I have never had a Guys and Dolls experience. We never explored it in school and I’d not been compelled to see it in the theatre before or watch the Frank Sinatra/Marlon Brand film (which I only discovered existed last night). But I’m glad I took a chance. It was pretty incredible.
You’re literally transported back to the magical era of New York- when I say magical; I mean the time when Broadway was king, the glitz and glam were not just the clothes you wore but the city itself beamed bold and bright, the fashions enviable, the slang melodic and the stories horrifying but tantalizing. Guys and Dolls makes you live and breathe it.
If the costuming and set doesn’t do it for you, the cast will. Richard Fleeshman (Sky Masterson) is Frank Sinatra incarnate. He is phenomenal in his performance (that voice) and extremely dreamy- everything you want in the devilish crook you think you can change. Of course I couldn’t help but swoon over Maxwell Caulfield (Nathan Detroit) too; his demeanour has you kind of egging on his mischievous ways because you could sense the goodness behind it all and devotion to Miss Adelaide (Louise Dearman). With Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Jack Edwards) and Benny Southstreet (Mark Sangster) as the golden comedic duo that are never too far behind, you can fall into a hypnotic ease and completely enjoy the performance before you. Also a noteworthy performance from Louise Dearman as Miss Adelaide who was phenomenal, her vocals in particular are spectacular but her delivery overall was outstanding; her portrayal of the character was relatable, funny, moving and convincing. The supporting cast were also tremendously impressive, the choreography and harmonies are synergistic with a musical production and this show was certainly not lacking, in fact, I’d go as far as saying it was perfect, the best I’ve seen to date.
As much as anything, I loved the story. Although it’s seemingly obvious and predictable, it’s entertaining and enjoyable. There are many reasons why I’d recommend going to see this production and hopefully I’ve whet your appetite into wanting more. Because, well, I think you’ll struggle to find a true Broadway show with a cast, crew and production this good for a long time to come.