Show History



A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder is a musical comedy with a book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak and lyrics by both men. It is based on the novel, Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman, a comedic work published in 1907 that depicted the journey of one man through a slew of murders.  The novel is also the basis of the 1949 British black comedy film, Kind Hearts and Coronets, which has been listed in TIME Magazine's top 100 British films. Both the film and the musical utilize the same technique of using one actor to play all eight members of the main dying family tree (D'Ascoyne in the film, D'Ysquith in the musical).


A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder premiered at the Hartford Stage theatre company in Hartford, Connecticut, in October 2012. The production starred Jefferson Mays, Ken Barnett and Lisa O'Hare. The production then moved west for a run at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California, in March 2013. On November 17, 2013, the musical opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Mays and O'Hare continued their roles, and Bryce Pinkham and Lauren Worsham were added to the cast.

Cultural Influence

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder has been heralded as the first period-piece musical and pseudo-operetta since The Mystery of Edwin Drood in the 1980s.


The Broadway production of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder was nominated for ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Direction of a Musical. It was also nominated for twelve Drama Desk Awards (including Outstanding Musical, Book of a Musical, Music, Lyrics and Director of a Musical), eleven Outer Critics Circle Awards (including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, Book of a Musical, New Score, Director of a Musical and Choreographer), and two Drama League Awards (including Distinguished Production of a Musical).