The Tony Award Winning Best Musical of 2014 made its way to Jackson Hall at Tennessee Performing Arts Center this week. This musical may not necessarily that well known to the general public, but musical theatre lovers have been loving this show immensely and for good reason...
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is absolutely brilliant.
The show is what most people would recognize as smart comedy. The alliteration and wit are the biggest draw to the play. The carefully choreographed scenes, the well timed swing cast, and the tireless efforts of a lead troupe makes this show a must see. Clever would be the word best used to describe this book. The talent of everyone involved to succeed at this behemoth of a show is tremendous. The hard work shines.
The lead role of Monty Navarro, played by the handsome Kevin Massey, made a role that would kill any mere human look easy. Monty is rarely not on stage throughout the two and half hour performance. Massey never missed a beat, step, or line. His performance in “I’ve Decided To Marry You,” the shows signature piece, is something I could watch over and over again. I would feel guilty making him do it live though; I feel like I’d be responsible for some serious physical anguish.
John Rapson who plays the eight members of the D’ysquith Family deserves a medal. Whenever he is not on stage, he is changing for the next role. Elaborate costuming is done to make sure he can be everywhere he needs to be, but I don’t believe my guest last night picked up on the fact that the D’ysquith’s were all one man until about the third or Fourth member. He made every family member special and memorable. Some actors have enough trouble managing one character per show. To manage eight in one show is just remarkable.
It takes a special kind of actor to perform in a show like this, but any audience member who is looking to laugh will be very pleased with their ticket purchase. If you do nothing else this weekend, make sure you catch this ingenious and witty production. This is not one you want to miss.
Tickets can be purchased online here or by calling the TPAC box office at 615-782-4000 or by visiting the box office in person during regular business hours.