KILLER BUSINESS by Rob Torr, Saul Segal and Ken MacDougall (Torrent Productions/Next Stage). January 14 at 6:45 pm, January 16 at 7 pm, January 17 at 9:30 pm, January 18 at 9 pm, January 19 at 5 pm. See listing. Rating: NN
The idea of a musical murder mystery set in the world of theatre has promise. So it's a shame Killer Business is so off-key. Banal music, unimaginative lyrics and clunky jokes in the book pad out this unbearable 90 minute show. Thank the show business gods for a couple of lively performances.
During rehearsals for a new musical, someone is murdered. Whodunit: the jealous understudy? The deep-in-debt producer? The victim's new lover?
It's hard to care when the people have tics, not character traits, and when you can predict rhymes from a song's first lyrics. David Keeley's gumshoe narrator makes the best of his role, suffering through dozens of "dick" jokes, while Duff MacDonald is also watchable as a bitchy costumer.
But the show is so clumsy director Geoffrey Whynot does nothing with a motif of having the audience play potential investors. Skip this and see A Misfortune instead.