A drop dead musical comedy with a lot of wit, a lot of charm, and a dash of murder.
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
Book and Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman
Music and Lyrics By Steven Lutvak
Run time: 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission.
Due to rising covid cases in Boston, our artists will be wearing masks for the full performance. We hope this will reduce the risk for artists and audiences while allowing performances to continue.
If you are traveling to Lyric Stage from the West, please factor in extra time due to the closure of the Mass Pike eastbound exit to Copley Square which will be closed until the end of May. The exit to Prudential Center and Huntington Avenue will be open which can be used to get to the theater.
Production sponsored by Sally & Richard Zeckhauser
Orchestra sponsored by James Kamitses & Cynthia Bencal
Director Spiro Veloudos sponsored by Mary & Larry Shaw
MUSIC DIRECTOR MATTHEW STERN SPONSORED BY RON SUDOL
Costume Designer Elisabetta Polito sponsored by Nina & Don Berk
Understudies sponsored by Jean Rosenberg & Peter Southwick
Leigh Barrett sponsored by Anonymous Donor
Neil A. Casey sponsored by Gretchen and Samuel Shubrooks
Aimee Doherty sponsored by Paul Kastner
Jennifer Ellis sponsored by Sharon & John Parisi
Jared Troilo sponsored by Athena & Arthur Papas
Charming and ambitious, Monty Navarro is in line for an earldom in the lofty D'Ysquith family. Eighth in line, that is. With a few tricks up his sleeve, he plots to speed up the line of succession all the while juggling the affections of two beautiful women, dodging suspicions and relying on fortunate twists of fate. Lyric Stage favorite Neil A. Casey* brings to life all eight members of the D'Ysquith family including a pious clergyman, a pompous bodybuilder, an aging actress, and a misguided philanthropist. This Tony Award®-winning musical brilliantly and hilariously tells the story of wrongfully getting what is rightfully yours.
prologue: London, 1909
We warn you; this show is not for the faint of heart. Although satirical, there is a chance for fear to be instilled.
scene 1: prison cell
October 19th, 1909. Monty Navarro, Ninth Earl of Highhurst, takes a seat at a writing desk in his prison cell at Pentonville Prison and begins penning his memoir, “A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder”.
scene 1a: Monty’s first apartment
Now March 17th, 1907, Monty can be seen in the sparse Parlor of his apartment when the doorbell rings. He lets in a woman, a Miss Marietta Shingle. Although unfamiliar to Monty, Miss Shingle reveals she has known the man since birth. Having just returned from his mother’s funeral, Monty’s interest is peaked by the abrupt appearance of this stranger in his home. Miss Shingle takes in the apartment as Monty retrieves a cup of tea for her. It is evident his prospects are few, if any. After musing over how Monty looks so much like his father, who he himself scarcely remembers. Miss Shingle reveals that Monty’s mother and, by proxy Monty is a D’ysquith, a wealthy and influential family. Monty is but ninth in line to be the Earl of Highhurst. According to his visitor, Monty’s mother was disowned because she dared to fall in love with his father.
Miss Shingle brings attention to a jewelry box found by Monty following his mother’s death. She opens the previously locked box, revealing a multitude of letters from Monty’s mother to the D’ysquith family, having all been returned unopened. Also within the box … Monty’s birth certificate, confirming his place in the D’ysquith line. As Miss Shingle takes her leave, Monty realizes what this revelation could mean for his future. He drafts a letter to Lord Asquith D’Ysquith inquiring about possible employment and beginning his journey as a D’Ysquith.
scene 2: Sibella’s apartment
Monty appears, with a box of chocolates, at the apartment of his love, Sibella Hallward. He is eager to tell Sibella of his familial revelation, but she is busy fussing; with her hair, earrings, shoes, and dress. Monty reveals to Sibella that he is a D’Ysquith; she immediately dismisses his claim as unlikely, beginning to poke fun at him. Sibella appears to be in such a fuss because she is waiting on a Lionel Holland, a suitor with more wealth and better prospects than Monty Navarro. Considering Sibella’s position, Monty asks if she has not thought of marrying for love? She begs Monty not to be so cruel before leaving to meet Mr. Lionel Holland.
