Virtual play gives every seat a good view of 'love and murder'

‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder’ will be streamed online


As lights go up, young Monty D’Ysquith (Matt LaFontaine) has a visitor, a washerwoman — friend to his late mother — who informs him that he is ninth in line among the D’Ysquith heirs to the earldom of Highhurst, due to his mother’s romantic encounter with a Spanish musician and her subsequent disowning by the snooty family. Hmmm....!

Aaron Szindler appears as the D’Ysquith Family — an especially cleverly written part of the script — one needs to pay attention! Sibella is played by Jennasea Pearce, Phoebe by Mica Dominguez-Robinson, Miss Shingle by veteran actress LuAnn Buckstein, and Willa Bograd plays Miss Barley and other assorted characters.

Monty is in jail, writing his memoirs, and we begin to learn of his ascent to that earldom ...

He was in love with haughty Miss Sibella Hallward, who has rejected him, due to his humble station in life ... A plot develops in his mind ... what if he were the earl??? (Eight people would have to die first.)

That’s the story that launches “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” a musical written by Robert L. Freedman, with book and lyrics by Stephen Lutvak, based on a novel by Roy Horniman.

Matthew Kepler directs this funny musical for Town Hall Arts Center in Littleton, and tickets are on sale for a pair of online performances, streamed to your homes at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29 and 30. See Town Hall’s website for connection to tickets. ($15 and up — pay what you can.

The clever commoner visits the family castle meeting the current Earl, Reverend Lord Lord Adelbert D’Ysquith, and gets a rundown on the family, including talks with the ancestors on the wall! (My favorite part!) The current earl is rude and chases him out.

Monty gets a job in the family banking business and begins to plot.

Starting with the elderly Reverend Lord Ezekial D’Ysquith, family members begin to disappear in fairly ingenious — and individual ways ... a song and hilarious mini-plot accompanies each departure.

Lady Hyacinth D’Ysquith is a bit of a challenge, until Monty sends her to visit a cannibal tribe ... Beekeeper Lord Henry is scented with lavender and stung to death.

Monty continues to pursue the now-married Sibella and other family members meet carefully planned fates.

Act Two begins with “Why are All the D’Yquiths Dying?” and proceeds with an encore of “Poison in my Pocket ...”

We, of course, wish we could enjoy this in one of Town Hall’s cozy theater seats, but This sounds like a better than usual way to spend a Friday or Saturday night to me ...



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