Review Roundup: GUYS AND DOLLS at MUNY; What Did The Critics Think?
The MUNY's production of GUYS AND DOLLS just opened! The production runs through June 16, 2019.
The cast features Ben Davis(Sky Masterson), Brittany Bradford(Sarah Brown), Jordan Gelber(Nathan Detroit) and Kendra Kassebaum(Miss Adelaide) are Ken Page(Arvide Abernathy), Doreen Montalvo(General Cartwright), Orville Mendoza(Nicely-Nicely Johnson), Jared Gertner(Benny Southstreet), Brendan Averett(Big Jule), Kevin Cahoon(Harry the Horse) and Rich Pisarkiewicz(Lt. Brannigan). A high-rolling ensemble completes this cast, including Calvin Cooper, Darien Crago, Colby Dezelick, Tyler Eisenreich, Whitney G-Bowley, Berklea Going, Julie Hanson, Jeff Kuhr, Alicia Lundgren, Erin N. Moore, Jevares Myrick, Michael Santomassimo, Matthew Davies, Matthew Steffens, Keith Tyrone, Amy Van Norstrand, Jerry Vogeland Sharrod Williams.
This production includes scenic design by Paul TateDePoo III, costume design by Tristan Raines, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shiversand David Patridge, video design by Nathan W. Scheuerand wig design by Leah J. Loukas. Production stage manager is Nancy Uffner.
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: With its state-of-the-art renovation, the Muny has a whole new set of tools to work with. And those resources are put to wonderful effect in "Guys and Dolls," which opens the outdoor theater's 101st season in Forest Park. The classic musical about gamblers, gangsters and other colorful New Yorkers comes to glorious life in a production that couldn't be more stylish. Based on stories by Damon Runyon and directed by Gordon Greenberg, the show has the vividness and immediacy of a pop-up storybook. Particularly representative of the new technology is a scene set in Havana. It's so richly evocative - and so brilliantly realized - that you'll want to hop onstage and order a drink.
Mark Bretz, Ladue News: Guys and Dolls is big and splashy and brimming with energy, all of which Greenberg and his cast and crew play to the hilt in The Muny's lavish and lovable new version. The two-act, three-hour show plays out fluidly on Paul Tate DePoo III's wonderfully atmospheric set, which features dozens of signs and billboards on the back wall with product logos aplenty. The set is awash in Rob Denton's lavish lighting design and the players are adorned in some amusing costumes courtesy of Tristan Raines, from the slick look for Sky Masterson and the baggy, checkered suits of Nathan Detroit, Nicely-Nicely Johnson and other street hustlers to the starched uniforms for Sgt. Sarah and her grandfather and the frilly outfits of Miss Adelaide.
Robert E. Cohn, STL Jewish Light: "Guys and Dolls is a very "Jewish" show. Frank Loesser who wrote the immortal lyrics and music was Jewish as were Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows who wrote the book. The dialogue, which is vintage New York is punctuated with frequent Yiddishisms like "nu." The cast is perfect in every respect. Gelber's Nathan Detroit is spot on, a wonderful homage to Frank Sinatra who originated the role in the 1955 movie version. Poor Nathan is caught between his sexy showgirl fiancee and pressure from his high rolling gambling friends to find a cop-proof venue for his legendary crap game. As Miss Adelaide, Kassebaum steals the show with her high energy, heartfelt performance of such numbers as "Adelaide's Lament," which singing with a nasal, New York accent, points out that waiting so long for a marriage proposal "a POI-son [person] can develop a cold."