scene 2a: outside Highhurst Castle
Subsequently, Monty receives a letter from Asquith D’ysquith Jr. regarding Monty’s inquiry into the family. The young dandy D’ysquith reports that the family has no knowledge of Monty or his mother. He should be prepared to be met with resistance should he attempt to use the D’ysquith name or contact the family further. Monty goes to add the letter to his mother’s jewelry box containing his birth certificate before promptly deciding to rip and burn it. He muses over how foolish it was to think Sibella would ever love him now. How foolish it was to think the D’ysquiths would ever accept him. But if he could dare dream to be Earl of Highhurst…who will look foolish then?
scene 3: entrance to Highhurst Castle
Monty engrains himself within a group of tourists at the entrance to Highhurst Castle. As the tour guide brings the group into the Great Hall, he tells the tales of rebellious D’ysquiths of days past and prompts Monty to fork over sixpence for the tour.
scene 3a: Highhurst Castle
Monty, now alone with the images of his D’Ysquith ancestors, watches as they come alive before him. The portraits are quick to tell Monty he will never belong. Monty takes hold of a book and sword just as Lord Adalbert D’ysquith, eighth Earl of Highhurst, enters post fox hunt. Thinking Monty is a typical tourist, the Lord demands he drop his treasures. Adalbert D’ysquith states his hatred for and lack of understanding of the poor. Why should they want to pay to come into his home only to look at what they can not afford?
scene 4: prison cell
Returning to Monty’s prison cell in 1909, he writes about turning to Reverend Lord Ezekial D’ysquith. A parson, and possibly Monty’s only hope at a connection with his family.
scene 4a: Lincolnshire church
Monty and the Reverend Lord Ezekial D’Ysquith stand in the church courtyard for the village of Lye in Lincolnshire. Although appearing to be rather dumb and possibly drunk, Ezekial shares with Monty that he remembers Monty’s mother, Isabel. Quickly losing interest, the Reverend shifts to giving Monty a detailed history of the church. Monty asks Ezekial if he is willing to put in a good word for him with the D’Ysquiths? A request the Reverend promptly denies before returning to showing off his favorite architectural features. Ascending the church’s belfry, Monty insists that Ezekial talk to his family if not only for the memory of his dear cousin Isabel. The Parson, still unwilling to go against his family’s wishes, leans over a railing for the best view of the church’s flying buttresses before promptly losing his balance and reaching out for our young Monty Navarro. As Monty takes Ezekial’s hand, he muses over the unkindnesses he’s experienced at the hands of the D’Ysquiths and the long line of heirs before him for Earl… Monty lets the Ezekial fall to his demise, blaming the incident on a drunk Reverend and a windy day.
scene 5: prison cell/clerks
Back in his prison cell, Monty thinks about how this one decision changed his life forever. He recounts a past job as a clerk where he stamped documents. How he may have easily sat forever, making men like Asquith D’Ysquith Jr. richer. Returning to 1907, Monty decides to follow Asquith and his lady-friend Evangeline Barley to Chizzlemere on a trip to a winter resort.
scene 6: Lake Chizzlemere
Asquith Jr. and Miss Barley are followed at a distance by Monty outside of their hotel in Chizzlemere. Asquith has brought Evangeline here because he does not wish to be seen with someone as common as Miss Barley, and Chizzlemere is private and discreet. Monty approaches the couple on the pretense of knowing Miss Barley, immediately upsetting and insulting Asquith in the process. Noticing the nearby lake, Evangeline insists the two go ice skating. At the purest disinterest of Asquith D’Ysquith and leaving Monty behind, the couple mount skates and begin to glide. Having stowed poison in his pocket, Monty is frustrated with his wavering nerve and limited opportunity to use the fatal elixir. Donning skates himself and braced with a saw in hand, Monty decides to cut a hole into the ice and waits for when Asquith and Evangeline, unfortunately, sink into their frozen fate.
