copper pipes

Off Broadway’s Perfect Crime Is at the Center of Actual Crime

Catherine Russell in Perfect Crime. Photo: Courtesy of DDPR

The Off Broadway play Perfect Crime has been running since 1987 and was the first show back to performances in April 2021 during the COVID pandemic. But performances had to stop for another reason Saturday, January 22: Rank thievery. According to a colorful press release from the production, both the murder mystery Perfect Crime and the musical parody of The Office that also operates at the Theater Center on 50th Street have had to shut down because burglars broke in and “stole every piece of copper pipe they could find,” cutting off the building’s supply of water and heat. The criminals then returned on Sunday night and smashed the front doors of the theater. The Theater Center is currently working on repairs, which it says will cost “at least $25,000,” and estimates that performances will resume by this Thursday, January 27. The release refers to this as a “perfect crime,” but honestly, it feels more brute-force than perfect.

The upside of the news is that star Catherine Russell, who has somewhat infamously only missed four performances of Perfect Crime since 1987, finally got some time off. “We will be getting new and improved pipes,” she said in a release, “the owners have installed better locks and lots of extra security in the building, and instead of going onstage myself this weekend, I went to see a Broadway show!” Considering Russell’s eight-performance-a-week schedule, it’s likely been a very, very long time since she last went to anyone else’s show. Which did she choose? Did she enjoy it? Will she incorporate any of its more recent dramaturgical innovations into her Perfect Crime performance? Catherine, please let us know, when you have the time.

Off Broadway’s Perfect Crime Is at the Center of Real Crime