What a thrill to report that “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” last year’s quadruple TONY winner has leading man Bryce Pinkham back on board as the dastardly(not really) Monte Novarro! And the show itself is as fresh as a daisy, and Bryce stopped the show cold with the infamous “Trio” number! No! Really! The audience which was packing the Walter Kerr that night couldn’t stop cheering and clapping! Talk about the Roar of the Crowd! He and his two delicious, new leading ladies joined him in mirth, slamming doors, and song and the crowd went wild! How exciting was that! And the show is nearing the two-year-old point in October, AND it’s recouped all its’ investment! No mean feat on Broadway these days!
Scarlett Strallen is the all-too-pink, absolutely delightful Sibella, and as Pinkham sang the magnificent love song to her with superlatives hitting the High C’s “You’re deceitful! You’re delectable!” Ms. Strallen seemed to justify and personify every trilled adjective.
Catherine Walker was right up there vocally and humourously as a more mature Phoebe D’yasquith, all in blue, and decorous as well as decorative as she and Stallen BOTH presue Pinkham in that slammingly funny “Trio.”
They were a delight to watch and applaud and cheer and the howling audience surely did!
And of course, Jefferson Mays playing something like 8 or 9 D’yquiths, all of whom, but one, or is it two? I’m losing count as the body count of despicable D’ysquiths soars, as does Mays’ legendary, unbelievable performance(s) in ALLLLL those roles It’s still a dizzying comic tour-de-force as he, Pinkham, Stallen and Walker keep you laughing even though I’ve seen the show THREE times now, and have worn out the Original Cast CD playing it over and over and over.
Under the equally legendary Darko Tresnjak’s STILL perfectly pitched direction, not a moment of hilarity is missed. My sides literally ached from laughing!
Just when you think you’ve seen the ultimate D’ysquith slaughter( by our hero Monty Navarro/Pinkham) there’s another hysterical murder. The bees persuing Henry D’Ysquith (yes, Mays AGAIN!) this time around are all depicted as a golden-yellow swarm on the upstage back projection by the excellent Aaron Rhyne. They seem to be eating Mays alive as he writhes in bee-stung agony upside down!
Then of course there the hilarious, plus-sized, busomy Lady Hyacinth D’Ysquith, the most despicable, globe-trotting do-gooder that makes you never want to donate to a charity again.
I guess my favorite D’Ysqithian death is when in the course of about five minutes, or less, Lady Salome D’Ysquith Pumphrey is despatched as she plays Hedda Gabler’s famous climax, Monty having put a real bullet in her stage gun. I couldn’t stop laughing! Or was it screaming at this point?
And one had to wonder all over again at the stamina, nuance, and mischief that Bryce Pinkham displays throughout. A master comedian as well as a nearly operatic singer with a tenor voice that can only be described as plangent as his magnificent voice soars above the mayhem and murder in Steven Lutvak’s and Robert L. Freeman’s wonderfully apt songs.
My favorite being Bryce’s “I Am Standing Here With Poison in My Pocket”. It’s an ice-skating murder.
Don’t try to figure it out! Just go and enjoy the incredible “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” again and again. As Darko Tresnjak prepares a National Tour and I can easily see it being done all over the world! And running forever and ever. Congratulations once again to all concerned!