Guys and Dolls

Date 22nd March 2018
Society Maidstone Amateur Operatic Society
Venue Hazlett Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Tony Cassidy
Musical Director John Mills
Choreographer Heather Worrall

Report

Author: Gordon Harris

“Guys and Dolls,” with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Jo Swerliing and Abe Burrows, is based on the Broadway stories of Damon Runyon. Runyon’s sharply dressed mobsters and gamblers all have hearts of gold.The show is filled with songs like “Luck Be a Lady Tonight,” “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” and the title song.“Guys and Dolls” and tells the tale of the “short of cash” gambler Nathan Detroit and his bets with the high-roller Sky Masterson and Big Julie. If Nathan Detroit cannot come up with $1,000, he will not have a place for the “oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York.” Detroit bets Masterson that he cannot get Sarah Brown to Havana. Masterson might be a known ladies man, but this bet cannot fail, Sarah Brown being a sergeant in the Salvation Army. Detroit knows about dolls himself. He has been engaged to nightclub singer dancer Miss Adelaide for 14 years. Adelaide is tired of waiting and it has given her a bad bad cold and she is about to give him an ultimatum. Sky Masterson promises Sarah to deliver “one dozen genuine sinners” to the “Save a Soul Mission” if she agrees to dinner in Havana. Faced with the possible closing of her mission. Sarah accepts and a bargain is struck.

You could not have a better Nathan Detroit than Chris Chedzey or a more heart breaking Adelaide than Kathryn Norman. We know Kathryn can sing and act beautifully, but we haven’t seen her like this, as a dumb brunette. Well done to this pair for keeping the comedy up. David Waller is a suave Sky Masterson matched by a vulnerable Kay Walker as Sarah, both keeping it romantic, both have good singing voices. The rest of the cast make this Guys and Dolls a winner. Freddy Cook as Nicely-Nicely Johnson gave us a rousing “Sit down you're rocking the boat”, Mike Codling, a stalwart of MOADS, was Benny Southstreet, great characterization, Neil Taylor as Harry the Horse, Chas Alder as Big Jule, Mike Sutton as Lt. Brannigan, Susan Creasey as General Cartright. Arvide Abernathy (Barry Reynolds) gave a very nice “More I cannot wish you” - I remember it well don’t I Kathryn? Harris Skinner lead the dancing for the guys, playing Rusty Charlie. Put Tony Cassidy together with John Mills and Heather Worrall and you have a trio for success, with great production, perfect band (on stage in full view this time - I thought that was a great move, being in the Hot Box),….. oh!! and John speaks…Costumes and set were good and great lighting. I do have one little gripe: men, with great lighting, which you had, nowadays in my opinion you don’t need makeup. It is safe to say go see Guys and Dolls - you will enjoy it…!!!!