|Lisa O'Hare pouts in front of Bryce Pinkham|
I missed the opening, and so yesterday I ventured forth into the bitter cold to see A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. It was exceptionally fun. Based ever so mildly on the old Ealing comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets, it follows the story of one Montgomery (D’Ysquith) Navarro, as he sets out to reclaim his name (and possibly fortune) from the family that disowned his mother, who committed the sin of marrying a (gasp of indignation) Castilian.
Bryce Pinkham – so charming in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and so evil in Ghost plays the charming Monty Navarro. Stymied at the chance to claim his family name and make even a modest income, he sets about to claim the family fortune and Lordship via a murderous route.
In his way stay 8 heirs to the family fortune – all played (for their rather short stage presence) by Jefferson Mays. Mr. Mays manages to change costumes and personas in the blink of an eye. And Monty Navarro manages to extinguish them just as quickly. Serial carnage has rarely been so enjoyable to watch.
It is set charmingly within a secondary stage upon the stage, so that the story and the songs can go on, while the scene is set for the next “accident”. And yet, the dispatch of the denizens of D”Ysquith Manor is not the only plot. That might make it a tedious, if humerous adventure.
No, there is a love interest. In fact two love interests. Monty begins his quest in order to claim the affections of Sibella Hallward – Lisa O’Hare. Sibella has given her hand in marriage to another, but the rest of her she serves up to Monty regularly.
|Joanna Glushak, Lauren Worsham, Bryce Pinkham, LIsa O'Hare and Jefferson Mays|
As he works his way through the D’Ysquith, Monty is entranced by the young and beautiful Phoebe D’Ysquith (Lauren Worsham - charming). Luckily for Phoebe, she sits even lower on the inheritance totem pole, he can pursue her romantically rather than plotting her demise.
The music of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is catchy and fun, if a bit Music Hall. It captures the spirit of fun, the setting of the piece without being typical.
The reviews for this are correct, it is a hoot.
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
Book & Lyrics: Robert L. Freedman
Music & Lyrics:Steven Lutvak
Director: Darko Tresnjak
Cast: Bryce Pinkham, Jefferson Mays, Lisa O'Hare, Lauren Worsham, Jane Carr