A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is a Hilariously Instructive Spectacle

Written By Scott Rigtrup, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

Lexus Broadway in Austin’s presentation of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” is a hilariously instructive spectacle of just how absolutely ungentleman-like an impoverished Englishman can become, given the proper motivation!

National Touring Company. Colleen McLaughlin as Sibella Hallward and Blake Price as Monty Navarro in a scene from “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel.

National Touring Company. Colleen McLaughlin as Sibella Hallward and Blake Price as Monty Navarro in a scene from “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel.

Set in the early 1900’s, our protagonist, Montague “Monty” Navarro receives an unannounced visitor at his shabby flat on the night of his mother’s funeral and quite unexpectedly learns of a secret that his mother had kept from him all his life. Monty isn’t just the son of a lowly washerwoman, he’s a member of the aristocratic D’Ysquith family and ninth in line to inherit the earldom of Highhurst!

National Touring Company. (L-R) James Taylor Odom as Henry D’Ysquith, Kristen Kane and Blake Price as Monty Navarro in a scene from “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel.

National Touring Company. (L-R) James Taylor Odom as Henry D’Ysquith, Kristen Kane and Blake Price as Monty Navarro in a scene from “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel.

Emboldened by this new revelation, Monty races to share the incredible news with the love of his life, Miss Sibella Hallward, who has historically refused to marry him because of his poverty. As encouraging as Monty’s news is to Sibella, she dubiously remarks that eight people would have to die in order for him to become earl and the most whimsical and musically lyrical plots and acts of murder ensue!

 National Touring Company. Colleen McLaughlin as Sibella Hallward and Blake Price as Monty Navarro in a scene from “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel.

National Touring Company. Colleen McLaughlin as Sibella Hallward and Blake Price as Monty Navarro in a scene from “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel.

The spectacular music, hysterical lyrics, dynamic singing and soaring harmonies bound energetically throughout the performances as we’re introduced to all eight of the D’Ysquith family heirs to earldom including Asquith D’Ysquith, Jr., Lord Adalbert D’Ysquith, Reverend Lord Ezekial D’Ysquith, Lord Asquith D’Ysquith, Sr., Henry D’Ysquith, Lady Hyacinth D’Ysquith, Major Lord Bartholomew D’Ysquith, and Lady Salome D’Ysquith Pumphrey. Needless to say, the ultimate comical demise of each these hysterically unconventional family members leaves you bearing down in feeble attempts to stifle the fact that you’re laughing about their murders and cheering Monty on to his next unwitting target. Don’t be surprised if you’ve never laughed so uncomfortably hard in your life!

National Touring Company. James Taylor Odom as Lord Adalbert D’Ysquith in a scene from "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder." Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel.

National Touring Company. James Taylor Odom as Lord Adalbert D’Ysquith in a scene from “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder.” Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel.

Drama and hysteria continue to run amuck as Monty comes to a successful end of his murderous antics and Miss Phoebe D’Ysquith, a fellow distant family member not in the line of succession shows a strong affinity for Monty. A love triangle forms as both Miss Phoebe and Miss Sibella realize they both fancy Monty’s initiative and rapid ascent to earldom, and while naturally pitted against each other, find themselves defending Monty’s innocence as Scotland Yard authorities erroneously charge Monty for the murder of Lord Adalbert. Just when you think your tummy will get a rest from laughter Monty is miraculously found innocent and a tenth heir to earldom, Chauncey D’Ysquith is discovered with his own sinister plans to be earl.

You’ll smile from ear to ear as the plot unceasingly thickens with the drop of the final curtain and the murderous attempts between Monty and Chauncey are left to your imagination as a euphoric exhaustion washes over you and you sigh, “Wow, that was insane!”.

Lexus Broadway in Austin presented by Texas Performing Arts
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder
WHEN: March 20 – 25, 2018
Tuesday – Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.
WHERE: Bass Concert Hall | 2350 Robert Dedman Drive | Austin, TX 78712
TICKETS: Start at $30.Tickets are available at BroadwayinAustin.com, texasperformingarts.org, the Bass Concert Hall ticket office, all Texas Box Office Outlets, by phone at (512) 477-6060. For groups of 10 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com

The Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I” is Royal

Written By Scott Rigtrup, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

Photography courtesy of Matthew Murphy.

On Tuesday, December 12, Lexus Broadway in Austin presented by Texas Performing Arts opened its 2017 – 2018 season with a proverbial bang with their presentation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The King and I”.

The cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I.

The cast of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.

Opening night was truly a step back in time and a journey to a far off land.  The setting was Siam. The time was long before the modern day Thailand might ever have been imagined.  These were the times of pomp and pageantry.  These were the times of deep seated traditions and customs that were brought to bear upon the savy English widow Anna Leonowens, the “school teacher”, and her young son Louis as Anna enters the employ of the King of Siam.