scene 7: after Chizzlemere
Having returned to London after the chilling death of Asquith D’Ysquith Jr., Monty receives a letter from a Lord Asquith D’Ysquith… Senior. Lord D’Ysquith would like to discuss the possibility of Monty receiving a position at the family bank.
scene 7a: bank office/tailors
Lord Asquith Senior sits behind his desk at the D’Ysquith Banking House when he welcomes Monty into his office. Monty promptly hands over a photo of his mother; the Lord cannot deny her resemblance to the D’Ysquiths of Highhurst. However, this is not what Asquith D’Ysquith Sr. has brought Monty here to discuss. Lord D’Ysquith has recently lost his only son in a tragic skating accident, something Monty is already intimately familiar with. D’Ysquith would like Monty to join the family’s firm. He will learn about stockbroking in the hopes that he should take the place of Asquith D’Ysquith Junior in succeeding him. Monty graciously accepts the offer as well as an advance for a new wardrobe.
scene 7b: Sibella’s apartment
Monty, eager to tell Sibella of his new station in life, returns to her apartment. Only Sibella has news of her own. She finds herself engaged to Lionel Holland, and Monty does his best to give her his blessing. Sibella goes off singing of how much better Monty will be without her. He disagrees, but that was not why he had come to call! He tells Sibella of his offer from Lord D'Ysquith. She appears to have immediately reconsidered as the two share a kiss. Monty implores Sibella to choose him, but she hurries away instead, overwhelmed by this new development.
scene 7c: Sibella’s wedding
Sibella has made her choice; she is to marry… Lionel Holland. Monty watches as she walks down the aisle. She muses over her future in London society, with a dullard for a husband. Has she made the wrong choice?
scene 8: prison cell
We briefly return to Monty’s prison cell in 1909. He reminisces over his feelings about losing Sibella and one of his mother’s letters to the D’ysquiths. Specifically, one from a young cousin, Henry D’ysquith, regarding his Cambridge education and the difficulty Monty would face should he not have the same opportunities.
scene 8a: village inn
Now in Salisbury, Henry can be seen riding a scooter through town and entering the village Inn. Following Henry inside, Monty promptly witnesses an altercation between the D’Ysquith cousin and a local farmer, Tom Copley. Mr. Copley is due to lose his family farm at the hands of the D’Ysquith’s bank, and he is understandably upset with the D’Ysquith in front of him. Monty, stepping between the two men, finds himself the recipient of a powerful punch from Mr. Copley. After receiving a swift wack across the face with Henry D’Ysquith’s gloves, Tom Copley is thrown from the inn. Monty finds himself being helped up by young Henry, who thanks him for stepping in before offering to buy Monty a drink. Henry shares with Monty how important it is to have another man share moments in life such as this, and the two share a drink.
scene 9: Henry’s country estate
After their excursion to the inn, Henry and Monty find themselves back at Henry’s Country Estate. Here, Monty admits to being a cousin, a D’Ysquith by another name. He is hesitant to meet Henry’s sister, Phoebe D’Ysquith. Afraid she won’t take kindly to someone with such a checkered lineage.
scene 9a: honey shack/garden
Henry D’Ysquith brings Monty to the estate’s honey shack, where he keeps his bees. Henry dons his beekeeping gloves and hood, ensuring Monty the pastime is safe and it would take a hundred bee stings to do any real harm. Unaware he has provided Monty with a scathing idea, Henry enters the honey shack. Monty reveals to the audience that he has quite thoroughly befriended Henry D’Ysquith… and has familiarized himself with the attraction of honeybees to English lavender. He is spraying a lavender scent into Henry’s beekeeping garb when he runs into Phoebe D’Ysquith. Quickly fond of one another. Monty tells Phoebe of his unsuitable paternal genes, still cautious this D’Ysquith cousin may not want to associate herself with him. Instead, Phoebe finds herself infatuated with the idea of Monty’s mother marrying for love. In a moment of bonding, Phoebe reveals to Monty how her station and family allow people to assume they know all about her when they know nothing. She doubles down on this sentiment, sharing with Monty how much easier life would be if people were as they appeared to be. As Monty and Phoebe share this intimate moment, Henry has donned his now lavender-scented bee suit and is being swarmed and stung by his won bees. Phoebe screams in horror at the sight of Henry before her. During the young D’Ysquith’s funeral, Monty makes the astute observation that Phoebe would make a fine Countess should Monty Navarro become Earl of Highhurst.
