About Perfect Crime

Warren Manzi's Perfect Crime is a sexy, funny and fast-paced thriller that makes for a great night of whodunit. The longest-running play in NYC history takes place in the home of a wealthy psychiatrist, Margaret Brent, who is accused of murdering her husband. The handsome detective thinks he has it all figured out, but her husband's murder is only the beginning in what may just be the perfect crime.

 

Perfect Crime is the perfect show for fans of Law & Order, CSI, Sherlock, Gone Girl,

and Hitchcock films!

 

"CSI-BASED SHOWS ARE AS POPULAR AS EVER. IF YOU'RE A FAN, YOU'LL LOVE THE OFF-BROADWAY PRODUCTION, PERFECT CRIME." - CBS New York

"A CUNNING LITTLE WHODUNIT... CATHERINE RUSSELL GIVES A SLY, TOUGH PERFORMANCE AS THE LEAD CHARACTER, A WEALTHY CONNECTICUT PSYCHIATRIST" - The New Yorker

"IN LONDON, IT'S THE MOUSETRAP; IN NEW YORK, IT'S PERFECT CRIME... NYC'S LITTLE MYSTERY THRILLER THAT COULD" - Playbill

"...A BRAINY, BEAUTIFUL AND AMBITIOUS PSYCHIATRIST HOLDS THE KEY TO THE MURDER OF AT LEAST ONE VICTIM IN A SERIES OF MURDERS. IS A SERIAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE? THE PLOT THICKENS. AND THICKENS." - New York Daily News

 

The History of Perfect Crime

Perfect Crime's long and storied history has led New York Magazine to call it "a true New York mystery" and the New York Times to call it "an urban legend". It was optioned for Broadway in 1980 while author Warren Manzi was playing Mozart in the Broadway production of Amadeus. At the time, Manzi was the youngest American to have a play optioned for Broadway. After he refused prospective producer Morton Gottlieb's requests to change the title to Guilty Hands and star either Mary Tyler Moore or Elaine Stritch, Manzi went to Hollywood and wrote several screenplays, including two versions of the movie Clue for John Landis.

The script sat in Manzi's drawer for seven years until he became the artistic director of a theater company that produced the play. Initially opening as an Equity Showcase on April 18, 1987 for a four-week limited run at The Courtyard Playhouse, Perfect Crime has since become the longest-running play in the history of New York theater, on or off Broadway.

' The Cal Ripken of Broadway '

Leading lady Catherine Russell, who has starred in the show since its first performance, has never taken a sick day or vacation day since 1987, a feat which landed her in the Guinness World Records. Russell's incredible streak has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show and Good Morning America and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News and numerous other publications including People, which dubbed her "The Cal Ripken of Broadway".

Since Perfect Crime opened in 1987, Russell has spent over 17,000 hours on-stage. She has shot 89 different men and kissed 57 others. Over 83,000 bullets have been fired on-stage and over 5,000 prop coffee cakes have been eaten. Amazingly, the show has employed 237 actors during its nearly 27-year existence.

A Storied History

Perfect Crime has played to many different houses over the years.

Here's a brief history of when and where the show played in New York since 1987:

  • The Courtyard Playhouse, Greenwich Village
    (Apr. - Aug. 1987)

  • The Second Stage
    (Aug. - Oct. 1987)

  • The Forty Seventh Street Theater
    (Oct. - Dec. 1987)

  • Intar
    (Jan. - Apr. 1988)

  • The Harold Clurman Theater
    (May 1988 - Aug. 1990)

  • The Forty Seventh Street Theater
    (Aug. - Dec. 1990)

  • Theatre Four
    (Jan. 1991 - Sept. 1993)

  • The Forty Seventh Street Theater
    (Sept. 1993 - Jan. 1994)

  • The Duffy Theatre
    (Jan. 1994 - Apr. 2005)

  • The Theater Center
    (Apr. 2005 - Present)

greenich pc.jpeg
The Courtyard Playhouse, Greenwich Village - 
Perfect Crime first opened here on April 18th, 1987
 

Spoilers

With Manzi's infamous twists and turns some audience members feel a little puzzled at the end of the show. To help with this we've created an answer key, but be warned, reading this ahead of time will spoil some of the plot points.

Click here for the Answer Key.