BWW Review: GUYS AND DOLLS Takes you Back in Time at ACTA Theatre

BWW Review:  GUYS AND DOLLS Takes you Back in Time at ACTA Theatre

You don't need to go 88 mph in a DeLorean to go back in time. ACTA Theatre is running the classic Broadway musical 'Guys and Dolls." Luck is a lady and she's blowing on your dice. It's just a saying that good luck is on your side so cool your jets reverend. "Guys and Dolls" is based off of a string of short stories by writer Damon Runyon. His forte was tales of the seedy underbelly of the New York City crime scene of the 20's and 30's. Runyon's work was popular because he created dialogue with a stylized flow and vernacular dubbed "Runyonese." The colorful mix of street slang with proper English made for entertaining dialogue from characters like gangsters, gamblers and hustlers. His mobster characters have names fresh out of a Cracker Jack Box. "Guys and Dolls" follows the path of two colorful street hustlers, Nathan Detroit (Kevin Small) and Sky Masterson (Sean Andrews). Both are well respected in the criminal underworld.BWW Review:  GUYS AND DOLLS Takes you Back in Time at ACTA Theatre

Nathan Detroit (Small) is a host and operator of what is called a floating crap game. The venue changes to keep the fuzz of the trail. Detroit is always looking for a new spot to gather the boys to throw dice. This is to keep away bumbling flatfoot Lt. Brannagain (Raymond Quintero), but also keep away from his long term fiancée of 14 years Adelaide (Christina Robin). She's a showgirl with a heart of gold. Sly gangster Sky Masterson (Andrews) tries to help Detroit by scouting out a new location for his next big game. He finds the hall in the local "Salvation Army" mission to be more than adequate. All he has to do is manipulate the mission's leader, Sarah (Whitney Howton). She is a young woman of purity and righteousness. The con backfires and Sky starts to fall for the dame. He falls hard I tell yah. Hard like a sack of potatoes of the back of a bumpy wagon. I tell yah she gets all doe eyed and misty each time the palooka comes a knocking. Soon after they kiss, it's pow kiddo! Love is sparking the sky up like the 4th of July at Coney Island.

BWW Review:  GUYS AND DOLLS Takes you Back in Time at ACTA Theatre

The cast has a list of colorful characters that chew up scenes. Director Victoria Boyce brings to life the stylized and hilariously dated criminal underworld to life. The large cast holds a noticeable mix of ages and talent. The commitment, confidence and stage presence is strong in some but lacking in others. This made some sections clunky. Street hustlers Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Clay Boyce) and Benny Southstreet (Ben Oliver) give hilarious personality driven performances with great comedy timing and chemistry. Shining brightest in the show is Christina Robin as Adelaide. This is role she was seemingly born to play. She delivers a solid voice, heart and confidence to a richly layered character. Robin does not play the role to be merely a blonde bombshell. She takes much care and projects emotion into giving a real spark to this showgirl with a heart of gold.

BWW Review:  GUYS AND DOLLS Takes you Back in Time at ACTA Theatre

Frank Loesser's music in "Guys and Dolls" is a hit list of musical theater standards. "Luck Be a Lady," "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat," "I've Never Been in Love Before," "Bushel and a Peck," and "More I Cannot Wish You." The music is provided by pre-recorded tracks provided to be a hurdle at times for some of the singers. Speaking from experience, it is hard to sing with a track because you really can't feel the music being played.

ACTA Theatre's production of 'Guys and Dolls" carries you back to this stylized mob world of the 1930's with a big cast of colorful characters. Put a nickel in the jukebox will yah, and stay awhile.

ACTA Theatre "Guys and Dolls" Music and lyrics - Frank Loesser Book - Jo Swirling and Abe Burrows Director / Choreographer - Victoria Boyce

July 13 -22

ACTA Theatre 225 Parkway Drive Trussville, AL 35173

(Between Cahaba Elementary and the Trussville Library)

For tickets and info - or call (205) 655-3902

Photo Credit - Steven Ross

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From This Author David Edward Perry

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