scene 9b: prison cell
Back in his prison cell, Monty reminisces about another woman in the D’Ysquith lineage, his mother’s cousin. Lady Hyacinth D’Ysquith, an advocate for London’s feeble-minded.
scene 10: mayfair
After suffering a year’s worth of stolen donations from her charity for the dull-witted, Lady Hyacinth D’Ysquith is eager for a new cause. During a meeting with fellow society colleagues, Hyacinth discusses her options or lack thereof. Monty, pretending to be a foreign Baron familiar with Lady Hyacinth, suggests the poverty of Egypt may be a cause worthy of her attention. Lady Hyacinth vehemently agrees; founding an orphanage in Cairo will be her cross to bear! Unbeknownst to her, Monty had chosen the war-torn country due to an impending uprising, making the journey quite unsafe for Hyacinth D’Ysquith. The Lady, however, returns to London without issue. Monty is quick to suggest India for Hyacinth to find her purpose; she is quite taken with the idea. Again, Monty, hopeful this D’Ysquith would succumb to a budding malaria pandemic, is shocked to see Lady Hyacinth home safe, sound, utterly unharmed. As a last-ditch effort, Monty suggests the jungles of Africa as the home for Lady D’Ysquith’s philanthropy.
(Please keep in mind this scene uses defamatory assumptions and wrongful stereotypes about the populations in the aforementioned destabilized lands)
scene 11: a London street
Hyacinth finds herself eager to step up to this new challenge. However, Monty did not find himself eager to share that Hyacinth was on her way to a tribe of cannibals. She has finally found her truest purpose... giving herself to others.
scene 11a: the bank
Back at the bank, Monty approaches Lord Asquith D’Ysquith in his office with a handful of paperwork. Lord D’Ysquith begins to discuss Monty’s place in the D’Ysquith line of succession. Now only three heirs precede Monty, including the Lord himself. Before Monty leaves the office, Asquith decides to reward Monty’s effort with a raise. He expresses that Monty is the last one you’d expect to have earned the respect of this old D’Ysquith heir.
scene 11b: Monty’s bachelor apartment
On the up and up, Monty has moved into a new, more suitable bachelor’s apartment. He is visited by Sibella. She compliments Monty’s new station as they discuss how they have both changed for the better. Having only recently returned from her honeymoon, Sibella already finds life with Lionel to be a let-down. As a distraction, the two fall to Monty’s bed in a moment of passion. As Monty sleeps, Sibella contemplates the gains he’s made before announcing she must leave. They make promises to meet the following day.
scene 11c: gym
The following day, under the guise of a “Mr. Goodbody,” Young Monty Navarro is seen at a weight-lifting hall in London, exercising next to the comically large Major Lord Bartholomew D’Ysquith. The Major is partial to the idea that England’s decline will happen through glutinous overindulges and weakness. He finds himself discussing with Monty seeing these very traits inside of Highhurst Castle. Monty finds himself spotting for Bartholomew with strict instructions from the Major not to provide help, even if he screams out. Bartholomew begins to scream, and Monty purposefully misinterprets his exasperation as a cry for more weight. As the D’Ysquith comes to the realization that he can no longer move, his well-toned muscles give out, effectively decapitating him under his own weights.
scene 11d: Phoebe’s drawing room
At the Country Estate, Phoebe D’Ysquith can be seen in her Boudoir, still deep in mourning, when Monty comes to call. The two briefly discuss the late Henry D’Ysquith, his fondness for Monty, and Phoebe’s grief over his loss. Surprised by her fondness for Monty in such a short time, Phoebe is comforted by his caring for her.
