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Perfect Crime - Full Length Play, Drama

Perfect Crime

Warren Manzi

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Full Length Play, Drama

4m, 1f

ISBN: 9780573691522

"Sends electric thrills up the spine!" - The New York Times

"Shows a fine hand at creating suspense. The psychological curve balls... whiz by." - New York Daily News
"If Harold Pinter, Tennessee Williams, and Agath…

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Rental Materials | Author | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play



Time Period - Present Day

Settings Of Play -

The sitting room of the Brent home in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, an out-of-the-way, wealthy community. Present day.


Interior Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


Adult, Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)


Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


From Off-Broadway

This cat and mouse thriller is one of Off Broadway's longest running hits. Margaret Thorne Brent, psychiatrist and author, has returned to America with her husband, also a psychiatrist, and settled in an affluent Connecticut community where at least one bizarre murder has taken place. Inspector James Ascher, the local cop, becomes obsessed with Margaret, her patients and their sitting room, where he believes the solution to the murder lies.

"Sends electric thrills up the spine!" - The New York Times

"Shows a fine hand at creating suspense. The psychological curve balls... whiz by." - New York Daily News "If Harold Pinter, Tennessee Williams, and Agatha Christie ever sat around a bar one night and said "Let's write a murder mystery,' they might have come up with Perfect Crime." - United Press International

"Keeps you right there on the edge of your seat with a delightful blend of suspense, sexuality, and intellectual teasing." - Texas Triangle

Perfect Crime was first presented at The Courtyard Playhouse in New York City on April 17, 1987. It was directed by Jeffrey Hyatt.



4m, 1f


N/A (Not a musical)

MARGARET THORNE BRENT - psychiatrist, 30s.
INSPECTOR JAMES ASCHER - the law, late 30s.
W. HARRISON BRENT - Margaret's husband, also a psychiatrist, 40s, retired.
LIONEL MCAULEY - a patient of Margaret's, late 30s.
DAVID BREUER - host of a local cable television show, 30s.

Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)


N/A (Not a musical)

Warren Manzi

Warren Manzi

In 1980, while playing Mozart on Broadway in Amadeus, Warren Manzi wrote his first full-length play, the original version of Perfect Crime. The play was optioned for Broadway that same year, making Warren - then, age twenty-five - the youngest American ever to have a play optioned for Broadway.As for Warren's plays that have been presented on stage in New York, Perfect Crime has played ... view full profile

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James Watson 6/22/2016 11:52 AM
Megan Cody 4/25/2013 12:02 AM
In “Perfect Crime,” Manzi has constructed an excellent tale that borders between murder mystery and psychological thriller. The way the narrative is constructed, the reader can never be sure who is a person to be trusted and who is a person of interest. You know that a gun in the first act will be used in the third, but connecting the pieces well and not revealing anything too soon is a skill that Manzi has. There were still questions at the end related to why certain events had to happen and the chronological timeline. The pace is consistent throughout the play until the climax when everything happens at a rapid pace and the reader is struggling to keep up. Once the play is over, the reader is left wondering if they really understood what happened and trying to piece together the clues that might have been left throughout.

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