In its regional premiere, A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder is serving up parricidal fun at the Old Log Theater in Excelsior. The musical comedy with book and lyrics by Robert L Freedman and music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak opened on Broadway in 2013, and won the Tony Award for best musical. It is a show well deserving of the moniker. It is filled with fun upbeat music, and a very comedic book.
The story follows Monty Navarro who upon his mother's death is informed the his mother and by extension himself is actually part of the D'Ysquith family, a noble family of British high society. Upon receiving this information, out of both revenge for his mother's disinheritance and his own personal gain he strives to rise up the line of succession by taking out those above him. Throw in a love triangle between a married woman, and the sister of a D'Ysquith and you have a perfect recipe for a dark comedy. As a patron behind me whispered at some point during the show "well that just isn't right," the show is filled his morally repugnant acts. But it is written in such a way that you can't help but laugh as characters fall to unfortunate deaths, and continue to root for the murderous protagonist.
This production directed by Eric Morris would not be the success that it is without the top notch cast. Max Wojtanowicz plays Monty Navarro with the perfect level of charm, cunning and comedy. David Beukema plays all of the members of the ill fated D'Ysquith family. His switch between characters was almost dizzying, the costume changes lighting fast, and each character is distinctly different. Emily Scinto as Sibella and Elizabeth Hawkinson as Phoebe D'Ysquith play Monty's two romantic interests, they both are the vocal highlights of the show. Singing with beautiful sopranos, and contributing greatly to the best song in the show, in my opinion "I've Decided to Marry You"
A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder is a great show for anyone who likes musical theater comedy and top notch musical performances. It is playing at the Old Log Theater in Excelsior until February 15th 2020. Click here for more information about the show and how to get tickets.
*Photo credit to Old Log Theater