this story rests on the timing and energy of the main character, and Catherine Russell plays this to perfection. She pulls the strings of each of the other characters, callously manipulating their reactions and behavior. The rapport she creates with Patrick Ryan Sullivan, David Butler, and Charles Geyer is realistic and believable. Jeffrey Hyatt directed this piece to run at a momentous pace, which this cast adheres to brilliantly, keeping your mind alert and aware of every detail.
Premiering in 1980, Perfect Crime is “the longest running play in the history of New York theater, on or off Broadway.” Having starred in Perfect Crime since its first performance, Catherine Russell has been hailed the “Cal Ripken of Broadway” by the People Magazine and appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for most consecutive performances in one role. Get a ticket for Perfect Crime and keep this NYC theater tradition alive. Safety protocols at The Theater Center are well implemented. Ventilation is documented on their website. Seating is sporadic. Audience members are required to wear masks throughout the performance.