Get to Know the National Tour Cast of ‘A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder’

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, opens at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre Sept. 29. The hilarious musical follows Monty Navarro, who sets out to eliminate the eight relatives who stand between him and the family fortune. And don’t forget about his fiancée and mistress.

Make It Better asked the cast to share their pre-show rituals, what they’re looking forward to the most about Chicago, and thoughts on opening the national tour.

John Rapson (The D’Ysquith Family)

“Come see us! It’s an amazing night at the theater. I can guarantee some hilarious, spine-tingling hijinks are headed toward the Windy City. Can’t wait to be back!”


Describe your character in one word.

“Well, chaos is the first word that comes to mind! I play all eight members of the D’Ysquith family: men, women, old, young, etc. So as you might imagine, my show is a little bit hectic and a whole lot of fun. At one point I have 17 seconds to go from a young, slimy, mustached lothario to a 70-year-old bank manager. It’s a chaotic whirlwind of costumes, facial hair, genders, and accents, but it’s incredibly exhilarating.”

Is there anything you want to do or anywhere you want to go while you’re in Chicago?

“SO MUCH! I love Chicago. I’m a Michigan boy so Chicago was my metropolis growing up! I’ve got my Girl and the Goat reservations, I love the architecture cruise, I’m pumped for a Portillo’s dog (I could go on and on about the food but I won’t at the moment!), and I’m really just so excited to see so many amazing friends (many of whom are staples in the AMAZING Chicago theatrical community) who call Chicago home. It really is one of my favorite cities.”

Kevin Massey (Monty Navarro)

“We can’t wait to open this show in Chicago. It’s a great city and a great match for our show!”


Describe your character in one word.

“Hungry. Hungry for redemption, for returned love, for position, for status, for revenge.”

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

“I do some push-ups to get the blood going … and brush my teeth so the girls won’t hate me after all the kissing!”

Is there anything you want to do or anywhere you want to go while you’re in Chicago?

“I’d love to see some local shows. The theater scene in Chicago is top-notch, so there is a lot to enjoy. It’d be great to catch a baseball game too.”

Kristen Beth Williams (Sibella Hallward)

“I can’t wait to get back to Chicago! I think it’s the perfect place to open this amazing show and kick off our tour.”


What’s your favorite song or scene in “Gentleman’s Guide”?

“Do I have to choose just one? Of course, ‘I’ve Decided to Marry You’ is probably at the top of the list of my favorite songs that I’m in, but I love watching John Rapson and Kevin Massey do ‘Better With a Man.’ It makes me laugh every single time. They look like they’re having so much fun!”

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

“I listen to music that has nothing to do with the show and sing along. I try to check in with John, Kevin, and Adrienne at some point. And on Saturday nights, at half hour, I usually play R. Kelly’s ‘Ignition (Remix)’ and have a mini dance party … it’s something that started in the Ladies’ Ensemble room at ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’ on Broadway, and it always puts me in a good mood.”

Adrienne Eller (Phoebe D’Ysquith)

“I am most looking forward to sharing this amazing production across the country. Not only do I get to see the US and Canada, but I also get to bring ‘Gentleman’s Guide’ to audiences all over the country for the first time.”


What’s your favorite song or scene in “Gentleman’s Guide”?

“My favorite song is ‘I’ve Decided to Marry You.’ It is excellently written and choreographed, and so much fun to perform.” 

Is there anything you want to do or anywhere you want to go while you’re in Chicago?

“I’ll definitely be having some deep dish pizza! I would also like to cruise along the river and just explore the city.”

Mary VanArsdel (Miss Shingle)

“‘Gentleman’s Guide’ is one of the funniest, most expertly staged and performed shows to come along in a long time. Anyone who loves to laugh will get more than their money’s worth, and I would even say it is not to be missed!”


Describe your character in one word.

“Kooky. Miss Shingle is delightfully eccentric, and has probably been driven a little crazy by 39 years of working for the horrible D’Ysquith clan.”

Is there anything you want to do or anywhere you want to go while you’re in Chicago?

“I was in Chicago for six months with ‘Mary Poppins’ in 2009, so I would like to revisit some of my favorite things such as The Art Institute and the Architectural Boat Tour. Chicago has some of the best architecture in the world.”


A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” runs through Oct. 11 at Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St., Chicago. Learn more about the show and buy tickets here.

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