Attention, Theatregoers: This is one of the season's best!
You like Sex? Murder? Whimsy? Action? Comedy? Scenes galore? A fantastic script? Glorious costumes?
Come to Little Theatre of Alexandria's production of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and you shall find them. (But only on Jan. 31, Feb. 5 and Feb. 6 when seats are available. )
In the desirable setting in post-Victorian England (1909), this "gentleman" soars, leaps, and celebrates a good time of hysterics, music, and fun.
Chuck Dluhy is the star attraction who "only" has nine roles as D'Ysquith family members, on his way up the family ladder, as it were. While his "relatives" temporarily thwart his ascent, he devises means to uproot their positions in the inheritance line so he can slide into Position Number One.
Director Frank D. Shutts II does an excellent job molding Mr. Dluhy into the different characters which Mr. Dluhy handles with ease and hilarious heroics. Backstage handlers are to be commended for stitching and switching him up quickly between scenes. (Is this the same person? Yes, it is!)
Jean Schlicting and Kit Sibley's handsomely designed costumes and styling whet fancies and contribute to the show's success, made all the more enjoyable by the 12-member orchestra led by Christopher A. Tomasino, assisted by pianist Steven J. McBride Jr.
Matt Liptak's backdrop for many and varied scenes is a rich and red floor-to-ceiling curtain which the staff easily transitions. Kirsten Apker's props are minimalist and perfectly adequate.
That I saw this Gentleman only last October in Reston and still revel in its charm and fantastic entertainment is testimony to its achievement. After all, in 2014 it won four Tonys (including Best Musical) and was nominated for six more.
The play (by Robert L. Freeman based on the 1907 novel by Roy Horniman) is not entirely fictitious since H. H. Asquith (1852-1928) was the first Earl of Oxford and Asquith, and he was also UK prime minister from 1908-1916. Wikipedia notes, "it was a matter of family pride" for Lord Asquith that his family had an ancestor who served jail time for participating in a movement to reject the monarchy (1663).
Other cast members, most with multiple roles, are
lyrics; Mary Beth Smith-Toomey, producer; Stefan Sittig, choreographer; Rob Cork and Nick Friedlander, stage
managers; Ken and Patti Crowley, lighting design; David Correia, sound; Susan Boyd, hair and makeup; and Cheryl Sinsabaugh, dialogue coach.
What: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder
When: Now through February 8, 2020. All shows sold out except for Jan. 31, Feb. 5 and Feb. 6.
Where: Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Tickets: Start at $29
Language rating: G
Duration: About two hours and 30 minutes with one 15-minute intermission
Public transportation: Check the Metro website.
Parking: On the streets and in many garages nearby with free theatre parking at the Capital One Bank at Wilkes and Washington streets (when the bank is closed).
For more information: Box Office: 703-683-0496
Business Office: 703-683-5778; Fax: 703-683-1378