scene 11e: Drury Lane Theatre
Two newsboys can be seen advertising a production of Hedda Gabler outside the Drury Lane Theatre in London. Its star, Lady Salome D’Ysquith Pumphrey… she is awful. Performing with grand gestures and brandishing a stage pistol. Monty watches from the wings, familiar with the plot of Hedda Gabler; he has traded the prop gun’s blanks for real bullets. She shoots herself.
scene 11f: various locations
Lord Asquith D’Ysquith, Sibella, and Phoebe muse over their collective fondness for Monty, although… he’s the last one you’d expect to have earned it.
scene 11g: the bank
Monty meets with Lord D’Ysquith in his office at the bank. It has not been put past the Lord, the recent misfortune striking his family. With so many deaths, Monty has risen in the ranks of the family line, and Lord D’Ysquith has decided to appoint Monty as his successor. Lord D’Ysquith leaves Monty alone to ponder that only two D’Ysquiths lie between him and the Highhurst Earldom. In a surprising but not at all unwelcome turn of events. The Physician of Lord D’Ysquith appears, telling Monty that the Lord has meant his untimely death. A heart attack wholeheartedly un-orchestrated by Monty… only one D’Ysquith remains in Monty Navarro’s way.
scene 11h: Act I Finale
The ensemble joins Monty in reveling in this new development. A newspaper article is read by Lord Adalbert, Sibella, and Pheobe stating the suspicious deaths of the seven D’Ysquith heirs. Leaving Monty D’Ysquith Navarro next in line to serve as Earl of Highhurst. Many opinions and suspicions are floating around London regarding these circumstances of “fate.”
The end of Act One sees Monty D’Ysquith Navarro returned to his prison cell in 1909.
scene 1: cemetery
At the top of Act Two, Monty eulogizes Lord Asquith D’Ysquith as visitors surround the Lord’s coffin in mourning. Those gathered here today express valid concern as to why so many members of this noble family have recently met their end. Is it a plague? Recklessness? Who’s to say? Not that they were a much-liked family, to begin with, but you will agree, it’s rather odd.
scene 1a: Highhurst Castle
Contemplating the increasing potential of his own demise, back at Highhurst Castle, Lord Adalbert D’Ysquith finds himself a member of a now highly endangered clan.
scene 2: Monty’s bachelor apartment
After the late Lord’s funeral, Monty and Sibella enjoy an afternoon tryst in Monty’s apartment. He praises her smile, her voice, her face, her deceit; he is unable to stand how she affects him. As Sibella readies to return to her husband, Monty asks her what she may do if he were to marry... she would forbid it, of course. They speak of the obligations of marriage and the flightiness of love. Sibella inquires if Monty would be able to acquire an invitation to Highhurst Castle for Lionel and his future political ambitions. Monty must refuse as he has not yet met the Earl of Highhurst himself, but before they can discuss any further, the doorbell rings…
Sibella, opting to hide in Monty’s bedroom, sits quite as he collects himself enough to answer the door, revealing Phoebe D’Ysquith... Poor timing, old boy. She is still half mourning for her brother and the better part of her family tree. Phoebe has come to tell Monty that she has decided to marry him. Despite the difference in status and public opinion, Phoebe expresses her love for Monty, knowing he loves her as well. Sibella still waiting quietly in the bedroom, not wanting to prompt a scandal with her presence. Surmises that the female voice is that of Phoebe D’Ysquith; she stumbles, attempting to listen to the conversation on the other side of the door. Piquing the interest of Phoebe, Monty must come up with an excuse quickly and blames the sound in the adjoining room on a new manservant… Wadsworth. Monty begins contemplating the absurdity of his current predicament. Should he marry the lovely Phoebe or continue his tryst with the passionate Sibella? Keeping in line with the mission of obtaining a title and being reminded of the fact that Sibella is indeed already wed, Monty agrees to Phoebe’s proposal. After achieving her goal of engagement, Phoebe announces that she must promptly exit, leaving Monty in a place of exhausted contemplation and Sibella in a place of stealth curiosity.
