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GENTLEMEN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER -- Previews

jacobsnchz14 Profile Photo
jacobsnchz14
Broadway Legend
joined:12/13/06
Very interested in hearing how the show goes and what it's about. Anyone gonna be there tonight, or soon?
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Good god completely slipped my mind that this was starting tonight. I have not seen or heard anything in a while.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
Emmaloucbway
Broadway Star
joined:10/16/11
I'm going on Saturday. Very excited!
Stevil907 Profile Photo
Stevil907
Swing
joined:3/4/11
I am also going Saturday - looking very forward to this one.
Addison D. Profile Photo
Addison D.
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/12
I'm seeing it next week--Thursday, I think.

I've seen this show evolve through its many incarnations, obstacles and heartbreaks along the way. It's a knockout--smart and funny, and Jefferson Mays is exactly what the show needed to make it shine.

Mark my words--Steve Lutvak is going to win his first Tony with this show.

You think, what do you want? You think, make a decision...
Updated On: 10/22/13 at 08:29 AM
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
I'm going tonight and am looking forward to it.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Mark my words--Steve Lutvak is going to win his first Tony with this show.

What about Robert Freedman? What is he--chopped liver?
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
saulssweetie
Understudy
joined:1/5/08
I'm going tonight as well. Super excited! Kind Hearts and Coronets is one of my favorites.
dented146 Profile Photo
dented146
Broadway Star
joined:11/26/05
I hope you don't find it as slow and boring and depressing as I did.---Just kidding! Have fun everyone.
Addison D. Profile Photo
Addison D.
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/12
PJ--You make a good point. Yes; Robert 'Chopped Liver' Freedman will win as well.
You think, what do you want? You think, make a decision...
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
I've heard nothing but good things about this. Can't wait to hear everyone's thoughts.
Broadwaystar2
Featured Actor
joined:9/4/13
Intermission Now! And I must report...IT'S BRILLIANT!!! I'll give further review after!
PalJoey Profile Photo
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Oh yay!
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Long first act, no?
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
OH YES! Always love to hear a new show is something great Can't wait to hear more from the others
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
bwayphreak234 Profile Photo
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
The set looks pretty cool!
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
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Wicked Fanatic
Broadway Star
joined:3/31/09
Glad to see the set used in Hartford and San Diego is in tact. Anyone sitting in front of the walkway as I did in San Diego will be enthralled with the singers when they perform there. Can't wait to hear more when the 1st performance is over.
saulssweetie
Understudy
joined:1/5/08
Just left the theatre. Had an absolutely wonderful time. I really can't wait to see it again. And the actors were very nice at the stage door.
SayitSomehow Profile Photo
SayitSomehow
Featured Actor
joined:11/1/05
Was there tonight as well. Definitely a fun and wonderful night of theater.

I didn't love it through and through - the parts that aren't full-on comedy drag and feel a bit unnecessary (which for me was all of Sibella's songs, and several others in the first act).

The music sounds lovely and the lyrics are quite clever. They've done an amazing job at phrasing and fitting complex delivery into jovial, theatrical period melodies.

The entire cast works hard and the two leads put on a heck of a show. I was especially impressed with Bryce and his lovely voice - carrying the show like a champ with no first preview slip-ups at all. And Jefferson is just... wow. He must be tired when he gets home.

I think fans of the musical comedy genre will find a ton to love here, but the average theater-goer might be a bit bored by a lot of it. Hopefully in previews they can tighten up the pacing and keep the momentum from falling off sporadically. Unfortunately I think it would require cutting songs, but I'm not sure the show's structure allows for that.

Definitely worth seeing. The moments where it soars generally outweigh the in-between lulls.



Updated On: 10/22/13 at 11:23 PM
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
There has been so much positive buzz about this show and I was genuinely excited to finally see it for myself this evening. I don't mean to pull an After Eight and rain on everyone's parade, but I didn't find much about it to like.

The two things I do think deserve high praise are the sets and the costumes. I was reminded of Drood the second I walked into the theater, and I think the show will largely be compared to the revival last year regarding the design. There is a smaller stage onstage, but it's a red herring when it comes to there being a show within a show. It's only used as an alternate to having scenes performed in one. Everything is beautiful to look at and not done on the cheap (or if it was done on the cheap you can't tell!).

The costumes are gorgeous, especially for the two leading women. They both get to wear fantastic hats in the final scenes of the night.

I wasn't very taken with the score. It's respectable and competent; the songs are all in the right place and so forth, but there is a sameness to the numbers and none of the tunes hooked me. The worst offense might be that Jefferson Mays' roles are not well musicalized. For all the talk of this being a tour-de-force part, it makes it difficult when he doesn't have the musical support to stop the show. (The biggest applause of the night by far came for a trio with Pinkham and the two female leads.)

