Original Wicked Star to Join Broadway's A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

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27 Aug 2014

Carole Shelley

Carole Shelley, the Tony Award-winning theatre veteran who created the role of Madame Morrible in the Broadway production of Wicked, will join the cast of the Tony-winning musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, producers announced Aug. 27.

Shelley will step into the role of Miss Shingle Oct. 28, replacing original cast member Jane Carr, who will depart the production Oct. 26.

Shelley, a Tony winner for The Elephant Man, was Tony-nominated for her performances in Billy Elliot, Stepping Out and Absurd Person Singluar. She has also appeared in Cabaret, Show Boat, The Odd Couple, The Miser, Noises Off, Hay Fever, The Norman Conquests and Loot.

Based on the 1907 novel "Israel Rank" by Roy Horniman, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder has a book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak and lyrics by Freedman and Lutvak. Darko Tresnjak directs, and Peggy Hickey choreographs.

The musical earned four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.



Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife) plays eight roles in the frisky romp about a line of heirs, family money and homicide. The cast also features Bryce Pinkham (Love's Labour's Lost, Ghost), Lisa O'Hare, Lauren Worsham, Pamela Bob, Joanna Glushak, Eddie Korbich, Jeff Kready, Mark Ledbetter, Jennifer Smith, Price Waldman and Catherine Walker.

Here's how the dark musical comedy is billed: "Monty Navarro (Pinkham) has just received some really great news from his late mother’s lifelong friend Miss Shingle (Carr)! He’s a long-lost member of a noble family and could become the next Earl of Highhurst. There are only eight minor issues, namely the other relatives who precede him in line for the title. So Monty does what any ambitious, highborn gentleman would do: he sets out to eliminate them one by one, all while juggling his mistress (O'Hare) (she’s after more than just love), his fiancée (Worsham) (she’s his cousin, but who’s keeping track?), plus the constant threat of landing behind bars! But it will all be worth it if he can slay his way into Highhurst Castle… and be done in time for tea. Each of the eight heirs perilously standing in the way of Monty’s fortune are played by Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays, in one of the most breathtaking, whiplash-inducing performances ever attempted on the American stage."

The design team includes Alexander Dodge (scenic design), Linda Cho (costume design), Philip S. Rosenberg (lighting design), Dan Moses Schreier (sound design), Aaron Rhyne (projection design) and Charles LaPointe (wig design). Orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick, and vocal arrangements are by Dianne Adams McDowell. Paul Staroba serves as music director.

Freedman (book and lyrics) was nominated for an Emmy Award and a Writers Guild Award for the ABC miniseries "Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows" starring Judy Davis. He won the Writers Guild Award for HBO's "A Deadly Secret" and was also nominated for ABC's "Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella" starring Brandy and Whitney Houston. He was a finalist for the Humanitas Prize for the GLAAD Award-winning "What Makes a Family." For his musical theatre work with Steven Lutvak, Freedman won the Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyric Writing, the Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting and the California Musical Theatre Award. Their musical Campaign of the Century has been performed at the New York Musical Theatre Festival and the Chicago Humanities Festival. He is the co-author, with Faye Greenberg, of the one-man play The Beast of Broadway: The Life and Times of David Merrick.

Lutvak (music, lyrics and vocal Arrangements) wrote the title track to Paramount's hit film "Mad Hot Ballroom." Lutvak and Freedman also wrote "Campaign of the Century," which was presented at the Chicago Humanities Festival and the New York Musical Theatre Festival, winning the California Musical Theater Award Competition from the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild. Lutvak's other musicals include The Wayside Motor Inn, Almost September (eight San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards and seven Dramalogue Awards for its West Coast premiere) and Esmeralda, for which he won a New American Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His other awards include two Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Grants and the Johnny Mercer Emerging American Songwriter Award. As a singer/songwriter, Lutvak has performed at Carnegie Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall and around the country.

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder is produced by Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, 50 Church Street Productions, Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Catherine & Fred Adler, Rhoda Herrick, Kathleen K. Johnson, Megan Savage, Shadowcatcher Entertainment, Ron Simons, True Love Productions, Jamie deRoy, Four Ladies & One Gent, John Arthur Pinckard, Greg Nobile, Stewart Lane & Bonnie Comley, Exeter Capital/Ted Snowdon, Ryan Hugh Mackey, Cricket-CTM Media/Mano-Horn Productions, Dennis Grimaldi/Margot Astrachan, Hello Entertainment/Jamie Bendell, Michael T. Cohen/Joe Sirola, Joseph & Carson Gleberman/William Megevick and Robert Greenblatt, in association with The Hartford Stage and the Old Globe Theatre.

Visit Telecharge.com. The Walter Kerr Theatre is located at 219 W. 48th Street.