2023 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Who Did It? An Improvised Murder Mystery’ by Erick Acuña Productions (5 stars)

Capital Fringe award-winning international comedian Erick Acuña teams up with some of DC's funniest improvisers for a rollicking whodunit that leaves audiences laughing out loud.

Comedian Erick Acuña returns to Capital Fringe with Who Did It? An Improvised Murder Mystery. Acuña, a former “Best of Capital Fringe” winner for his show Acuña Acuna, has had successful runs at Fringe festivals in DC, NYC, and Edinburgh. True to form, Acuña does a lot of the heavy lifting in Who Did It?, which he conceived, directs, and stars in.

Here is the setup: The audience at Who Did It? is invited to supply items that will serve as clues. Then the detectives, improvising all the while, interrogate suspects following the trail the audience created. In the opening show, the audience offered a container of dental floss, a floppy straw hat, and a key chain with a tag labeled F— You.

Hilarity ensued as soon as the detectives arrived on the crime scene. Without a doubt, the show lived up to the billing on the program: “Two hilarious comedians uncover their toughest crime yet.” It was quite a feat. Wordplay. Jokes. Sight gags. More jokes.

The two detectives were laugh-out-loud funny. Acuña endeared himself as the hapless detective foil to partner in crime solving, Detective Krystal Ali, and no matter what she lobbed, he parried.

Their comedic dynamic is like no other detective pair I can recall, or comedy pair for that matter, but how could it be, since it was all improvising? The diverse cast of six suspects, two detectives, and one dead body was superb as well, creating memorable personalities with gestures, turns of phrase, and attitude. Kudos to the entourage of suspects who all committed fearlessly. At one point two of the six suspects (who were formerly in a throuple with the deceased) provided an alibi that consisted of being together watching The Golden Girls, then Designing Women, then devouring two pizzas, and then having intercourse! They were on their knees almost kissing while the detectives took notes.

Shout out too to the improvisers for incorporating favorite locations, such as Trader Joe’s and Lululemon. They nailed the attitudes and vibes of those places. The show rose to a clever resolution that was so much fun. Definitely check this out! The crowd left smiling. You will too.


Running Time: 50 minutes.

Who Did It? An Improvised Murder Mystery plays July 15 at 9:00 pm, July 16 at 12:45 pm, July 20 at 8:00 pm, and July 22 at 6:45 pm at DCJCC–Theater J. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online.

Genre: Comedy
Director: Erick Acuña
Detectives: Erick Acuña and Krystal Ali
Suspects: Neil Baron, Geoff Corey, Adrian Gaston Garcia, Alex Kazanas, Eva Lewis, and Heather Marie Vitale
Host: Martin Steger
Booth Technician: Mike Bock
Stagehand/Dead Body: Jacksón Smith
Age Appropriateness: Recommended for children 13+
Profanity: Yes

The complete 2023 Capital Fringe Festival guidebook is online here.


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