BWW Interview: Colleen McLaughlin of A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER at Overture Center
A man will do anything for true love, including murder. At least that's the premise for A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER, according to Colleen McLaughlin who plays the narcissistic yet sympathetic role of Sibella Hallward in this Tony winning musical comedy.
A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, a distant heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession, by any means necessary, including killing the heirs ahead of him. All the while, he's got to juggle his mistress (she's after more than just love), his fiancée, played by McLaughlin, (she's his cousin but who's keeping track?), and the constant threat of landing behind bars!
Adding to the hilarity is that all eight D'Ysquith heirs are portrayed by one actor, James Taylor Odom. "He is absolutely incredible," McLaughlin says. "I don't think audiences will be able to stop laughing. Every character is more ridiculous than the last.
McLaughlin, an Oklahoma native, who discovered her love of theatre at the tender age of eight when she played the title role in The Littlest Christmas Tree, is thrilled to be cast in this break-out role. She says, "This show is so brilliant, complex and intricate. There are no throw away scenes." Set in the Edwardian era with gorgeous award winning costumes designed by Linda Cho has been a dream for McLaughlin--but so many corsets!
When asked about her favorite song in the show, she laughed. ""It's Better With a Man." It's too funny!" she says. A close second is "That Horrible Woman," which comes at the end of the show. "It's very dramatic with a noir feeling."
A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER will play eight performances at Overture Center in Madison, Wis. Tues., Oct. 3 - Sun., Oct. 8 during its first national tour. Producer NETworks Presentations announced full casting with James Taylor Odom as all eight D'Ysquith heirs and Blake Price portraying Monty Navarro, Colleen McLaughlin (Sibella Hallward) and Erin McIntyre (Phoebe D'Ysquith).
One of Broadway's most celebrated musicals, Gentleman's Guide received ten 2014 Tony Award nominations, winning four awards: Best Musical, Direction of a Musical, Book of a Musical, and Best Costume Design. In addition, it won the Best Musical prizes from the Drama League, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle, and received a 2015 Grammy® Award nomination for Best Musical Show Album.
Tickets start at $35 and are on sale now at overture.org, in person at 201 State Street, or by phone at 608.258.4141. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for discounted tickets; contact 608.258.4159.
The Thurs., Oct. 5 performance features Get Social, a pre-show event with refreshments and activities including a workshop by local actor, teacher, and fight choreographer Whitney Derendinger.
Photo courtesy of Emilio Madrid-Kuser.