Where were you in 1987? Perfect Crime, the Off-Broadway ‘whodunit’ was just opening and so will celebrate 31 years and 13,000 performances last night – continuing on as the longest running play on or Off-Broadway in the city’s history. The smart, funny and fast-paced thriller at the Anne L. Bernstein Theater in The Theater Center in Times Square (1627 Broadway) first opened in 1987 – and its leading lady Catherine Russell has performed in all 13,000 performances – earning her a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records!
The production has managed to withstand the test of time, adapting to the changing culture, audiences, and technology around it. Consider that when the show first opened:
- The Internet was in its infancy.
- Hardly anyone had a cell phone.
- The best selling video game was Zelda II
- USA Today became the first US newspaper to publish a digital photograph on its front page.
- Airplanes were just being outfitted to fly using computer-driven, fly-by-wire controls.
- Pioneer introduced its erasable-recordable laser video disc
- The NYC subway cost $1 and you used tokens – there were no Metrocards.
- The Iron Curtain was still up in Berlin, and the USSR wasn’t called Russia.
- The first episode of The Simpsons aired, Married with Children and 21 Jump Street were the top shows on TV and Fatal Attraction was on the silver screen.
- After many years of research, a new drug AZT was just starting to be used for the treatment of AIDS.
Perfect Crime features Catherine Russell, who was recently featured by People Magazine as the “Cal Ripkin of Broadway” and the Associated Press as “The Off-Broadway force of nature” She has starred in the show since its first performance and has never taken a sick day or a vacation day in the past 31 years! It’s a feat that has landed her in the Guinness Book of World Records. Russell’s incredible streak has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show, Good Morning America and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News and numerous other media outlets including The Associated Press and People.
The perfect show for CSI and Law & Order fans, Perfect Crime tells the story of the brilliant psychiatrist and suspected cold-blooded killer Margaret Brent, her wealthy husband, deranged patient, and the handsome detective who’s falling in love with her while he tries to solve the crime.
Since Perfect Crime opened in 1987, Catherine Russell has spent over three years of her life (nearly 26,000 hours) onstage. She has shot 90 different men and kissed 59 others. Nearly 104,832 bullets have been fired onstage and over 6,000 prop coffee cakes have been eaten. The show has employed 243 actors during its 31-year existence.
The cast of Perfect Crime also features David Butler, Patrick Noonan, and Patrick Robustelli (a well-known Broadway restaurant owner making an on-video cameo). Perfect Crime is directed by Jeffrey Hyatt.
Perfect Crime plays atThe Theater Center is located at 210 West 50th Street at Broadway.