Following the stressful intrusion, Monty pours Sibella and himself a drink. Sibella ventures to ask what all the excitement was about. Monty manages to provide a reasonable white lie as to the purpose of Miss D’Ysquith’s visit before promptly changing the subject as the two fall into another passionate embrace.
scene 3: London street/prison cell
In a surprising turn of events… Lady Hyacinth has escaped the African cannibals and is due to return home to England. Upon hearing the news, Monty devises other plans. He decides to take an ax to the harbor structure where the Lady D’Ysquith will dock. Causing immediate collapse upon disembarking, problem solved… again.
scene 4: Great Hall of Highhurst Castle
Lord Adalbert and his wife, Lady Eugenia D’Ysquith, are seen in The Great Hall of Highhurst Castle. They banter about the early demise of one another as a butler enters, announcing Phoebe D’Ysquith and the notable Mr. Montague D’Ysquith Navarro, arm in arm. Phoebe reintroduces herself to the Earl and Countess and introduces Monty. He bows at the honor of meeting his greatest challenge yet. Two familial busts lining the hall seem to burst to life with delight as Monty has finally been received at Highhurst Castle, but they advise proceeding cautiously. Monty, eager to escape the unhelpful busts, follows Lord Adalbert, who wishes to show Monty a collection of weapons. Subsequently, and maybe not entirely by coincidence, Sibella is escorted into Highhurst Castle. She anxiously greats the Lady Eugenia with regrets that her husband, the admirable Lionel Holland, could not join her on this visit. In an attempt to remove herself from the interaction of an unwanted guest, Lady Eugenia introduces Sibella to Phoebe, who, not knowing who Sibella is, graciously offers her hand in introduction. The two exchange pleasantries and compliments as Monty and the lord return to The Great Hall. Not being able to see Sibella, Monty joins Lord Adalbert in offering a toast to the room. As Monty has just announced his intention to marry Miss Phoebe D’Ysquith. After an ill-advised jab towards Monty’s late mother and a joke about the course of events that lead Monty to his place in line for the Earldom. The D’Ysquiths lead the way into the dining room, leaving Monty and Sibella alone in the Great Hall.
scene 4a: Highhurst Castle
Tired of his games, Sibella confronts Monty regarding his recent engagement. She all but begs him to call off the wedding, citing the comfortable marriage they could have had together. Monty, imagining that their marriage could have been quite successful as a result of their love for one another, is put off when Sibella reveals that it was her certainty of his love for her that prompted her to risk marrying Lionel. Was she to expect that Monty would set aside his own life to live in the shadows with her? Insulted but ever the gentleman, Monty excuses himself to join dinner, as Sibella takes a moment to compose herself before following.
scene 5: Highhurst Castle dining room
The tense atmosphere is palatable as everyone is sat for dinner in the Dining Room of Highhurst Castle. Lord Adalbert promptly insults the meal and his wife. An awkwardness settles over the room as the Lord and Lady resume their morbid jest with one another. In an attempt to mitigate the awkwardness and garner respect from her hosts, Sibella expresses an inability to keep good help for longer than six months. Lady Eugenia turns to her servant in response, asking how long her tenure at Highhurst Castle has been. None other than Miss Shingle, who began Monty’s whole adventure, turns to answer that she has been with the D’Ysquiths for an astounding thirty-nine years. She did, in fact, know Monty’s mother quite well. Her unexpected presence puts Monty on edge. Sibella, ever the try-hard, directs the conversation to a recent experience at the symphony. As Monty reveals the presence of a vial of poison in his pocket, contemplating the best conduit for its use on Lord Adalbert. Drawn out of his thought by the Lord, Adalbert begins bringing attention to various weapons throughout the room and the tragic and vague tales of the D’Ysquiths they’ve done in. Taking a rifle from the wall, Adalbert recounts his most famed battle and begins pointing the gun at his dinner guests, who now sit to enjoy a small dessert. Not wanting to pay for it later, Lord Adalbert presents his dessert dish to Sibella. Unbeknownst to the table, Monty has decided just what to do with that poison in his pocket. A treat to top off dessert with, if you will. Before the other guests could discover, Monty fumbles for the dish now in front of his love, feigning clumsy. Still, in the thralls of the memory of battle, Adalbert loads his rifle with a genuine bullet. He begins to hold the weapon out towards Monty, prompting Monty to take it and point it at him. Lord Adalbert’s sanity slowly unravels as he begs Monty to put the gun down, thinking he is someone from his past. As Monty takes aim and… Adalbert drops dead. But not by Monty’s hand, another freebie for Mr. Navarro.
