Wednesday, March 16, 2016

theatre review - A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER - National Tour: ASU Gammage - March 15, 2016

Kristen Beth Williams, Kevin Massey, and Adrienne Eller
Photo by Joan Marcus
Click here for more information on this production that runs through March 20th.

"A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder... is one of the cleverest musicals of the last decade....a sheer delight. The national tour... is definitely not to be missed. What if you were born poor...only to find out that your mother was actually a disinherited member of an influential and extremely wealthy family who rebuffed her when she married for love and not money? And what if you also discovered that only eight members of the family stand between you and the head of the dynasty? That's what happens to Monty Navarro in 1909 London and, once Monty finds himself snubbed by the family as well, he makes it his mission to bump off those eight members so he can get back at the family for what they did to his mother and become Lord of the D'Ysquith family....Robert L. Freedman's book is sharp, smart, and fast paced. The well-crafted tunes with music by Steven Lutvak and lyrics by Freedman and Lutvak are full of witty wordplay, delicious double-entendres, a range of musical styles, and exceptional phrasing....The fun theatrical conceit that the show uses is to have one actor play all members, both male and female, of the D'Ysquith family who stand between Monty and his goal. ...the requirements to make this all work in a fast-paced musical require a skilled comic actor and some speedy costume changes. John Rapson excels in the tour de force nature of this request, distinguishing each role with nuance and a huge dose of comedy...if you didn't check your program you may not realize until the curtain call that the entire family is being played by one man. Kevin Massey is also tasked with a herculean effort—to portray a man we all root for as he goes about killing a series of people who didn't really do anything wrong. The fact that he shines as Monty is due to the combination of his assured portrayal and his lovable demeanor. ...Director Darko Tresnjak's inventively skilled contributions show why he deservedly won the Tony for his direction of this show. He cleverly uses Alexander Dodge's beautiful, eye-popping set design...his deft touch ensures the elaborate story, with its succession of characters, remains clear. The colorful, exquisite and detailed costumes justifiably won the Tony Award for Linda Cho, and Philip S. Rosenberg's lighting design adds plenty of allure as well as a few comical touches to the show. Dan Moses Schreier's crisp sound design and Gammage's new sound system make sure that every lyric can be heard with extreme clarity. With equal parts silliness and wit, a charming book and exceptional score, and sharp creative elements, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder is a musical treat to be savored. With a gifted cast and creative elements on par with the Tony winning New York production, the national tour is exceptional."  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

No comments:

Post a Comment