My daughter and I were in New York City last month, and only had time to see one Broadway show. Oh, the choices! We himmed and hawed about what to see, but after recalling a performance from the cast of A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder on Jimmy Fallon, we decided we’d give this musical comedy a try. I’m so glad we did!
If you have the good fortune to be visiting New York City soon, but only have time to catch one Broadway show, you should learn from our amazing experience and absolutely see A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical 2014). Let me tell you why…
About A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by—you guessed it—eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way (each played by Tony winner Jefferson Mays in what The New York Times calls “the year’s greatest musical theater performance”). All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance… and be done in time for tea.
Why You Should Make A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder the One Show You See on Broadway
The Story & Music
Snappy, original, and a whole lot of fun, you’ll find yourself humming along to your favorite tunes long after you’ve seen Gentleman’s Guide. Listen closely to the lyrics – you’ll hear something new nearly every time you listen, that’s how packed they are with wit. And you must try to keep up with the action – the story of Gentleman’s Guide may not be deep, but it has plenty of high-speed twists and turns.
I’m not sure how they do it, but Gentleman’s Guide manages to pull off murder and mayhem with a distinct degree of accessible, fun, good-natured humor. You find yourself cheering for all sorts of misdeeds, but you can hardly help it – there is such a spirit of charm, you almost think no one really means anything by their nefarious actions. I had a genuinely good time at this show!
Although much of Gentleman’s Guide is madcap fun, many of the characters undergo an interesting transformation throughout the show, and I found myself invested in each. And, of course, a huge tip of the top hat to the decision to have one actor play every member of the D’Ysquith family. That alone creates for some of the show’s biggest laughs (and best surprises!).
The Theater & The Cast
I recognize that these two aspects of the show will change – in fact, they already have. It looks like just since last month when we saw Gentleman’s Guide, Lauren Worsham has left the show as Phoebe, and Jane Carr has left as Miss Shingle. Oh, how grateful I am that we were able to see the Original Broadway Cast!! Although, clearly they’ve filled these roles with equally talented actresses.
But if I can urge you – and I mean URGE YOU – to rush to the theater while Bryce Pinkham and Jefferson Mays are still starring, please, do it! These two men are pure genius in Gentleman’s Guide, and gentlemen themselves off stage. We had the great pleasure to meet them briefly after the show, and they were both so charming. Pinkham in particular stayed to chat with us for a few minutes about where we were from, how we were enjoying our weekend, and then got super excited to discover it was my daughter’s birthday. What a wonderful encounter!
And the historic Walter Kerr Theater is breathtaking, although admittedly quite small. We sat in the “cheap seats” in the upper balcony (and had lots of laughs as the cast incorporated us into a few scenes), but even positioned behind the lighting tracks (and only inches from the ceiling), we had a great view. We enjoyed the drama of the theater itself nearly as much as what we saw on stage.
I can’t say enough how much we loved A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, and how much we’ve enjoyed the Original Cast recording since. It’s been a while since I had a “Favorite New Broadway Show” (it was probably Wicked, back in 2003), but Gentleman’s Guide has definitely reached those ranks for me. I’m also grateful to have shared in such a wonderful memory with my daughter and have it be something we will always remember together.
What about you? What Broadway show is your favorite right now? Have you heard of or seen A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder?