By Vincent PAGE
On July 8 and 9, Robert Freedman’s “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” took over Crescenta Valley High School’s Underground Theater in a completely student-run production. Co-directed by senior Carolyn Carothers and recent graduate Elise Gibney, the cast and crew of nearly 30 students spent the past month working on the show, with official rehearsals during the week and unofficial get-togethers on the weekends meant to build on-stage chemistry.
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” which won the Tony award for Best Musical in 2014, follows the story of Monty Navarro who finds out shortly after his mother’s death that he is actually of the royal D’Ysquith family. After some quick thinking, Navarro, played by former CVHS student-actor Kimball Strong, realizes he is ninth in line to become Earl of Highhurst. The play follows his path to earldom, as he cleverly picks off each D’Yquith who stands in his way one-by-one.
CVHS senior Aidan Travis played each D’Ysquith member who was in line to be earl, a total of nine characters, ranging from a slob of a macho-man to a woman trying to save the world to a classy banker who had taken Navarro under his wing. Most actors would have seen this as a challenge, but Travis saw it as an opportunity of a lifetime.
“Being a lead in a show that won the Best Musical Tony was a privilege and overall an amazing experience. The opportunity to mess around and experiment with the numerous D’Ysquiths was something I don’t think I’ll be able to do again for any other show and I’m extremely grateful for the experience,” Travis said. The show was a major success, with a full house both nights. It also showcased the talent that CVHS’ Theater Department has to offer this upcoming school year, with only three cast or crew members having already graduated.
The school’s musical this year will be the “Phantom of the Opera,” which won a total of seven Tony awards during its run on Broadway. There will also be numerous shows throughout the year that will be put on by the same actors and actresses who performed “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.”