Manna Nichols and Kavin Panmeechao in Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I.

Manna Nichols and Kavin Panmeechao in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.

The feeling of joy felt throughout the audience was palpable as the Bass Concert Hall filled with the classic and familiar tune “I Whistle a Happy Tune” as Anna and Louis stepped off the boat with great trepidation and on to their new homeland.  Equally enthralling was watching Anna being introduced to the numerous royal wives and even more numerous royal children while singing “Getting to Know You” in the royal court.

Laura Michelle Kelly as Anna in Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I.

Laura Michelle Kelly as Anna in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.

Inevitably, amidst this newly forged arrangement, tensions arise as Anna must delicately, yet firmly, navigate a foreign society and a royal household known for great civility and even greater incivility.  These tensions come more acutely to light as we learn of the king’s personal struggles of being in absolute barbaric power before his subjects while privately and quite humbly, at times, questioning the very nature of the expansive world surrounding him.

Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang in Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I.

Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I.

Not surprisingly, the bullying egocentric attitude of the king and Anna’s proud obstinate disposition make the plot ripe for confrontation both petty and literally deadly.  Yet, sweet undertones of admiration and respect for one another develop amidst their strife, and devotion flourishes as these unlikely companions become the greatest of allies.  As the final curtain fell, it was hard not to feel a great sense hope of being able to come together as one people.  For surely, if the barbarian king and the proper English lady can do it, then so can we.

Lexus Broadway in Austin presented by Texas Performing Arts

The Lincoln Center Theatre Production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I

December 12 – 17, 2017

Tuesday – Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Bass Concert Hall | 2350 Robert Dedman Drive | Austin, TX 78712

Start at $30.Tickets are available at BroadwayinAustin.com, texasperformingarts.org, the Bass Concert Hall ticket office, all Texas Box Office Outlets, by phone at (512) 477-6060.  For groups of 10 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour Coming To Austin October 13 – 15, 2017 Tickets on Sale Friday, August 18 at 10:00 A.M.

Lexus Broadway in Austin presented by Texas Performing Arts

The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour

October 13 – 15, 2017

                        Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m. 

Bass Concert Hall | 2350 Robert Dedman Drive | Austin, TX 78712

Tickets start at $30.Tickets are available at BroadwayinAustin.comtexasperformingarts.org, the Bass Concert Hall ticket office, all Texas Box Office Outlets, by phone at (512) 477-6060.  For groups of 10 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com.

(L to R) Danny Harris Kornfeld, Kaleb Wells RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

(L to R) Danny Harris Kornfeld, Kaleb Wells
RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

Ticket buyers are reminded that the Bass Concert Hall ticket office and all Texas Box Office Outlets are the only official retail ticket outlets for all performances at Bass Concert Hall. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party should be aware that Bass Concert Hall is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance.

(L to R) Skyler Volpe, Kaleb Wells RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

(L to R) Skyler Volpe, Kaleb Wells
RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour
RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

The show received its world premiere off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop on February 13, 1996 to ecstatic reviews and transferred to Broadway on April 29, 1996. RENT is winner of the 1996 Tony Award for Best Musical as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It is one of only six musicals to win both awards.

Based on the original direction by Michael Greif (Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, RENT), Evan Ensign restages this 20th anniversary tour.  Marlies Yearby (Tony Nomination, RENT) serves as choreographer.

The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

The Company of the RENT 20th Anniversary Tour
RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Carol Rosegg, 2016.

The RENT 20th Anniversary Tour is produced by Work Light Productions, whose other touring productions include CinderellaMAMMA MIA!, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Vocalosity, and Crazy For You.

TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS is situated on the main campus of one of the largest and most prestigious research universities in the country.  Texas Performing Arts serves The University of Texas at Austin campus and the Austin community at large through a diverse season of world-class fine arts performances, educational activities, and collaborative partnerships.  Texas Performing Arts presents an international season of music, theatre, dance, and conversation in our multiple venues, as well as the best in touring Broadway productions and concert attractions. As a university-based arts center it is also committed to serving the academic mission of the College of Fine Arts by supporting the work of our students, faculty and staff on our stages, classrooms, studios and production shops; and in the educational outreach programs it provides for the Austin community.

BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com, under the supervision of 9 time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO). Current and past productions include Beautiful, Cats, Dear Evan Hansen, Fiddler on the Roof, Finding Neverland, Hairspray, Million Dollar Quartet, On Your Feet!, School of Rock and The ProducersBroadwayAcrossAmerica.comBroadway.com

Presented by Texas Performing Arts. Broadway Across America provides production services for Texas Performing Arts. Sales tax exempt pursuant to Texas Tax Code Section 151.3101(a)(3).