Who Murdered Love? (2023)

By Lissa Moira and Richard West
Directed by Lissa Moira
February 2 – February 19
FEB 2 - FEB 19; THU, FRI, SAT @ 8 PM, SUN @ 3 PM

Executive Director, Crystal Field


Who Murdered Love?

Book by Lissa Moira and Richard West
Music by Richard West
Lyrics by Lissa Moira
Directed by Lissa Moira

February 2 – 19, 2023
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 PM,  Sunday at 3:00 PM
Running Time: 2 hours 10 minutes including intermission
Tickets $18, Seniors/Students $12 – Box Office (212) 254-1109

Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue (between 9th & 10th Street)

“Who Murdered Love?” by Lissa Moira and Richard West is a Dadaist musical comedy set in 1924 New York City and in a Paris dreamscape. Its story follows WWI veteran and private eye “Sleepy” Sam Speed, his girl, Gail Friday and his junior detective, Everett Greene, as they attempt to unravel the disappearance and possible murder of DaDa Love at the behest of their client, a stunning heiress named Honey Potts. DaDa Love–enigmatic, handsome and charismatic–is at the center of the world for Dadaists in a time when Surrealists are vying with them for artistic supremacy. The sleuthing trio’s quest for him leads them through a mad psychedelic adventure that is populated by takeoffs on artists of the post-WWI period who were also known for their artistic and sexual jealousies.

The authors, Lissa Moira and Richard West, wrote the tuner to illustrate the theme of cultural wars among artists: artistic jealousies and artistic totalitarianism. West says, “Every generation has these problems–midlevel artists try to dominate the scene and seek power to dominate other people.” Their concept landed nicely on the Dada movement of the twenties, in which everybody preferred the satirical to the serious and relationships between artists devolved into rivalries of dogma between Dadaism, Surrealism and Eclecticism, like when André Breton excommunicated Tristan Tzara and expelled Salvador Dalí from the Surrealist group on supposedly idealistic grounds. “Every generation has these problems,” says Richard West.

Our Cast in Alphabetical Order
Louisa Bradshaw* as The Countess Analise
William Broderick* as Andre Ranton
Sage Buchalter Ensemble and Dance Captain
Jef Canter* as Darcel Ducamp
Alisa Ermolaev as Honey Potts
Ejyp Johnson as DaDa Love
Rori Nogee*as Gail Friday
Amy Catherine Welch* as Blossom
John David West as Sleepy Sam Speed
Chase Wolfe as Everett Greene

*Appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association

Our Production Team
Musical Director – Peter Dizozza
Choreographer – Olivia Palacios
Assistant Choreographer – Sage Buchalter
Set Design – Mark Marcante
Set Decoration and Special Props – Lytza Colón
Lighting Design Alexander Bartenieff
Costumes – Lytza Colón
Stage Manager – Lafayette Elizabeth Orsack
Board Operator – Franklyn Rodriguez

The property began at Theater for the New City in 2002 as a straight play and evolved into a musical in two subsequent productions: at TNC in 2010 and the NY Fringe in 2012. It is now in a new, finished form.

Lissa Moira (director, book & lyrics) is a playwright, screenwriter, director, artist and poet. She is two-time Jerome Foundation grantee and an OOBR Award-winning actress. She co-authored, with Richard West, the long-running OOB hits “Sexual Psychobabble” and “The Best Sex of the XX Century Sale.” At Theater for the New City, she headed The Chrysalis, a play development project. Her “Time It Is” made the final ten of the Chesterfield/Paramount Screen Writing Competition (from 5000 submissions worldwide). With Robert Santoli, Moira co-authored the feature film “Dead Canaries,” which was directed by Santoli and featured Charles Durning, Dan Luria, Dee Wallace and Joel Higgins. She directed and was dramaturg of “Siren’s Heart, Norma Jean and Marilyn in Purgatory” by Walt Stepp, which enjoyed a seven-week run at TNC in 2011 and then played 14 months Off-Broadway at the Actors Temple starring Louisa Bradshaw. The following year, she directed “Skybox,” also by Walt Stepp, at TNC. Richmond Shepard (lively-arts.com) described Moira’s “The Seduction of Time” (TNC, 2014) as “a fascinating mixture of text, music, song and dance exploring a personification of the mythic relationship between nature and time as they mate.” Her play “Before God Was Invented” (TNC, 2011, 2014) was nominated for a Susan Brownell-Smith Award. Andréw Martin, (Nite Life Exchange) wrote, “’Before God Was Invented’ is for those craving a glorious glimpse into what the very best evening can be in the greatest tradition of the theatre art form. Please run, don’t walk to catch it.” Her direction of “Cocaine Dreams” at the Kraine was described by the NY Post (Chip Deffaa) as “inspired.” Moira writes, “I would like to thank Crystal Field for her continuing faith in me, both as a writer and director, and for allowing me to have the opportunity both to direct and to present my own new works. The theater has been an indispensable launching pad for me.”

Richard West (composer) is a writer, musician and actor. Among his plays are “Warhol in Hell,” “Bohemia on Wry,” “Sex and the Single Samurai” and “Enlightenment on the Installment Plan.” With Lisa Moira, he has written “Sexual Psychobabble,” “Who Murdered Love? “and “The Best Sex of the XX Century Sale.” His one man shows include “Coastal Complexes, ” “The Hip Revival Hour,” “Daffodils for Duchamp,” “Cafe Vanity,” “Coming of Age Amongst the Urban Savages,” “Coming of Age in a Stoned Decade,” “The Blue Monkey,” “The Floating Duck Variety Show,” “Going Out of Democracy Sale,” “The Grand Theft Inaugural Ball,” “Variety Show” and “You Sure Got a Lot of Nirvana.” He had a radio career on the West Coast (KPFA), a Manhattan Cable TV show (“That’s More Like It”), and has performed his satirical and serious songs and East-West exotic fusion music at venues ranging from The Limelight, Theater Row Mudd Club, The Knitting Factory and The Village Gate. He collaborated on a song cycle with Lissa Moira, “The Son of a Bush from Texas & Other Related Songs.” He is a Jerome Foundation grantee.

Alisa Ermolaev as Honey Potts. Photo by Lissa Moira.
Front row: Louisa Bradshaw, Ejyp Johnson, John David West. Behind: William Broderick, Amy Catherine Welch, Rori Nogee, Jef Canter. Photo by Gerry Goodstein.

COVID Protocol:
As of September 26th, 2022, we are no longer requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for our audience upon entry.
Wearing of masks is suggested in the lobby, restrooms and performance spaces at Theater for the New City, but they are not required.