The uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of successions by – you guessed it – eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way. All the while, Monty has to juggle his mistress (she’s after more than just love), his fiancé (she’s his cousin but who’s keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will be all worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance… and be done in time for tea.
When the Tony Awards were handed out in June of 2014, the stylishly comic musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, took home four trophies, including the biggest: Best Musical.
Tresjnak says all the musical’s characters – even the seemingly nice ones – are “a little wicked.” And the writers admit they took great pains to make their protagonist, Monty, who also romances two women in the show, sympathetic, despite his murderous proclivities. “He’s an underdog,” says Freedman, “not only did he grow up poor, but he was denied the kind of life that he should have been born into and should’ve had. I think there’s a bit of fantasy or wish fulfillment, in seeing him be able to get revenge on the people who made it impossible for him to advance in the world.” Tresnjak says “this is the comic side of The Talented Mister Ripley. Why do people like those Patricia Highsmith books and movies? Why do we like to see people get away with it? Because, a part of us wants to get away with it – whatever it is.”
And audiences of all ages have embraced Gentleman’s Guide. Director Darko Tresnjak says, “It’s attracting more and more young people. It seems to kind of have a cult status with many of them. And some of them are posting videos [of some of the songs] on YouTube!” The LA-based Robert Freedman says he sees the production on the road every chance he gets and, on visits to New York during the Broadway run, he’d frequently slip into the Walter Kerr theater to catch the last fifteen minutes of the show. “By the end people are overwhelmed and thrilled and it’s just so exciting,” he says. “It’s the thing about the show that’s the most meaningful to me; feeling that from the audience and knowing that I’ve been a part of it, of a sharing experience like that. There’s nothing like it in the world.”