Murder is a dirty business, but in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” it’s more of an elegant execution.
“He does it in the most gentlemanly of ways,” says actress Kristen Hahn, who portrays one of the two love interests the show’s leading man takes on. “There’s nothing gory or violent about it.”
The national tour of the Tony-winning production arrives in Boston on Oct. 18 for a six-day run at the Citi Shubert Theatre. The musical, which took home four Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2014, ended its Broadway run in late January but has been on the road since last September. Hahn, a Connecticut native who was part of the original Broadway ensemble, joins the touring cast as Phoebe D’Ysquith, an aristocratic woman who finds herself in a love triangle with the show’s misguidedly murderous protagonist, Monty.
“It’s very tongue-in-cheek,” says Hahn from the tour’s current stop in Detroit. “[Monty] is a distant heir to a fortune and title, so he decides to bump off the other relatives that stand in his way of becoming earl.”
Dark? Maybe. But Hahn assures us it’s still a good time, and that audience members might even find themselves empathizing with Kevin Massey’s Monty. “These eight [murdered] relatives are all played by one brilliant actor [John Rapson], but are all deplorable human beings,” she adds.
As for Phoebe, Hahn says her character and Monty find common ground as misunderstood members of society. Phoebe, a wealthy woman of means, is presumed to be “haughty and distant,” when she really just seeks human companionship.
“She has a heart of gold and is a loving and gentle person,” Hahn explains. “Phoebe has a sort of coming out throughout the show and develops into a confident woman. I think everyone has felt misunderstood at different times in their lives, and can relate to her and Monty’s experiences in one way or another.”
Unfortunately for Phoebe, she’s one of two loves of Monty’s life, competing (somewhat unbeknownst) for his affection with Sibella Hallward, a saucier lady of leisure who is holding out for a husband of, ahem, greater monetary assets.
But for Hahn, any ill will between the characters is kept to the stage. “We’re wonderful friends,” she says of co-star Kristen Beth Williams. “I don’t get to interact a lot with her on stage, but I love watching her scenes. She’s brilliant.”
Still dark? OK, maybe. But Hahn believes Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak’s lyrics and music are enough to put anyone in a good mood.
“It’s so stunningly beautiful, with lush soaring melodies,” she says. “I find myself singing them all day long. I wake up singing them, I go to sleep singing them. They’re extremely catchy; you won’t be able to stop humming along.”
If you go:
Citi Shubert Theatre
265 Tremont St., Boston
Tickets start at $45, citicenter.org