Inside the 2014 Tony Nominees: Best Musical

stage-guide-to-love-and-murder

Image Credit: Joan Marcus

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A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Opened: Nov. 18, 2013
Starring: Jefferson Mays, Bryce Pinkham, Lauren Worsham, and Lisa O’Hare
Music by: Steven Lutvak
Book by: Robert L. Freedman
Lyrics by: Freedman and Lutvak
Direction by: Darko Tresnjak
Choreography by: Peggy Hickey
Synopsis: Monty Navarro discovers he’s a long-lost member of a noble family, and sets out to kill the eight relatives preceding him in line to become the next Earl of Highhurst — all of whom are played by Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays. Naturally, it’s a comedy.
EW review: “Director Darko Tresnjak stages each crime with ingenious wit, aided by Alexander Dodge’s simple but clever set design which evokes an early-20th-century vaudeville theater, complete with footlights. Monty must also contend with dueling love interests — the vain and avaricious Sibella (Lisa O’Hare) and the naïve D’Ysquith cousin Phoebe (Lauren Worsham), the latter safely following him in the line of succession. The three get a door-slamming bedroom-farce of a trio, ”I’ve Decided to Marry You,” that is a delirious second-act showstopper.” (Thom Geier)
Listen to this: “I’ve Decided to Marry You”
Nominations: 10 — Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Robert L. Freedman), Best Original Score (music by Steven Lutvak; lyrics by Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak), Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham), Best Performacne by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Lauren Worsham), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Alexander Dodge), Best Costume Design of a Muiscal (Linda Cho), Best Direction of a Musical (Darko Tresnjak), and Best Orchestrations (Jonathan Tunick)
Fun fact: The dark musical comedy is based in part on Roy Horniman’s 1907 novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal, which in turn inspired the 1949 British film Kind Hearts and Coronets.
Odds of winning: A real contender.
Bryce Pinkham on his backstage superstitions: “I do this thing right before I go on stage with my hips, where I just sort of do this weird hula motion. Once I leave my dressing room, I’m like a pinball. There’s certain things I have to make sure I do before I go on stage. Like, I get my prop right here, then I do the hip thing, and then I’m out.”


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