Review: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at the Davis Shakespeare Festival

Showtimes: Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm; Through 8/4; $15-$30; Davis Veterans Memorial Theater, 203 E 14th St. in Davis, (530) 802-0998,
Rated 5.0

Four-time Tony award winner A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is currently running in repertory with The Tenth Muse at the Davis Shakespeare Festival. Under the direction of Gia Battista, Gentleman’s Guide is superb, from the ensemble to the music to the physical comedy.

Monty Navarro (Daniel Sugimoto) learned late in life that his mother was disinherited by her wealthy family for marrying beneath her status, and was forced to spend the rest of her days earning a meager living as a washer woman.

Monty is actually the ninth heir to the D’Ysquith (pronounced DIE-skwith) family. To avenge his mother, Monty decides to kill each of the other heirs, leaving himself as the Earl of Highhurst.

Kyle Stoner has the challenging role of playing all eight of the doomed D’Ysquiths. He creates unique, wacky characters, including the pompous Lord Adalbert to the dramatic Lady Salome.

Monty is not only a serial killer—he’s also juggling relationships with both his married ex-girlfriend and his current fiancée. The very funny “I’ve Decided to Marry You” was performed at the 2013 Tonys.

Kyra Kozlenko and Alyssa Giannetti are outstanding as Sibella, the oversexed mistress, and cousin Phoebe D’Ysquith, perhaps the only good person in the show.

This is a fast-paced, exuberant and truly funny musical, with a live nine-piece orchestra directed by Tom Abuzzo.