scene 6: D’Ysquith Estate/wedding
The next we see of Monty, he is at the D’Ysquith Estate in Salisbury celebrating his wedding to Phoebe. Finally, he is Lord Montague D’Ysquith Navarro, Ninth Earl of Highhurst, and Phoebe, now Lady Navarro, Countess of Highhurst. While mingling with his wedding guests, Monty is approached by Chief Inspector Pinckney of Scotland Yard. He has come to the festivities with strict instructions to arrest Monty Navarro. Monty contemplates just who’s death could have been his downfall and is surprised to hear when the inspector says the name of Lord Adalbert D’Ysquith, who dropped dead of his own accord.
scene 7: the trial
Despite his confusion, Monty awaits in the prisoner’s Box of Westminster Hall. It has been revealed that the Lord died through poisoning, and Monty is claiming not guilty! A slew of witnesses approaches with the intent of clarifying the events of dinner at Highhurst. The Medical Examiner had determined that there was poison in the port. Three employees of Highhurst Castle confirmed that no one but his Lordship touched the port, and Miss Shingle expressed adamantly that it was the Lord’s poor health that did him in. The Lady Eugenia D’Ysquith testifies that the Lord had concerns about Monty’s eagerness to be recognized as a D’Ysquith. When taking the stand, Sibella shares how no one would blame Monty’s desire to take his place as a D’Ysquith after the abhorrent treatment of his mother. Phoebe D’Ysquith speaks of nothing but her husband’s kindness and good nature. Monty expresses his belief that his trial is based solely on conjecture and begs the court to end it!
scene 8: prison cell
After the trial, and on the evening before his verdict is announced, Monty sits in his prison cell, penning his memoir, when a man enters, interested in tidying the cell. The man, Chauncey, praises Monty for his candor during his trial and reveals that he himself is a disowned D’Ysquith. Chauncey shares an almost relief of not being known by the D’Ysquith family. He may not get to share their joys, but he doesn’t have to live with their trouble either. He wishes Monty luck with his verdict as a guard comes bringing with him Phoebe D’Ysquith. Phoebe wants so desperately to love and support Monty through this time, but she has one doubt. Phoebe believes that Sibella, who has appeared to be ever-present throughout his trial, is in love with Monty. She asks as much, and she has her answer in his inability to respond, leaving Monty alone again in his cell. All Monty can do now is wait and sleep.
scene 9: interrogation room/hallway
On the morning Monty's verdict is to be announced, Sibella sits with Inspector Pinckney in an interrogation room, blaming the entire poisoning plot on Phoebe. Oppositely, Phoebe occupies another room with the court's Magistrate, blaming the whole debacle on Sibella. The two women go back and forth, assigning blame for the poor Earl's death. Both admit they saw the other commit the heinous act of poisoning the port. Both have proof in the form of hand-written letters from the other, and both are adamant about Monty's innocence. After the women's interviews, the Inspector and Magistrate, both now convinced of the culprit, are surprised to hear the other came to the opposite conclusion. The two decide they must both interview the other's witness. The women, now telling their stories to a new set of ears, double down on the demoralizing of one another. In begging for the court's intervention in Monty's case and striving to create reasonable doubt, it appears that Phoebe and Sibella, in fact, are working together towards this end.
