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BWW Review: GUYS AND DOLLS at the Olney Theatre Center - You Can Bet on Having a Great Time

What a week for Broadway musicals. First, the 2015 version of OLIVER at Arena Stage, then the moving and glorious THE SECRET GARDEN at Center Stage. And now, the blockbuster musical GUYS AND DOLLS at the Olney Theatre Center which I'm sure will be selling tickets like hotcakes.

In the final production of the Olney Theatre's 77th season, GUYS AND DOLLS is certainly a great way to end their impressive theater season.

Considered by many to be the perfect musical comedy and featuring such signature songs such as "Luck Be A Lady", "A Bushel and a Peck" and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" is a great way to celebrate the holiday season and is fit for the whole family.

Jerry Whiddon, the former artistic director of the Round House Theatre, has directed a terrific show with a talented cast which features great music (thanks to Musical Director Timothy Splain), phenomenal dancing (Choreography by Michael J. Bobbitt), lovely sets (Scenic Design by Daniel Conway), superb lighting (Lighting Designer Colin K. Bills), great sound (Sound Designer Jeffrey Dorman), clever costumes (Costume Design by Rosemary Pardee), and the powerful 8 piece band under the baton of Doug Lawler (loved watching him play the keyboard and conducting at the same time at the rear of the stage in the center).

The show opens in the Times Sq. of the 1950s where con men, cops, dancing ladies, and the Salvation Army intermingle. Nathan Detroit (Paul Binotto) has to raise $1,000 to front a floating crap game, bets his friend Sky Masterson (Matt Faucher) that he must take the next girl he sees to go with him to Havana who just happens to be the Salvation Army's prim and proper Sarah Brown (Jessica Lauren Bell) Meanwhile, Detroit must deal with his fiancé of 14 years, the dancer Miss Adelaide (Lauren Weinberg) who must deal with an endless cough. Nathan does get his game, Sky wins the heart of Brown after she saves his soul, and Adelaide finally gets her man.

The ensemble is just plain phenomenal. Standouts are Tobias Young who as Nicely-Nicely brings down the house with "Sit Down". Many in the audience gave him a standing ovation. Ben Cunis shines as Harry the Horse, and Evan Casey is great as Benny Southstreet.

Faucher and Ball shine in their duets together and Weinberg is just plain hilarious in "Adelaide's Lament".

I love the fact that Olney has for sale the DVD of the film for $25 and CD of the Original Broadway Cast Recording for $20.

There will be post-show discussions after matinees on Nov. 21, Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and Dec. 26.

I'll be shocked if Olney does not extend this show. Currently it is scheduled to end Dec. 27, 2015. Rush to get your tickets. Call 301-924-3400 or visit www.olneytheatre.org.

For some great background on the show, see Peter Felicia's article "The GUYS AND DOLLS Phenomenon" at http://mtiblog.mtishows.com/filichia-features-the-guys-and-dolls-phenomenon/.

THIS AND THAT

DVR Alert:

FIRST YOU DREAM: THE MUSIC OF KANDER AND EBB...a concert tribute recorded at Signature Theatre directed by Eric Schaeffer (Nov. 20 on PBS).

On Saturday night, Nov. 21, the film WEST SIDE STORY (coming to the Signature Theatre on December 8, 2015 and running to January 24, 2016) on WETA at 9:30 p.m.

Check out a children's program called "Nature Cat" premiering November 25 on PBS KIDS. There is an-minute story available on YouTube and a sneak peak which stars Broadway veterans Lena Hall, Tony Vincent, and Stephanie D'Abruzzo. Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aBciYhSYZk.

Saturday night, Nov. 28, JOSH GROBAN: STAGES: Josh Groban sings Broadway tunes at 10 p.m. on PBS.

CBS THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE

CBS will feature Broadway shows during its telecast of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade which will broadcast from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In addition to performances from JERSEY BOYS and BEAUTIFUL, it will feature appearances by Wayne Brady (KINKY BOOTS), George Takei (ALLEGIANCE), and Renee Elise Goldsberry (HAMILTON).

MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE ON NBC

Happy to report the shows on NBC during Macy's Parade:

SCHOOL OF ROCK

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

KING AND I

ON YOUR FEET

SOMETHING ROTTEN

THE WIZ LIVE! (on NBC Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.)

FINDING NEVERLAND

Did you notice the Volvo commercial which features the wonderful song "Feeling Good" from THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT, THE SMELL OF THE CROWD?

cgshubow@broadwayworld.com


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From This Author Charles Shubow