Thursday, October 8, 2015

Review of A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder. The book and lyrics were by Robert L. Freedman and the music and lyrics were by Steven Lutvak. It was directed by Darko Tresnjak. It was choreographed by Peggy Hickey. It was about this guy named Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey) who discovers he is part of a very rich family called the D'Ysquiths and then he realizes there are only 8 people between him and becoming the Earl of Highhurst. So he decides to kill the 8 people (all played by John Rapson) who are in the line of succession before him. That's the murder from the title. The love part is that Monty has two different girlfriends. Phoebe (Adrienne Eller) is the pretty, sweet, nice one and Sibella (Kristen Beth Williams) is a very stuck up girl but also very likable and does a bunch of very sexy things. I loved this show so much. It is definitely one of my favorite shows I've seen at Broadway in Chicago. It was so good; it was funny and surprising and so exciting and new. It was like an opera crossed with a romantic comedy crossed with a murder mystery, so then you have an amazing show! All the performers were so amazing and funny and I loved it.

The D'Ysquith family was killed off in weird different ways. They all had to look like accidents, and they did! Like one person was killed by a swarm of bees and one person was killed by falling into the water after getting back from not being eaten by cannibals! I'm not going to tell you all the people who die in what ways because it would give away a lot of the funny stuff in the story. I thought that it was cool that everyone who died was played by the same actor. It is really funny to see this actor playing all different kids of parts with different accents. And it is also funny to see him playing women and he must have a lot of quick changes. I felt like there were only a few sympathetic D'Ysquiths: Lord Asquith D'Ysquith, Sr. and Henry D'Ysquith. One of them Monty doesn't even kill because he likes him too much, but the odds are in his favor. Lord Asquith D'Ysquith, Sr. gives Monty a job and is nice to him and treats him like a son. And you like Henry because he is funny and seems sweet. But then it also seems like he is in love with Monty. That's not bad, but Monty doesn't love him, and it makes it all the more sad when Monty falls in love with his sister Phoebe as Henry is being stung by bees in the background. Most of the time when Monty kills a D'Ysquith you feel like, "Oh yeah, just another terrible, mean, or annoying D'Ysquith gone. Monty is getting closer!" But that is not the way you feel every time because sometimes they are nice people and he plans to kill them anyway. But it doesn't make you hate Monty because most of the time he kills people you don't like in funny weird ways.

My favorite song was "I've Decided to Marry You," which was all about...well, let me explain the scene before I explain the song. What it is is that Sibella and Monty are having tender moments at his house and then Phoebe shows up and Monty hides Sibella in the other room. Then Phoebe tells him she has decided to marry him, which is funny because I don't think they have even discussed the idea of marriage at this point. But still she has decided to marry him. And the whole time Sibella is trying to listen in and hear what is happening while another girl is proposing to him in the other room. And he keeps trying to shut both doors but then Sibella keeps opening the door so she can see what is happening, and then he has to close that door and then Phoebe tried to open the doors he is closing. Then it keeps repeating and it is so funny as they are singing this song. And at the very end he is literally trapped between them, but one of them is leaning against him and one is leaning against the door he is leaning against. It was so funny, and the scene was amazing, and I loved the song.

Here are some of my favorite funny moments in the show. I really liked it when Monty was singing about how there were only two people more in the line of succession and then Lord Asquith D'Ysquith, Sr. has heart attack on stage at his desk and then a guy comes up to Monty and says "He died of a heart attack." And you expect Monty to be like, "Oh no! This is terrible! All he ever was was good to me!" He had just been singing about how good Lord D'Ysquith, Sr. had been to him. But then Monty just turns back to the audience and sings "Just ONE more person in the line of succession!" And there was this scene where one of the D'Ysquith women was an actress and they were doing Hedda Gabler and she was reciting all the lines so terribly that everyone was happy when she died. And at the end the other actors (Ben Roseberry Matt Leisy, and Christopher Behmke) just said "She shot herself in the temple" and skipped off joyfully.

People who would like this show are people who like charming murderers, amazing music, and identical D'Ysquiths. I think people should definitely go see this show. It was so much fun to be at and the acting and music and everything was just amazing.

Photos: Joan Marcus


Selena said...

I love this review! My friend is in the show (Ben Roseberry) and posted this on his Facebook. Have you seen the Lion King yet? We are coming to Chicago for the holidays and I'm a dancer in the show. I would love to give you a backstage tour while we are in town! We always love to encourage young theater fans like yourself!

Ada & Mom said...

That sounds fun! I'll probably be there opening night. If you have time to show me around, send a message via the "Contact Ada Grey (and her mom)" link on the bottom of the right rail on my blog and we can set up a way to meet. Thanks!