Love and Murder is Rarely So Fun!
I had the pleasure of having A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder be the first show I have ever seen at Diamond Head Theatre. It was a whirlwind affair that I look forward to experiencing again! There is an aura around The Diamond Head Theatre that transports you to a more classic style of theatre with the wooden sign and marquee. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is a 2013, 4 time Tony award winning musical (Including best musical) created by Robert Freedman (Book and Lyrics) and Steven Lutvak (Music and Lyrics). The entertaining production will have you rolling with laughter at the crazy characters and situations. Director John Rampage is not exaggerating when he calls this A Gentleman’s Guide unique!
The show starts off with a hilarious number warning the audience of the heinous acts and harrowing love story to come. The story is about a young man names Morty Navarro, played by the extremely charming Zachary Linnert, and how he learns his late mother is a disowned member of the lofty D'Ysquith family, all of whom are masterfully played by Garrett Hols, making him in line for the Earldom of Earl of Highhurst. Realizing it is unlikely he will out live these members he follows a more dastardly path. And of course what is a great musical without Love? Sabella Hallward and Pheobe D'Ysquith portayed by Kim Anderson and Brooke Alcuran respectively were perfect foils in character, they are hysterically funny and play off of each other perfectly for the heart of their Monty. Finally our Ensemble! This incredible group of performers ranges from actors making their DHT debuts to veterans of the stage. Every one of them had standout moments that showed their comedic acting abilities and blended perfectly together during ensemble moments making these moments really feel like we are watching a village witness the insanity of the D'Ysquith family. The story is just exquisite and should not be missed!
A show like A Gentleman’s Guide to love and Murder is no easy feat to take on and Director/Choreographer, John Rampage, brought all the best parts of this play together in the most entertaining way! He brought together a cast with hugely varying levels of experience to create a tight ensemble that really made this show a success.
Set Designer Willie Sable brings classic style to the stage for with a grand golden curtain that is surrounded by a marble facade proscenium and wings making changes in furniture and back drops to really show each new building we enter. There is one piece that I will not give away but brought me great joy in how it was completed so keep an eye out!
Kimmerie Jones does an amazing job bring the wide variety of costumes together for the cast but ESPECIALLY for Hols, the number of changes this man makes in the show is just unbelievable! There was really only one time that it felt like a change was a little slow but the rest appeared flawless and complete!
I was also impressed with the Musical Direction of Darcie Yoshinaga, she brought together 12 actors and 8 musicians (nine including Yoshinaga on Keyboard) and really brought the ensemble work to a lovely place, we so frequently see a bunch of soloists singing together and Yoshinaga really got them sounding like an ensemble!
The lighting design by Dawn Oshima in the show was very dynamic and overall felt appropriate to the show with the use of sharp and soft spots showing intent in moments, however, there were a few times I completely lost actors faces. I am not sure if that was intentional to create drama or just a slight miscalculation of where peopler were standing, it absolutely didn’t take me out of the show, I just wondered about it later.
Overall, if you are looking for a fully belly laugh and some really outstanding music and acting don’t miss A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder! It just opened, and runs through June 10th- call 733-0274 for tickets.