WHEN the wonderfully caricatured New York characters that inhabit Damon Runyon’s short stories were brought to life with a hatful of catchy tunes by composer Frank Loesser, Guys and Dolls emerged as the Broadway hit of 1950.
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Playhouse, Greenside Place
Set amid the gangster underworld of a prohibition strapped Manhattan, small time hustler Nathan Detroit (Maxwell Caulfield) needs to finance his next illegal dice game and high rolling gambler Sky Masterson (Richard Fleeshman) might just be the answer.
Accepting Detroit’s one thousand dollar challenge, Masterson sets about the seemingly impossible task of wooing Save-a-Soul mission girl Sarah Brown (Anna O’Byrne) by promising her a dozen genuine sinners.
Night club singer Miss Adalaide (Louise Dearman) has other ideas, as Detroit’s long suffering fiancé of 14 years she would rather Nathan put his energy into finally tying the knot.
Guys and Dolls is one of musical theatres ‘old timers’ and does creak a little with age but this touring revival, complete with a vibrant backdrop of illuminated Broadway signage, shines brightly during the big musical numbers as the strong ensemble show off Carlos Acosta and Andrew Wright’s slick choreography.
Fleeshman has all the charm and style required for a smooth-talking Sky while O’Byrne is in fine voice as she brings an engaging innocence to Salvationist Sarah.
Caulfield revels in his role of hapless likeable rogue Nathan, alongside the excellent Dearman, who ensures Miss Adalaide is in very good hands.
Jack Edwards impresses throughout as Nicely Nicely Johnson and his company rendition of Sit Down,You’re Rockin’ the Boat is a joy.
Run ends Saturday