A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder
Book and lyric by Robert L. Freedman
Music and lyrics by Steven Lutvak
Directed by Mark Brotherton
Starring Ryan Kock, Madeline Walker, and Darren Escarcha Cajipo
In Victorian England, it seems no one farted. But they did do other horrible things, like banishing relatives for marring outside of the family’s blood type. Thus Monty Navarro (Kock) and his mother live in poverty until her death. Then Monty discovers he’s a member of the wealthy D’Ysquith family, and 8th in line to become the Earl of Highhurst, a noble job with stacks of money behind it. Miss Shingle (Walker) nudges him to work his way into the family, and of course he’s rebuffed. But he persists, and soon he discovers how easily it is to kill the aristocracy (all played by the very flexible Mr. Cajipo). Along the way, he picks up some girlfriends, a job as a stock broker, and a good grasp of “Making it all look like and accident.”
Despite the stack of recycled bodies on their stage this a cleaver romantic comedy of the highest quality. Mr. Koch is a loveable, “gosh darn it ain’t he cute” sort of guy, and the fact he’s worse than the plague on the D’Ysquith clan, you still just want to hug him. His supporting cast nails all the jokes and slides in and out of customs with ease. Mr. Cajipo is unctuous and oily and you’re never exactly sad when he expires. , and there a good chemistry This is a musical, and packed for great numbers like “I Don’t Understand the Poor,” “Better with a Man” and “Stop! Wait ! What?” The best scene comes near the end with Monty juggling two women in on room. He gets busted but he does get a girl. Some guys just have all the luck.
Yes, this show minimized criminal, and why not? That’s what Musial theater allows us to do: sing, dance, and push horror and bad manners way beyond what we can allow off stage. High energy, great fun, and no moral messase: that’s how I like my Musical Theater.