These Relationships Are Murder

It’s New Year’s Eve in New York. Aging Broadway star Palmer Forrester and his wife, Angela, one of the wealthiest women in the country, have lost the romantic spark in their marriage and are no longer in love.

Angela (Loretta Swit) is having an affair with Palmer’s young agent, Ted Cotton (Sean Coughlin), and the two of them concoct a plan to murder the unsuspecting Palmer (Tony Lawson).

Although paranoid about the upcoming murder, Angela happily looks forward to one day marrying Ted, who assures her that their plan is guaranteed to work.

Ted hires a hit man (David Marmanillo) to pose as a burglar; he even picks out witnesses to divert any suspicion that could trace back to him and Angela.

Bob Barry’s “Murder Among Friends” is a complex puzzle that drops big surprises just when you think you have it figured out.

Relationships get complicated, and one character dies unexpectedly in a mysterious turn of events. Angela’s past is brought into question, and Palmer proves to be less and less trustworthy.

Two more colorful characters are added to the story: Marshall and Gert Saidenberg, played by David Titus and Krista Severeid. These two add verve to the production through their diverse yet complementary personalities. Marshall is a kind, seasoned Broadway producer who meshes well with his young, ditzy wife. Titus and Severeid’s chemistry adds charm to the comedy.

Swit, the star of the show, is known for her role as Major Margaret Houlihan from the 1970s award-winning TV show “M*A*S*H.” At 75, she plays the part of a stylish, conniving woman quite well. Swit’s Angela is seemingly a nervous wreck throughout the entire story while, in contrast, Palmer is suave, pompous and calm.

The play’s complex storyline is a bit hard to follow during the second half, yet manages to maintain a light tone throughout the comedy. The show is geared toward an older audience but still has appeal for the younger viewers with its sexual innuendo and comical lines.

Mystery and drama are skillfully intertwined with just enough comic relief to leave the Alhambra guests laughing at the end.