PLAYBILL ON OPENING NIGHT: A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder — Die! Die! My D'Ysquiths!

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18 Nov 2013

Bryce Pinkham
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The two leading ladies in an amorous tug-of-war over that bounder Monty — O'Hare and Worsham — sing beautifully and should be remembered at Tony time for their Broadway debuts. And there is also that flawless physical comedy they participate in where where they both sing of their love to their Monty-in-the-middle, who is struggling almost heroically to keep his women from colliding.

"People just love a door-slamming farce, I guess," reasoned Worsham. "This was the most applause we've ever had for that number, but it stops the show every night."

Added O'Hare: "Peggy Hickey has done a wonderful job with that number. It's very tightly choreographed, but it took us a long, long time to get to that."

An hour after the show, O'Hare was holding on to her British accent, which turns out to be authentic. She's from Northwest England and was a London Mary Poppins.

She's having a lot of fun as the blonde Sibella, and, although she really is a blonde, she showed up as a brunette at the party. "Sibella's so much fun for me," the actress admitted. "She's the ultimate narcissist, and that kind of woman is always fun to play. And she's very complex. There's a lot to her. The minute you think you've understood her, she has gone off in a different direction — and that's a fun thing."

Composer Steven Lutvak's champion is Worsham. "I love the music. I'm obsessed with the music, and it's so easy on the voice. Steven has written a timeless score. It borrows from so many traditions but also creates something new — especially in the second act. I think you hear a bunch of stuff that you don't hear every day on Broadway. It's an honor to get to sing it every night."

Lutvak said the score took "only" ten years to write, but time often stopped when he and Freedman were collaborating or working collectively on the lyrics. "Whenever it's Robert and me alone in a room writing, it's always been incredible fun," Lutvak relayed. "We had so much fun writing it, it was criminal. The fact that the audience laughs — it's like 'Oh, my God! It's gravy. It's fantastic.'"

The two are already off and running on their next. "It's called Campaign of a Century," Freedman revealed. "It's about America of 1934, about the Depression and Upton Sinclair and the race for Governor of California. Few people remember that Sinclair was the Democratic candidate for the Governorship of California, and there was a huge media campaign against him. And that's what our musical is about."

Darko Tresnjak, artistic director of Hartford Stage and former artistic director at La Jolla's Old Globe, tried out the musical in both places, and is now making his Broadway-directing debut with this giddy enterprise.


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