A Reporters Review to ‘A Gentlemen’s Guide’

The Best Of Theater Department’s 2019-2020 Musical 


Photo By Sarah Johnson

Senior Evan Vines playing Lord Adalbert right before his characters death in “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun.” As the last D’Ysquith of the show to be killed, the scene is filled with hilarious irony as the character recounts a different near death experience.

Kaley Johnson, Reporter

This year’s musical, “A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder”, impressed everyone in attendance, two weekends ago, with its talented cast and genius humor. The play tells the story of Monty Navarro, a somewhat poor man who recently lost his mother, who soon discovers that she was a disowned member of the aristocratic D’Ysquith family and that he holds the position of ninth in line to become the Earl of Highhurst. In love with a woman who deems him too poor to marry, he decides that to gain her love he must kill all eight family members ahead of him so he can become Earl, as any sane man in love would do (Joe Goldberg much?). 

Going into the show as a musical theatre fan, I had previously heard about “A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder”, however, my knowledge only stretched as far as one song, so I was excited to discover a show with an amazing cast of people I’ve known all my life. I was anything but disappointed.

Senior Emma Vaughn was amazing as the small yet aggressive Miss Shingle. Junior Sydney Solberg was perfect as Sibella Hallward, the married woman Monty is in love with, and senior Megan Magill was fantastic as Phoebe D’Ysquith, a distant cousin of Monty’s who he soon finds a connection with. 

Monty, an awkward, hopelessly in love and determined young man was played by senior Nathan Wright. His voice was perfect for the role and he captured Monty’s hilarious hesitance flawlessly. Most impressive though may have been senior Evan Vines who was tasked with the part of the entire D’Ysquith family excluding Monty, Phoebe and any character who may have married into the family. 

In every production of the show, all nine characters of the D’Ysquith family are played by one person, the last only coming in towards the end and also the only one to live through the whole show. The other eight members of the family were all killed by Monty at some point in the show. Each member and death was also used as a comedic scene, Vines did great at creating diverse personalities for each character and each one was hysterical in their own ways. My favorite family members/death scenes were probably Reverend Ezekiel and Lord Henry D’Ysquith.

Also, something to note was the on-stage chemistry of Wright and Vines. Having more scenes together than anyone else, Wright did a great job of reacting differently to each D’Ysquith he had to kill. Specifically iconic though was the scene before Lord Henry D’Ysquith was killed in which they sang the song “Better With a Man” which highly inferred the sexuality of Vines’ current character hilariously, if a little stereotypical.

My only complaint was at times it was hard to understand some of the girls. However, the songs were sung very operatically and beautifully that it was almost unnoticeable as I was so engaged in the show just because of their beautiful voices.

Throughout the entire show, everyone was either so entranced by the talent or crying laughing in their seats. By the end, everyone was on their feet with applause and smiles. It was definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen put on the theatre department and I hope to see it do well this year at the Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards because I know I’d give it every award possible.