January 14, 2014

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Walter Kerr Theatre
December 22, 2013

Hi everyone. For this blog entry, I’ve decided to use a slightly different format. I thought it might be nice to provide my followers/readers with some different perspectives for a change. I saw this show with my mother, and my friend Heather saw the show the week before I did. I prepared a short list of questions about the show and asked both of them to share their answers with my blog followers. I hope you enjoy the responses, and I also hope that they encourage you to check out this musical! 

Quick synopsis: The setting is London, England. The year is 1909. Monty Navarro (Bryce Pinkham) learns that he is the ninth D’Ysquith in line to inherit the Earldom of Highhurst, and conveniently decides to eliminate the eight heirs (all played by Jefferson Mays) ahead of him. Hilarity ensues.

1.) Who had the best death?

Heather: I'd say the priest (Reverend Lord Ezekial D’Ysquith) because his "death pose" was funny, and the aunt (Lady Hyacinth D’Ysquith) because it took three times to kill her. 

Mom: The best death goes to the priest.  What a way to die!  It was hysterical.

Me: Not to be redundant, but THE PRIEST had the most hilarious and dramatic death of all the heirs. A horrific way to die, yet it was acted out with comedic perfection by Jefferson Mays! 

2.) Which heir would you like to have lunch with?

Heather: The gay cousin!! (Henry D’Ysquith) He'd definitely be the most fun to have lunch with!! (But his bees aren't allowed!)

Mom: The rich guy with the fur coat who fell through the ice! 

Me: Lord Adalbert D’Ysquith, so I could help him to understand the poor!

3.) Who gave the best performance and why?

Heather: I loved Bryce Pinkhams's performance because he plays a wonderful antagonist, but Jefferson Mays takes the cake...eight different roles...that's a major challenge, and he did every role fantastically. 

Mom: The best performance was the guy who had the eight parts (Jefferson Mays).  He was great in the way he portrayed all of them.  He was my favorite performer. 

Me: All of the performances were great. Of course, Jefferson Mays was incredible in his portrayal of so many characters! I loved watching him move from character to character with ease. However, I love love love Bryce Pinkham (Monty Navarro). He was my favorite- he plays the sketchy, creepy murderer SO WELL (thinking back to Ghost as well). We were fortunate to be sitting just a few rows from the stage and we could see his facial expressions very clearly, and some of his expressions were just hilarious. He is very capable of embodying that creepy persona! 

4.) Who will get nominated for a Tony Award and why? 

Heather: Jefferson Mays, hands down. Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Musical. It takes talent to play eight roles, and his talent is above and beyond.

Mom: I would say the two leads should get nominated (Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham).  They both did a fantastic job making the show hilarious and fun to watch.

Me: Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham should both be nominated, but a lot will depend on the other shows that will be opening this spring. There might be a lot of competition this year. I also wouldn’t mind if Jane Carr (Miss Shingle) or Lauren Worsham (Phoebe D’Ysquith) were nominated. 

5.) Would you recommend this show, and if so, to whom would you recommend it?

Heather: Yes, I would recommend this!! I'd recommend it to anyone looking to laugh, this show is clever and original. I actually begged a friend to take a chance and see it with me, with her fully knowing I'd never seen it, just based on reviews. She wasn't disappointed, and neither was I!! Incidentally, I'd also recommended it to strangers on the street, and sold them on it too! So I would say that this would be ideal for just about any adult with a good sense of humor! 

Mom: I would definitely recommend it, as I did Kinky Boots, to all my friends.  I went to see both shows without knowing anything about them and truly enjoyed both.  This one was a comedy that makes you laugh and you come out of the theater feeling good.  It was very entertaining.

Me: Yes, absolutely. This is probably my favorite Broadway show (so far) of the 2013-2014 season and is currently the show that I’m recommending to everyone. I agree that this show would be enjoyed by anyone who wants to laugh and see some super-talented Broadway actors give stellar performances! 

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