Even if you’re not a “theater person.”
Fun Fact: My friends and I have season tickets for Broadway in Chicago. Twice a year, we pay something like $180 per person for six shows—yes, that’s $180 total, not per show. Sure, the seats are high up in the balcony, but it doesn’t really matter: We still get the full experience and have fun taking in a little culture every month or so. Some shows miss the mark, some are decently entertaining, and some are amazing. The show we saw last week, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder, falls into the latter category. It’s rare that everyone in our group likes a musical—we all have different tastes—but this one got rave reviews from all of us. If you live in Chicago, you have a few days left to catch it (It’s in town until October 11th; get tickets here.), and I strongly encourage you to make it happen. If you don’t live in Chicago, you can see it in New York or in one of its many other tour stops. Even if you’re not a “theater person.” Here’s why:
1. It’s Twisted, In a Hilarious Way
If you’re a fan of any sort of “twisted” humor, I feel confident saying you’ll laugh out loud at least three times during this show (and that’s a conservative estimate). The basic premise is this commoner, Monty, loses his mom and then learns he’s actually not a commoner at all and is in fact ninth in line to become an Earl and inherit a huge fortune. So, he takes it upon himself to eliminate the eight people ahead of him. But his methods are so ridiculous (as is the whole plot, basically) that they’re hilarious—as is the dialogue, musical numbers, and, well, everything.
2. One Guy Plays 8 Characters, and He Pulls It Off.
I’ll admit, it took me a few scenes before I figured out that the same guy (in the case of the touring company, John Rapson) was playing every single member of the D’Ysquith family (aka all of the rich peopled getting killed off because they’re ahead of Monty in the succession), including women. It’s nothing short of amazing the way he transforms himself into eight different people, all with a unique look, voice, and personality. He is just. so. good.
3. It Won 4 Tony Awards…
…including Best Musical. So, if you want to be (or at least seem) cultured and be able to take part in a conversation about something culturally relevant that’s not on TV or represented at the VMAs, this is a good way to do it.
4. There’s A Love Triangle.
And everyone loves those, right?
5. The Musical Numbers Are Gold.
A Broadway musical can be hilarious and compelling, but if the music isn’t good, it doesn’t really matter. Fortunately for this show, the musical numbers are amazing. It’s not just the songs themselves (with titles like “Poison in my Pocket” and “I Don’t Understand the Poor”), but the actual performances of the songs that are beyond impressive, funny, and entertaining. (The pipes on these actors; I’m tellin ya: Amazing.)
Still need more info? Watch this handy and hilarious four-minute low-down on the show.