Gallery Players presents “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” the first of its two musicals this season, from Dec. 7 to 22 in the Roth/Resler Theatre at the Columbus JCC, 1125 College Ave. in Columbus.
The Gallery Players’ production is directed by Tim Browning, with music direction by Allan Finkelstein and choreography by Melissa Gould. The cast includes Chris Johnson, Jay Rittberger, Marrett Laney, Shauna Davis, Susan Gellman, Christina Bernthold, Denae Sullivan, Benny Zelkowicz, Eric Neuenschwander, Todd Lemmon and Madi Short.
Based on the 1907 novel, “Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal” by Roy Horniman, the musical “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” first appeared on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Nov. 7, 2013, where it ran until Jan. 17, 2016.
This story of murder and ambition took the 2014 Tony Awards by storm, winning four categories including Best Musical.
In the show, Monty Navarro – played by Rittberger – is an impoverished man in Edwardian England who learns he is a distant heir to a family fortune. He conspires to steal the title of ninth Earl of Highhurst, by taking out the eight members of the D’Ysquith family who stand in his way.
All the while, Monty finds himself juggling the affections of two dramatically different women, the smart and earnest Phoebe and the beautiful, scheming social climber Sibella.
In a news release from Gallery Players, it said what makes this musical so unique is that each of Monty’s eight relatives are all played by a single actor (Johnson). Witnessing the same person humorously killed off time and time again shifts the otherwise dark theme of murder into a delightful absurdist comedy.
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” runs Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. This two-act musical has some mature content and is appropriate for teens and older. Tickets are $22 for students and seniors, $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Purchase tickets online at jccgalleryplayers.org.