By Stephanie Jorritsma
Photo: University of Jamestown Theatre Department
Are you in the mood for a dangerous tale? The University of Jamestown Theatre Department will be presenting the musical comedy A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder Thursday through Saturday in the Reiland Fine Arts Center.
A Gentleman’s Guide has won a host of awards, including the 2014 Tony for Best Musical. The show is set in 1907 England and follows the story of young Montague (Monty) Navarro. Monty is a lower class Londoner who discovers he is eighth in the line of succession for an Earldom in the prestigious D’ysquith family. After the family snubs him, Monty decides to murder his rivals and claim the title himself. A Gentleman’s Guide is filled with laughs, intrigue, and surprises as the audience follows Monty’s journey to claim the title of ninth Earl of Highhurst.
A Gentleman’s Guide is a unique show due to its blend of modern and older influences. According to director Mike McIntyre, one of the most unique aspects of A Gentleman’s Guide is the music. The show’s music evokes early 1900s musical theatre and has a distinctive sound which is unlike many modern musicals. Christian Gifford, who plays the Magistrate, adds that this style of music uniquely allows actors to combine their character choices with the music.
While the music may differ from other modern musicals, McIntyre feels that the cast has embraced the style and enjoys the unique sound that the music provides.
Along with its distinctive music, A Gentleman’s Guide also contains what McIntyre calls a “contemporary sense of humor”. The show is filled with colorful characters, clever humor, and ridiculous deaths of the unfortunate D’ysquiths. Even the show’s dance numbers, choreographed by senior Amanda Arvay, were created with humor in mind. Amanda says that although the dance numbers are different, each one brings laughter to the audience.
The characters, situations, and dances of A Gentleman’s Guideflow together into a hilarious and engaging story. As Alex Delzer, who plays Monty, says about the show, “It delivers comedy in a way I’ve never experienced before! It’s so fun because it takes itself seriously while keeping moments [of] humor throughout.”
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder combines old and new styles into a show that is entertaining and appealing to all ages. As Alivia Hoke, who plays Phoebe, states, “You have drama, you have humor, you have romance, you have action.” She encourages audiences to come, since, “It’s not like anything[…]you’ll see anywhere else.”
So, if you find yourself in the mood for a hilarious story of love, adventure, and murder, get your tickets for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Performances will be November 7-9 at 7:30pm in DeNault auditorium.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at the UJ box office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 701-252-3467 (ext.5435), or by visiting the box office (open Mon-Fri 3-6pm in Reiland 135).
Tickets are also available at the door. UJ students and staff are admitted at no cost.