The national tour of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” coming to Houston May 4 through 15. Pictured, from left: Kristen Beth Williams as Sibella Hallward, Kevin Massey as Monty Navarro and Adrienne Eller as Phoebe D'Ysquith. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Only eight relatives — all played by the same actor — stand between penniless Monty Navarro and an earldom. Such is the premise of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, which pillaged its way to four Tony Awards, three Drama Desk Awards, four Outer Critic Circle Awards and one Drama League Award, including Best Musical honors in all four competitions.
Can Monty slay his way to the top? And if he gets away with it, will the new earl choose his childhood sweetheart, Sibella, or his fiancée, cousin Phoebe?
All these questions and more are explored in this hilarious production, with music by Steven Lutvak, book by Robert L. Freedman and lyrics co-written by both. The cast includes John Rapson (Broadway’s Les Misérables) as nine members of the D’Ysquith family; Kevin Massey (Broadway’s Gentleman’s Guide, Memphis, Tarzan) as Monty; Kristen Beth Williams (Top Hat in the West End, plus Broadway’s Pippin, Nice Work if You Can Get It, Anything Goes and Promises Promises) as Sibella; recent NYU Tisch School of the Arts grad Adrienne Eller as Phoebe; and Mary Vanarsdel (national tour of Mary Poppins, Rebecca at 54 Below) as Miss Shingle. The original Broadway director, Darko Tresnjak, also directs this national tour, which Theatre Under the Stars presents in Houston Wednesday through Sunday, May 4 through 15, at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
Death Becomes Him (Them)
So, who exactly does the versatile Rapson play? This brave actor brings life (and often death) to: Asquith D’Ysquith Jr., Lord Adalbert D’Ysuith, Reverend Lord Ezekiel D’Ysquith, Lord Adalbert D’Ysquith Sr., Henry D’Ysquith, Lady Hyacinth D’Ysquith, Major Lord Bartholomew D’Ysquith, Lady Salomé D’Ysquith Pumphrey and Chauncey D’Ysquith.
The story was inspired by Israel Rank’s book The Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman, which also inspired the 1949 film Kind Hearts and Coronets. If you’re unfamiliar with the musical, however, the best way to prep for the performance is by listening to the Broadway cast album. Or, just let the mayhem unfold before you on stage, as the songs are approachable and the plot laugh-out-loud funny. (It’s a safe bet you’ll be dying to listen to the music on the drive home, though.)
What: National tour of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, presented by TUTS
When: May 4 − 15, 2016
Where: Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Tariff: Tickets from $30
Contact: Click here for tickets.