The play has been hugely successful over its long run and has been called "an urban legend" by critic Jason Zinoman. It premiered in April 1987 at the Courtyard Playhouse on Grove Street, under the artistic direction of Warren Manzi, after which it moved to an Off Broadway venue. Some of the theaters it played at during its long run are Theater Four, 47th Street Theater, The Harold Clurman Theater and Duffy Theater. After Duffy Theater was sold, the show finally moved to the Snapple Theater Center.
The play is a murder mystery, and crime drama, which revolves around accomplished Connecticut psychiatrist Margaret Brent, who gets tied up in a dangerous and terrifying game of cat and mouse after her husband is found dead. She becomes the number one suspect in the murder, but the duplicitous police officer in charge of the case cannot pin the murder on her. Add to the drama a deranged patient and the small complication of the psychiatrist and police officer falling in love; and you get a sexy, funny and fast paced murder mystery, which is "Perfect Crime".
The play has been written by Warren Manzi who is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. Manzi wrote the play in 1980, while playing the role of Mozart on Broadway’s "Amadeus". The script was so good that it was optioned for Broadway, however a proper production never materialized. That made Manzi the youngest writer ever to have a play optioned for Broadway. Despite the project not coming through, Manzi’s career was on the rise, as he would be hired by Universal Studio’s to write the screenplay for their new project, Clue. The production’s technical director and graphic designer is Jai Cail Stone, who has been with the project since its beginning. Stone has been working with Manzi for over twenty years now, and their collaborations have always borne fruit, but their crowning achievement is still Perfect Crime. One of the most enduring and popular aspects of the play has been Catherine Russell, the actress who has been portraying the psychiatrist Margaret Brent ever since the play has opened. For the past twenty six years, she has only missed four performances of the show, for her siblings; weddings. The actress has never taken a day off for any other reason, including sickness. The show also features other seasoned actors like Richard Shoberg, who famously portrayed Tom Cudahy on All My Children and George McDaniel, who received widespread acclaim for his work in the West Wing and ER.