What happens when a man discovers he’s the distant heir to a family fortune and the title of Earl? Well, in the case of Monty Navarro you start eliminating the eight people standing between you and the title. In Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, playing at the State Theatre in Minneapolis through Sunday, there is a whole lot of murder and a lot of laughs too.
Set in 1909 England, Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey) has just buried his mother and learns from a visitor she was a member of the wealthy D’Ysquith family, although she was shunned by her father when she chose to marry Monty’s father for love and not money. Upon learning this news Monty decides he wants to learn more about his family. But not just that, he wants to eliminate the eight people ahead of him in line for the family’s Earldom. After writing the D’Ysquith family and not receiving the reception he hoped for, Monty decides to pay the family a visit. It isn’t long after he arrives before those standing in his way are eradicated and the laughs start rolling.
Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is not your typical musical…small cast, no large song and dance numbers, no truly memorable songs. But somehow managed to win the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical. I personally would categorize this show a play with music. The beginning of the show was a little slow for me, but once the unusual murders start taking place the laughs begin to arrive in spades.
As all eight members of the D’Ysquith family John Rapson, was outstanding. This same role won Jefferson Mays the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Being able to play all of these characters in a fast paced show, with split second costume changes and vastly different characters is an extraordinary achievement and only for the remarkably talented.
The set designed by Alexander Dodge is gorgeous. I loved the jewel box proscenium with the ironically colored blood red curtain which gave way to an ever changing diorama style set.
For more information on Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder or to purchase tickets, visit the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s .