theater

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder Review

BY TARA BURKE

As a I mentioned in a previous post, Cailin chose to go to “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” for her Valentine’s Day treat. She was interested in going because she is a fan of the comedic Broadway shows. She really loved “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, which is also a comedy and since we hadn’t seen a show in awhile, she was looking for a good laugh.

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The show revolves around Monty Navarro who finds out that he has familial ties to the rich and highly esteemed D’Ysquiths family. In turn, he goes on a murderous quest to become the first heir in line to be declared Earl of Highhurst. The plot in itself is entertaining and as always the voices were great, but for some reason “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” fell a little flat for us. It just wasn’t as funny or witty as we expected it to be. Jefferson Mays who plays all eight D’Ysquiths in the way of Monty Navarro’s rise to Earldom was highly praised for his performance. He definitely pulled the craziness, greediness, flamboyance and self-righteousness out of each of his varied characters, but a lot of the humor was based off of silly contorted faces compared to cleverly timed comedic relief. We both enjoy a screwball comedy once in a while, but we only found ourselves laughing a few times at this show. However, there were plenty of people howling away in laughter at the show, so to each his own! It wasn’t our favorite musical we’ve ever seen, but as a whole, we enjoyed the experience.

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Another thing I’ll have to fill you in on is Rush Tickets for AGLAM. The box office at the Walter Kerr Theatre opens at 10am on weekdays through Saturday and 12pm on Sundays. On Saturday we arrived at 10:30am and the rush tickets ($42 for side orchestra and box seats) were sold out. They were selling $65 tickets for the same seating area at this time, which they don’t advertise doing anywhere. So, if you miss rush that’s something to keep in mind. We opted to try again on Sunday and to be safe got there around 9:50am. There was only one person in front of us in line, but it was one of the coldest and windiest days of the year, so people would get in line and then give up after 30 minutes.

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We stuck it out and at 11:30am they let us wait inside, thank goodness. We ended up getting first row tickets (all rush tickets are a slightly obstructed view) on the left side of the theater. Due to the stage props at certain times we couldn’t see back center stage, but we had the advantage of being so close that we could hear individual cast member’s voices. That was pretty cool, because if you sit further away their voices blend into perfect melodies and harmonies, but we could actually identify who was the tenor and who was the bass in a lot of songs. It was also a testament to how great their voices actually are.

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Shakespeare in the Park: King Lear

BY TARA BURKE

I love everything about Shakespeare’s plays and there is really nothing like seeing them performed. After all, Shakespeare’s prose was intended for the stage, so if you aren’t particularity keen on Shakespeare, or remember tirelessly trying to get through Elizabethan English in high school, I’d definitely recommend attending a performance. Shakespeare in the Park is the perfect opportunity to do so. It’s always free to the public, so you don’t have to make a financial investment and it’s possible you can get tickets just by entering their virtual lottery on their website. Even if you end up seeing a tragedy, which statistically is very probable, Shakespeare always has great comic relief. One of my favorite things about Shakespeare is how his plays can still get a whole 21st century audience laughing. It just shows how timeless his writing and themes are. Okay, enough with my Shakespeare rant haha!

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So Cailin, who also shares my affinity for Shakespeare, and I went bright and early (5am!) to the Delacorte Theater Box Office in Central Park to wait for the free ticket distribution. You should try to get there around 6am if you want to hopefully guarantee yourself tickets. They start handing out tickets at noon so it was quite a wait, but it wasn’t so bad since we just chilled on a blanket with lots of coffee on a nice morning in the park.

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The inflatable pool lounges were my favorite form of a makeshift bed. People came prepared!

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For the rest of the day we picnicked on the Great Lawn and strolled around Shakespeare Garden until showtime. We were lucky enough to catch the last run of The Public Theater’s production of King Lear. The show was excellent and everything from the acting, production, and costumes to the set design was just great. You really are getting a huge deal being able to see a Shakespeare production of this caliber in NYC for free. Next summer we are definitely planning on going to more!

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