The 10th Anniversary season for 3-D Theatricals continues, this time with the West Coast Regional premiere of the Tony Award-Winning Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. The stars shine bright as 3-D Theatricals has gathered a star studded cast and crew, that may have you laughing to death.
On the day I was previewing the show A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Broadway book writer Robert L. Freedman was in the audience. Freedman may not have noticed much of a change in its move from Broadway to the regional stage. Alexander Dodge’s broadway sets and Linda Cho’s original costumes all make their move to the West Coast. That isn’t the only thing that 3-D Theatricals has managed to bring to the audiences. Peggy Hickey, the original choreographer of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder is also back directing and once again choreographing this production.
A show like A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder can be described as a mix of Monty Python meets Downton Abbey, as such, it needs a strong cast that’s quick witted. Luckily they have the tremendous talents of Jeff Skowron to help tackle the task of nine roles of the D’Ysquith family. Part of the fun and awe of watching Skowron is seeing him adapt to each character, whether a different accent, physical comedy and many, many costume changes, it’s a tour-de-force role.
Skowron isn’t the only actor that defines this show, among them is Nick Tubbs. He plays the role of Monty Navarro, a conspirator of murder, yet who doesn’t look as though he could hurt a fly. Tubbs plays the role of Navarro as a handsome charismatic suitor, similar in tone to Michael C. Hall’s character in the television show Dexter.
We meet Navarro as he mourns the loss of his mother and is in need of more income. His mothers friend Miss Shingle (Tracy Lore) is there to help comfort him and spills the tea that he is a member of the D’Ysquith family. This information means that he is now in-line to inherit all that the family has to offer, including a noble title. But there’s one complication… there are 8 other heirs before him, all while managing his blossoming love triangle with Sibella Hallward (Julia Burrows) and Phoebe D’Ysquith (Kelley Dorney).
The story that ensues is one of hilarity as we are introduced to each member of the D’Ysquith family. Lord Adalbert D’Ysquith, an Englishmen of proper stature to Asquith D’Ysquith, Jr. a weekend hunter that meets his early demise while ice skating. A sweet young man, Henry D’Ysquith, who had a hobby of beekeeping, and the vivacious Lady Hyacinth on a journey to help her fellow man when it reality she just wants the increased social status. We meet all these characters and more on their way to their untimely demise at the hand of Navarro.
The production makes use of the latest technology, using projections throughout. I have never seen a production use projections in a way that I felt added to the overall story like they do in this production. In a scene involving Rev. Ezekial (Skowron) the use of original projection (Aaron Rhyne) allows the audience to experience something that they never could have in the past. A layering effect in other scenes is what makes the projection work when it is combined with set pieces along and other scenery pieces for each scene.
The crew behind the scene must be applauded for the work they do on this show. The actors rely on them immensely in delivering some of the fastest scene changes. The dressers and make-up artist who work to transform Skowron from character to character sometimes with just seconds to add facial hair or wigs do something that to the untrained eyes just seems like magic.
In the end the audience is left with something that is pure musical theatre. A production that will have you laughing from beginning to end. A wacky way to spend an evening or afternoon that you soon won’t forget.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Cast
Jeff Skowron, Nick Tubbs, Julia Burrows, Kelley Dorney, Tracy Lore, Jean Kauffman, Dayna Sauble, Calvin Brady, Richie Ferris, and Justin Charles Cowden.
Production Team: Peggy Hickey (Director and Choreographer), Julie Lamoureux (Musical Director), Jean-Yves Tessier (Lighting Designer), Julie Ferrin (Sound Designer), Alexander Dodge (Original Set Design), Linda Cho (Original Costume Designer), Vernon Willet (Production Stage Manager), Terry Hanrahan (Production Manager/ASM), David Nestor (Company Manager), Amber Snead (Casting Director).
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder: Book by Robert L. Freedman, Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steve Lutvaki, and Music by Steve Lutvaki
3-D Theatricals A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Information
Tickets vary in price depending on the venue. Online Ticketing: www.3dtheatricals.org
- SCHEDULE: Show times at Cerritos Performing Arts Center
- Friday February 18 at 8:00pm
- Saturday February 16 at 8:00pm
- Sunday February 17 at 2:00pm
- Friday February 22 at 8:00pm
- Saturday February 23 at 2:00pm
- Saturday February 23 at 8:00pm
- Sunday February 24 at 2:00pm
- Thursday February 28 at 7:30pm
- Friday March 1 at 8:00pm
- Saturday March 2 at 2:00pm
- Saturday March 2 at 8:00pm
- Sunday March 3 at 2:00pm
- LOCATION: 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos, CA 90703
- PARKING: Complimentary parking located directly in front of the theatre
Theater Box Office: 562-916-8500.
Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Tuesday – Friday; 12:00 – 4:00 pm Saturday.
Box Office at the theatre opens two hours prior to weekday and Saturday performances; and one hour prior to Sunday performances.