This week, GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen joined the Morning Edition team to discuss two of Boston's newest shows that theater lovers should be sure not to miss: "The Inheritance" and "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder."
Playing at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA through June 11
"I found this completely and fully absorbing. It's the themes that are really powerfully and emotionally dominant here" says Bowen. "The Inheritance," a production of the SpeakEasy Stage Company, tells the story of a group of gay men who grapple with the lasting effects of the AIDS crisis. As Bowen puts it, "the 'inheritance' of community, of history, of self, of HIV."
The play, told in two parts, focuses on the generational trauma experienced by the LGBTQ+ community after generations of people were lost to AIDS.
Playwright Matthew López made history in 2021 as the first Latino to win the Tony Award for best play. "The Inheritance," which López said was largely inspired by "Howards End," opens with a young man writing about the friends he's loved and lost.
"We're looking at life of gay men now. We're looking at the legacy, as I mentioned, of the AIDS crisis. It's also a notion of home. A lot of gay men in the 1980s went to New York because they were outcasts in their communities. This is where they could come together, and then they had to face this," Bowen says.
"A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder"
Playing at the Lyric Stage Theater through May 22
"This is a musical comedy," says Bowen. "It's got music hall vibes. And there's more than a dash of slapstick and very deft directing really render this musical comedy a killer."
The Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of Monty Navarro. After the death of his mother, he finds himself ninth in line to inherit the earldom of Highhurst, controlled by the wealthy D’Ysquith family. Rather than wait his turn, he takes matters into his own hands and begins dispensing with the members of the D’Ysquith family.
The musical is directed by Spiro Veloudos, who was the longtime artistic director of Lyric Stage Company of Boston. "He's just masterful at bringing these very large shows into this intimate space and making them work," Bowen Says.