Fresh off the Broadway stage, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” is a ridiculously funny spoof on classical plays, music and ideas. Death after death after death combine with the hilarity of multiple lovers, each not knowing about the other (and, according to plan, are never supposed to know about one another), to produce a musical of nonstop laughter. The fact that it is the same actor who plays each murdered character only adds to the hilarity.
The play revolves around the efforts of Monty Navarro, a young man who has recently lost his mother. Following her death, he learns of her and, subsequently, his tie to a wealthy family’s fortune, which places him next in line for an inheritance. Initially Monty comes across as the perfect gentleman. Even after realizing his (slim, but still existing) prospects at economic splendor, his first thought is not murder. However, the thought does not stay away long. The first member of the wealthy D’Ysquith family he meets, in hopes of learning more about his past and relationships to the family, quickly ends up dead. Once Monty starts it seems impossible for him to stop. He works his way through the family, trying to kill the other eight heirs, using awfully clever methods to take them out of the picture.
In the meantime, Monty has other issues to worry about — his beautiful fiancé is demanding his time. So, of course, is his mistress. The two don’t know about each other, and he is set on keeping it that way, but what with all the killing, police evasion, and his efforts to maintain a gentlemanly character to the world at large, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the two women figure everything out, and then Monty’s money woes will be the least of his worries.
In between and alongside the musical’s action are musical numbers using classical styles that both contradict and somehow fit perfectly within the rest of the musical’s story. The mixture of murder mystery, romantic comedy and classical music is just as ridiculous as every other part of the show.
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” will be playing at Kingsbury Hall through Broadway Across America in the evenings from March 1 to March 6, with matinees on both March 5 and 6. Tickets are pricey, but for a hot-off-Broadway Tony-winning show like this one, the money is worth it. And if you’re short on money, maybe you should take a look at your family history. Who knows? You may have your own D’Ysquith family drama to grapple with.