Photo by Hope Catherine Clark
By Hope Katherine Clark
The upcoming fall musical, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” is one of a kind with a small, hardworking cast, elaborate set and twisting plotline. Showtimes are fast approaching and tickets will be available in the campus bookstore.
Showings of the musical will be Nov. 1-3 and Nov. 9-10 in Weller Auditorium. The Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. and the Sunday shows are at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale in the Concordia Bookstore beginning Oct. 21 and ticket pricing is $10 for general admission and $5 for Concordia students and faculty.
The cast and crew has been hard at work to make this show one to remember–it is unique as the cast is smaller than is typical for a musical and every member has several different roles.
“[T]he story centers around a gentleman named Monty Navarro who’s played by Garret Drews, and he finds out at the beginning of the show that he actually belongs to one of the wealthier families in the community that owns a manor, and that he is in line to be the earl and to inherit this huge estate, but there are nine people ahead of him in line, and so, in order to take the earldom, he has to eliminate those nine people, which is where the murder comes in,” senior Dana Simpkin said. “The nine people of the family are all played by one actor, Joseph Greenmyer, so he’s the entire D’Ysquith family … and there’s, of course, the elements of love in the form of a love triangle between Phoebe, one of the beautiful, pious gals, played by Bethany Schilling, who proposes to Monty, and Sibella, who’s played by … Sammi Pietanza, who is sultry and … Monty’s longtime, lustful lover who actually ends up getting married to someone else … so he’s torn between the two of them and insanity ensues as he goes about knocking off the nine family members and navigating this twisted relationship with two of these gals.”
The portrayal of the challenging characters by the leads is not the only obstacle faced by the cast. The ensemble also tackles complicated roles and costume changes.
“[The ensemble cast members] play different characters as far as funeral mourners, clerks at a bank, picture frames in the castle, servants at a dinner, a whole wide variety and it’s actually … a lot of work for them too and it is a very demanding show, so there really isn’t a weak link at all,” sophomore Garret Drews said.
The diverse roles require intricate help backstage to make the show run smoothly, including at least one individual per actor to assist with the multitude of costume and set changes.
“We always take help if there’s people who are interested in helping with set stuff, working on the set or helping out backstage [with] hair, makeup, [et cetera],” Simpkin said. “You can get service hours, you can get class credit for it sometimes, depending on … what you need, and that applies across the board with shows, so if people are ever interested in helping out, either with this, next semester, or whenever, they can contact me or Bryan [Moore].”