From the moment the house lights went down, the audience devoted their full attention to the D’Ysquith family.
We followed Monty D’Ysquith Navarro, played by Daniel Jackson, as he recounted every detail of landing himself in jail in his memoir “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.”
Jackson’s portrayal of what should be an easily hateable character made for a delightful show. Monty was made smart, funny and someone to root for.
Learning that he was ninth in line for the D’Ysquith fortune, and why his mother never told him of her family, Monty writes a letter, hoping to take his rightful place in the family.
After facing a hilarious rejection from the family, he takes things into his own hands.
Several colorful scenes featuring a glorious pink couch, and several sexual innuendos later, we find ourselves at the top of a church tower. Reverend Lord Ezekial D’Ysquith is about to fall off to his death, reaching out for Monty’s help. In that moment, Monty again chooses to take matters into his own hands, pushing the reverend off the edge.
Only seven more people stand between Monty D’Ysquith Navarro and the family fortune.
All these characters are played by Luke McGee, who seemed to get funnier with every death scene. His ability to play so many different characters and perform the equivalent of a musical marathon truly wowed the audience.
One ice skating accident, a killer swarm of bees, a tribe of cannibals, a decapitation, a bullet exchange, and a heart attack later, only one more D’Ysquith stand in Monty’s way.
But before we could see this murderous plan to the finish line, Monty had a choice to make: his lover, Sibella Holland, played by Veronica Stevens, or Phoebe D’Ysquith, portrayed by A.J. Grant. They are two beautiful women with even prettier voices and both arrive at his home asking for his heart. After the best door choreography ever to occur, and arguably the best song in the show, Monty accepts Pheobe’s proposal.
How he was able to marry his cousin and not get publicly shamed is confusing, but hey, the 1900’s were a different time.
After a dinner party with Lord Adalbert, who barely lives long enough to see dessert, Monty achieves the dream he’s been working toward for the last 90 minutes.
Landing himself in jail, Pheobe and Sibella work together to free him. But not before framing each other for murder. It’s a beautiful friendship made believable by the actors.
Somehow, in the end Monty got both girls, the fortune, and a standing ovation.
“I thought it went really well,” said Harry McEnerny after opening night. “The thing that makes this show different and so special is because we haven’t done a full musical in three years.”
The glowing reviews did not stop there, however.
“I thought it was incredible,” said Emily Turgeon. “Daniel did such a great job, he’s amazing and I’m so glad this got to be Harry’s last show and Daniel’s last show.”
Kate Martinez said, “I really enjoyed it. Luke was fantastic, the whole cast was fantastic.”
“I always love to see anything Daniel is in,” said Turgeon’s mom, Christine. “I’m sorry to see this is going to be his last show.”
The cast and crew seemed to make a lasting impression on the man of the hour.
“This was a good show,” McEnerny said. “They did a fantastic job.”