A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder is stuffed with the kind of surreal Edwardian mayhem and gallows humor one can usually only find in an Edward Gorey etching. The Tony-winning musical tells the story of Monty, a poor, down-and-out bastard who discovers he might inherit a vast fortune. The only thing standing between him and the money is the entire D'Ysquith family.
"Roles like this don't come around that often," says Kevin Massey, who plays Monty, the sympathetic serial killer in the Broadway tour of Gentlemen's Guide. John Rapson, who stars as every single member of the doomed D'Ysquith family, concurs. "You need an actor who feels comfortable using everything in their tool belt every night," he says.
Like another musical murderer, Sweeney Todd, young Monty is driven by a sense of righteousness and revenge. But Monty's more creative than Stephen Sondheim's famous demon barber, and a real charmer.
"Life has weighed on Monty," Massey explains. "He's lost his mother and is madly in love with this woman, Sibella, who also treats him like dirt. At some point, it clicks: The best way to get revenge and the fortune is to knock these people off. But he's not Lizzie Borden."
"Monty's a really easy character to get behind," Rapson adds. "He's not stabbing people in the back or shooting them. He's helping some real idiots who are already doing dangerous things into the next world. These are some really odious people raised with an intense set of class distinctions. The first song I sing is, 'I don't understand the poor,' and that, very quickly, puts audiences in the mind of who these people are.
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder is vaudeville-inspired silliness, full of wordplay and visual puns. If you're in the market for a thoroughly modern show with a throwback sensibility and a body count that rivals Game of Thrones, this is your ticket.