scene 10: prison cell/prison gate
Monty is startled awake when the guard brings Inspector Pinckney and the Magistrate to his cell. They have come to let him know that charges against him have been dropped. He is free. As he is escorted from the prison, a group is waiting and cheering for the Earl of Highhurst.
scene 10a: Act II finale
Both Phoebe and Sibella stand beside Monty. He is still unable to choose between the two loves of his life. As Monty is being released, he comes to the shocking revelation that he has left his memoirs behind, documenting his stay and the crimes he did, in fact, commit. But, as if by chance, the guard approaches Monty, bringing him his journaled memoirs, expecting he would want them. Miss Shingle can be seen amongst Monty’s supporters. Although Monty is guilty of many things, it is revealed that Miss Shingle was the culprit in the poisoning of Lord Adalbert D’Ysquith. Monty has succeeded and been freed. Still, at the end of our story, we see Chauncey D’Ysquith with a smirk on his face and poison in his pocket.
Piano/Conductor - Matthew Stern
Violin - Marissa Licata
Violoncello - Benjamin Swarz
Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet - Rod Ferland
Bassoon, Clarinets - Thomas Carroll
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Paul Perfetti
Percussion - Josh Goldman
Substitutes: Stanley Silverman (violin), Anna Seda (violoncello), Louis Toth (bassoon, clarinet), Rich Kelley, Michael Peipman (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Musicians are represented by the American Federation of Musicians local 9-535.
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
** Represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829 of the IATSE
“This show has challenging music and some of the best lyrics since Sondheim,” says Veloudos, who directed 10 of Stephen Sondheim’s musicals during his 21-year tenure as producing artistic director of the Lyric before his retirement in 2019. “There’s a reason why I chose this cast.”
“Race on over to the LYRIC STAGE to see the Tony Award-winning Best Musical A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER! This is a sparkling production of a truly hilarious farce featuring a crack cast in a crackpot musical murder mystery– in reverse! We know who done it — it’s the how that keeps things moving, and a top notch ensemble of Boston luminaries directed by the Lyric’s marvelous artistic director “emeritus” Spiro Veloudos.”
"The Lyric Stage laugh fest is a revival for all seasons."-Jules Becker, South End News
Kate Klika, Jennifer Ellis*, Robert St. Laurence*, Leigh Barrett*, Phil Tayler, Aimee Doherty*, Todd McNeel, Jr., Lori L’Italien. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Jared Troilo*, Karen Murphy*. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Aimee Doherty*, Jared Troilo*. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Jared Troilo* and the cast of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Jared Troilo* and Neil A. Casey*. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Jared Troilo* and Jennifer Ellis*. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Lori L’Italien, Kate Klika, Robert St. Laurence*, Neil A. Casey*, Phil Tayler, Todd McNeel, Jr., Leigh Barrett*. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Jennifer Ellis, Robert St. Laurence*, Kate Klika, Phil Tayler, Jared Troilo*, Lori L’Italien, Aimee Doherty*, Todd McNeel, Jr., Leigh Barrett*. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Kate Klika, Todd McNeel, Jr., and the cast of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Aimee Doherty*, Jennifer Ellis*, Jared Troilo*. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Aimee Doherty*, Leigh Barrett*, and Jennifer Ellis*. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Leigh Barrett*, Jennifer Ellis*, Jared Troilo*, Aimee Doherty*, Neil A. Casey*. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Todd McNeel, Jr., Lori L’Italien, Jennifer Ellis*, Leigh Barrett*, Neil A Casey*, Phil Tayler, Kate Klika, Aimee Doherty*, Robert St. Laurence*, Karen Murphy*, Jared Troilo*. Photo by Mark S. Howard.
Josh Goldman (Percussion), Benjamin Swarz (Violoncello), Ron Ferland (Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet), Matthew Stern (Musical Director),
Paul Perfetti (Trumpet, Flugelhorn), Thomas Carroll (Bassoon, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet), Marissa Licata (Violin)