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PREVIEW: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey, center) finds himself trapped between his affections for Sibella Hallward (Kristen Beth Williams) and Phoebe D’Ysquith (Adrienne Eller).

It takes a long time to plan a Tony award-winning murder comedy and get away with it. Robert Freedman and Steven Lutback, the writers of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, met all the way back in 1981, when the two were students in a musical theatre writing program at NYU. During the interim, Freedman became an award-winning screenwriter and Lutback became an award-winning singer-songwriter. Eventually, however, the pair teamed up to adapt the 1907 novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal into A Gentleman’s Guide, which won four Tony awards and lands at the State Theatre January 1-5, 2016.

When A Gentleman’s Guide opened on Broadway, TCAR‘s Basil Considine (then the Resident Classical Music and Drama Critic at the Twin Cities Daily Planet called it “The funniest show to open on Broadway since The Book of Mormon – and also one that you can take your grandmother to.” The high-energy trio “I’ve Decided to Marry You” was also featured in the 2014 Tony Awards ceremony, to much acclaim:

Here’s a further look at the show tour arriving in January:

Miss Barley (Lesley McKinnell), and Asquith D’Ysquith, Jr. (John Rapson) ice skate blissfully while Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey) plots their demise in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” Photo by Joan Marcus.
Miss Barley (Lesley McKinnell), and Asquith D’Ysquith, Jr. (John Rapson) ice skate blissfully while Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey) plots their demise in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” Photo by Joan Marcus.
Phoebe D’Ysquith (Adrienne Eller) delivers some welcome news to Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey). Photo by Joan Marcus.
Phoebe D’Ysquith (Adrienne Eller) delivers some welcome news to Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey). Photo by Joan Marcus.
Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey, left) learns the truth about his family history from the Tour Guide (Megan Loomis, right). Photo by Joan Marcus.
Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey, left) learns the truth about his family history from the Tour Guide (Megan Loomis, right). Photo by Joan Marcus.
Sibella Hallward (Kristen Beth Williams) and Mony Navarro (Kevin Massey) discuss love and life (but not death).
Sibella Hallward (Kristen Beth Williams) and Mony Navarro (Kevin Massey) discuss love and life (but not death).
Twin Cities Arts Reader

The Twin Cities Arts Reader is an arts and lifestyles magazine whose coverage examines arts and selected activities in the state of Minnesota and across the country. It provides Minnesota’s largest source of in-depth, critical theatre coverage, and reaches more than 275,000 readers per year.

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