The characters of Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Ross and Monica are typically—as the iconic theme song sings—always there for each other. Unless there’s a murder that is.
From the newly local Without A Cue Productions, the characters, locations and antics of the hit TV show ‘Friends’ is coming to Philly, but in a murder-mystery-themed format now titled ‘Phriends – The One With Murder‘ after a more than a two-year wait.’
The interactive experience marks Without A Cue’s third Philadelphia production, although it’s the first to take place after the company’s recent announcement of a home base in the City of Brotherly Love. ‘Phriends’ however takes place at Counter Culture, 514 South St., and WAC’s new home will be in The Curtis in Washington Square West.
“We are so excited to finally be able to open ‘Phriends – The One With Murder’ after a more than two year wait,” said Without A Cue Productions founder and executive director Traci Connaughton in a statement. “We are especially thrilled to be able to partner with Counter Culture on South Street to bring this uniquely Philadelphia-centric project to a uniquely Philadelphia-centric venue.”
The show ultimately preceded the entertainment agency’s Golden Girls show and walking tour murder mystery series, a release explains. However, the American sitcom spin-off was set to be produced in 2020, but fell short due to the effects of COVID-19. While the agency pivoted to alternatives in order to entertain guests safely during COVID, ‘Phriends’ was preserved for a later time so people could gather safely and comfortably.
And now seems to be that time. Without A Cue’s latest show opened last weekend (though some shows were rescheduled due to the World Series). Now, Philadelphians can catch Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Ross and Monica at “Fairmount Perk” where there’s more than one casualty of the night—and your job is to guess who had the motive, the means and the opportunity to commit murder.
The official ‘Phriends’ story follows the friends after they take a trip down to the City of Brotherly Love for Gunther’s new cafe opening. It doesn’t take long however for some drama to ensue, and some more heinous acts to occur that create hilarious rifts and perfect opportunities for some classic ‘Friends’ scenes to be used in new ways.
The nostalgic performance also brings in recognizable characters from the series—which helps move the story along, and also provides ample opportunity to reminisce about the beloved sitcom—all while trying to play detective yourself.
Like most Without A Cue productions, during the show, there will also be a scavenger hunt that can be played through an app on your smartphone. At Counter Culture’s venue (which is adorned with uniquely Philly graffiti and windows looking out to South Street), guests will also be able to enjoy cocktail service from the Philadelphia-based company, Pops McCann Whiskey, including beer, wine, and a coffee-themed cocktail, all while sitting in the “Fairmount Perk” coffee shop.
“Counter Culture could not be more excited to host Without A Cue’s interactive murder mystery event that is based on the popular show “Friends,” said Co-Founder of Counter Management LLC Christian Dalzell in a statement. “We feel our eclectic space will compliment Without A Cue’s production of “Phriends” culminating in a ton of fun for everyone.”
It’s a way to see ‘Friends’ come alive, as the performers have ultimately mastered the unique ticks, voices and characteristics of each character. It’s also just a way to sit back, play detective a little, laugh a lot and just enjoy the ride that Without A Cue provides. Plus, you get to hear ‘Smelly Cat’ performed live, so even if you don’t guess the killer, everyone still wins.
General admission tickets are now on sale for $35 and VIP tickets are on sale for $75. Ticket information and full schedules can be found online. For tickets to the ‘Phriends’ show and more information about what Without A Cue Productions has to offer, visit withoutacue.com