Tallahassee theatre brings back musical comedy after a pandemic shut down
Theatre Tallahassee opens a show next week with its interpretation of the Tony Award winning musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.
“It takes place in Edwardian England. A young gentleman finds out that he is related to the D'Ysquith family and that means he is 8th in line to become the next Earl,” says director Jessy Reaves. “He’s in love with this woman that he's grown up with, and she kind of goads him and says ‘you know, how likely is it that you'll be the Earl because eight people would have to die for that to happen,’ and he gets insulted by the family, so he decides he's going to murder his way to the top.”
The show has been more than a year and a half in the making. The cast rehearsed for three weeks early last year before they were shut down.
“I found out three hours before we had to tell the cast, says Reaves. As for a brief attempt at rehearsing remotely via Zoom, she says “it was a disaster.”
So their efforts were postponed for more than a year. Once the new show dates were chosen, it was time to reassemble the cast and crew. But a lot can change in a year.
“One of the original cast members had a child,” Reaves says. “Another graduated college and moved, and another one is working on someone's campaign trail.”
“I wanted to finish it out, you know, see it through,” says Jesse Hinton. He plays Monty, the gentleman with his sights set on becoming royalty. “Like I tell everybody, my ego is too big to let anybody else do this part,” he laughs, “but it's fun. I'm having a good time for sure.”
Hinton moved to the Destin area during the pandemic but is back temporarily, staying with friends and going home on the weekends for his restaurant job. He’ll be acting alongside Robert Stuart, who portrays the seven male and two female characters that make up the entire D'Ysquith family.
“It's really a musical comedy farce. It's really clever. It's a show that needs to be seen,” says Stuart, who is also the show’s prop designer. “To me, it's just what we need, even though it's a little macabre. But we need laughter, and we need theatre again.”
A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder opens October 28th at Theatre Tallahassee and runs for three weekends. Seating will be reduced to allow social distancing among audience members, and masks are required.
Click here to see show times and buy tickets.