Review Roundup: GUYS AND DOLLS Rocks the Boat at The Old Globe
Guys and Dolls tops Entertainment Weekly's list of the Greatest Musicals of All Time, and for good reason: it's everything we love in musical theatre. Now fast-rising director/choreographer Josh Rhodes returns to the Globe to direct our first-ever production of this Broadway masterpiece. Nathan Detroit needs some serious dough to keep his "oldest established permanent floating crap game" going. He's also got his hands full with his marriage-minded girlfriend Adelaide. But when Nathan makes a bet with high-roller Sky Masterson, his problems appear to be solved.
Based on Damon Runyon's famous tales of small-time hoods and showgirls, Guys and Dolls is filled with some of the most wonderful showtunes ever, including "Luck Be a Lady," "I've Never Been in Love Before," and the irrepressible anthem "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat."Guys and Dolls will put a spring in your step and a smile on your face and remind you how much fun it is to see a top-notch Globe revival of a classic American musical!
Let's see what the critics have to say!
San Diego Reader (Jeff Smith): The Old Globe's Guys and Dolls opens with the unexpected. Instead of the traditional, roughly five-minute overture, director/choreographer Josh Rhodes gives us Runyonland in the flesh. With set designer Lee Savage's flashy neon backdrop (an anatomy of glitzy Broadway marquees), the cast wends and wanders near the Save-a-Soul Mission, at 409 49th Street. As they kaleidoscope around the stage, about half are not what they seem. Surely the sailors on shore leave in dress whites are who they are, and that harried woman (Linda Libby, a hoot) obviously a tourist who sees predators amidst the prey: beneath those two nuns' habits? Gangsters. And the homeless man asking for food? In cahoots with the woman selling recycled apples.
BroadwayWorld (E.H. Reiter): As Nathan, Calloway is very funny and maintains a highly energized constant state of comedic peril between the demands of setting up a game, keeping Adelaide from finding out he is still running the game, and trying to stay unmarried for just a bit longer. He is larger than life and with a great sense of comedic timing that keeps the character of Nathan charming and loveable. If his voice sounds familiar, you may more easily recognize him when he is green as he is the resident Grinch at The Old Globe traditional holiday show.
San Diego Tribune (James Herbert): And for dedicated local theatergoers, one of the biggest treats is seeing a quartet of excellent San Diego actors make their Old Globe debuts: Lance Carter, pitch-perfect as the excitable Brooklyn hustler Harry the Horse; Ed Hollingsworth, in comically cranky mode as the cop Lt. Brannigan; Ralph Johnson, nailing a sweet solo vocal as the mission veteran Arvide on "More I Cannot Wish You"; and Linda Libby, a winning presence as the stern mission boss Gen. Cartwright. Rhodes' ensemble choreography on the Havana and "Crapshooter's Dance" sequences is particularly rousing, boosted by the rich orchestral textures of music director Sinai Tabak's band and Kevin Kennedy's sound design. Brian C. Hemesath's costumes - featuring a riot of plaid - are a visual feast, complemented by Paul Miller's lighting on Lee Savage's neon-mad set.