Gorey violence and heartfelt romance can make for great entertainment; add music and comedy and what comes together is a Tony award winning production of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” This delightfully tenacious musical is the latest production of Dickinson State University's theater program and will be on performance Dec. 12, 13, and 14, beginning at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 2:30 p.m. inside the Dorothy Stickney Auditorium.
The Broadway production won four Tony awards in 2014, which includes Best Musical.
In between the musical numbers, witty dialogue and an intriguing story-line, is a body count that will keep the audience guessing of who exactly is the hero in this fable.
Monty, played by Tanner Bush, a senior Music major, is out for revenge against the D’Ysquiths, a wealthy family of snobs who disinherited his mother years prior. He also hopes that with fewer of them around, might see some of their money.
“I love being part of the theater and being part of a production that is fun to perform for everybody,” said Bush.
The role is a tour-de-force for Bush, as he rarely leaves the stage.
Cole Beck, a junior Music/Theater major in his third production at DSU, will also quite busy. He will be playing nine different members of the D’Ysquith clan with impeccable timing of his costume changes.
“The audience should definitely look out for how quickly I have to change from one character to another,” Beck said. “It's going to be quite hectic backstage but exciting.”
Monty’s pert mistress Sibella, played by senior Theater major Rachael Solberg, strings him along while looking for a mate with deeper pockets.
“This is going to be my last musical here as an undergrad, I will be graduating in a couple weeks.” Solberg said. “It's a really fun show and we haven't done a big ensemble show in awhile so it's great to have so many people involved.”
He takes solace in the arms of his demure distant cousin Phoebe, played by senior Music major Julianne Skaff.
“I love singing and I love the people that I work with, It's a pleasure to collaborate.,” said Skaff.
Six more DSU students and three guest actors from Dickinson High School make up the supporting cast. One of those High school students is senior, Isaac Mills.
“The director at the High School informed me they had auditions and I went for it,” Mills said. “When it comes to acting you have to just go for it. You never know where it can take you.”
Mills recently performed in the High school production of “Poe: Dreams of Madness.”
Recently retired from the DHS faculty, Michael Stevenson will design and coordinate costumes. DSU instructor of music Cheryl Hewson is the musical director. Jarvis Jahner, DSU associate professor of Theater, is the technical director and designer.
Tickets for community members are $10 each. For families looking for holiday entertainment, children 10 and up are welcome. Tickets are available at www.dsuarts.com or at the door. DSU students, staff, and faculty are admitted free with a valid ID.