Review: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder at the Warner Theatre
From February 2-10, 2019, The Warner Stage Company presented the 2014 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder as part of the 2018-2019 main stage season.
A Gentleman's Guide takes the audience to Edwardian England where Monty Navarro has discovered that he is part of the D'Ysquith family tree, a rich and prominent family of the time. There's only one little problem: eight relatives separate Monty from being Earl of Highhurst. He sets out on a mission to creatively dispose of the relatives that separate him from the earldom that disinherited his mother and himself, and hilarity ensues.
The Warner is producing what is likely one of the first community theater productions of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and is a full circle moment for the show. It originated in Hartford at Hartford Stage under the direction of Darko Tresnjak before making its way to Broadway, picking up four Tony Awards. Now the show has returned to Connecticut, this time in Torrington.
While the story sounds like a grim one, it is actually highly entertaining with lots of wit and style. Monty (Dan Porri), despite being a murderer, is quite the charming character, playing to the audience's sympathies. His relationships with the married Sibella (Sarah Giggar) and his distant cousin Phoebe D'Ysquith (Kate Lori) come to a hilarious climax in "I've Decided to Marry You" as Monty has one lady in the bedroom and the other in the living room. All three of them are wonderful actors, as is Jonathan Jacobson, the singular actor portraying all of the D'Ysquiths that stand between Monty and the earldom.
A Gentleman's Guide is such a gem of a show, and probably one of the most entertaining musicals you will ever see. Here's hoping it will come around again, and sooner rather than later.