For those not familiar with plot, Bryce Pinkham finds out he is part of the D'Ysquith family and is ninth in line to become an Earl. He decides to kill the eight heirs in front of him and Jefferson Mays plays all the heirs. By nature the show is going to be episodic as the heirs are introduced and then sent to their demise. This isn't going to allow for much character development, causing it to serve solely as an actors showcase. I think that's fine, but the situation could be helped by intertwining Pinkham with the other heirs and inserting himself more into the methods of their deaths. I thought Mays' role was going to be one of epic portions, perhaps even having eight wild numbers that culminated in a different death. That isn't the case though.

Pinkham and two females (Lisa O'Hare and Lauren Worsham) carry the bulk of the score, and they all have lovely voices.

The pacing and the aspects of farce need to ratcheted up several notches. Things need to get a lot zanier. I kept wishing there was a scene with a room that had many doors and Mays running from door to door with wild costume quick changes. I just didn't find it very funny; I was expecting a One Man, Two Guvnors type humor, but this wasn't warm. It was cold and intellectual.

I really, really wanted to like this. I think there will be many people who do like it, but I couldn't connect to the characters and was disappointed.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Broadwaystar2
Featured Actor
joined:9/4/13
You DO realize this was the FIRST preview. So to say you wanted to like it is pretty premature no?
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
I very much realize it was the first preview.

What's premature about wanting to like it? There was a near rave review from Isherwood in the Times for the out of town try-out at Hartford Stage. There were also multiple reports from posters here and friends that I trust/normally agree with, declaring it to be wonderful. With all this buzz why are you surprised that I would go into this wanting to like it?
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
First preview of a show that has had two out of town tryouts and a lot of hype coming into NYC. Maybe that hype set my expectations too high, but I was supremely disappointed. I went in wanting to love it but It's just not very well crafted and for many of the reasons Whizzer outlines isn't nearly as clever or funny as it should be. The cast is game and it's pretty to look at but I think this is going to have a tough time selling in NYC. The score is completely mediocre...
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RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
That is a bit of a letdown but I'm still excited to see it. Nice to see a new musical that's kind of old fashioned.

I too was expecting a more One Man, Two Guvenors type thing.
SayitSomehow Profile Photo
SayitSomehow
Featured Actor
joined:11/1/05
Good points by Whizzer. I'm just kind of baffled by why the first 15-20 minutes of the show had zero humor and several of the musical numbers and chorus numbers didn't go for laughs either - many of the songs are content to just... be. With so much comedic potential and such strong writing/acting chops I felt they should have integrated comedy into every inch of this thing, Book of Mormon style. Go all out!
dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
Sorry to also ad a negative voice here, but I found this show just ok. It seems strange to bring something that is so similar to Drood in nature, style, and aesthetics, a year after Drood was not a commercial success. I was reminded of Drood many times, but kept being disappointed to how this paled in comparison.

Jefferson Mays had the strongest amount of buzz that I had heard going in from the previous runs and while he certainly is good, just doesn't have the tour de force performance I was expecting from playing all of these multiple roles. None of these characters that he plays stay long enough to make much an impression, and he all but dissappears in the second act. I actually thoroughly enjoyed Bryce Pinkam though and thought he held the considerable stage time he has (he is pretty much onstage the entire time) very well. He was in good voice as well.

For me the biggest let down was the score. It felt as if the Chaplin music team wrote this. Nothing uptempo, and very little variety. I started to have a hard time distinguishing one song from another. Everything sounded very pleasant, but you forget it instantly.

The show takes a very long time to get going, and when it does it seems to be fractured in tone. Bryce Pinkam's character is so serious. Where I needed broader humor, and the show seemed to take things deathly seriously. Sometimes he is a take no prisoners revenge character and other times he seems to be doing it for the money or to impress his girl?

Overall I can't say that this is a bad show, it is perfectly competent, but it is not particularly exciting either. The staging has a few nice tricks (the skiing scene was fun and the pictures coming alive was too), but then a few frustrating choices (why does Bryce Pinkham have to climb to the top of the stage for no reason? He looked uncomfortable with it and so was I). The costumes were lovely though, the dresses in act II were particularly stunning.

EDIT: I should be remiss that there were two moments I truly loved. The staging of the two women's scene in the opening of Act II was wonderful and the closest the show got to being farcical. The big dinner scene that followed was also a lot of fun. But the fact that it took getting to act II to get to these moments is still an issue.

Updated On: 10/23/13 at 12:13 AM

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