Guys and Dolls: a fun and romantic classic musical or something that has crap written all the way through it? Well, before you keyboard warriors write in as ‘ absolutely fuming of Nottingham’ you should be aware that the ‘crap’ in this case refers to a series of illegal crap games involving gangsters and loaded dice. The basic crap definition is a game that centres around placing wagers on the outcome of the rolling of two dice. With each throw, there are 36 possibilities and, as a player, it’s your job to ensure that you bet on the right result. You’ll get different odds, depending on the likelihood of you being right and winning. The crap games, run by the gangsters in Guys and Dolls are plot deciders of both money fortunes and of the fortunes of unexpected love. If you haven’t seen the famous musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, then I will save you from spoilers here.
It’s highly probable you will recognise some of the songs like ‘Luck Be A Lady Tonight’, Adelaide’s Lament’ and the exuberant ‘If I Were A Bell’ and ‘Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat’. So, if you want to place a bet on seeing a very good amateur production of Guys and Dolls then I’d wager you’ll be doing yourself a favour with this quality production by Beeston Musical Theatre Group at the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton. It’s a cracker and, you bet your bottom dollar, it’s a sure-fire winner!
This production’s excellent principal cast includes Jake Gelernter (Nathan Detroit), Rhodri Denton (Sky Masterton), Emily Owen (Sarah), Jodie Lakin (Miss Adelaide), Lu Anthony (Nicely-Nicely Johnson) Maisy Cutts (Big Julie), and Gareth Morris (Harry the Horse). The whole Guys and Dolls thirty-one strong ensemble are totally invested in the piece. Together, they are often very funny, sing the piece especially well, and make their version of Guys and Dolls a fun night out in Long Eaton via New York, and Havanna. Cuba. It’s so toe tappingly good you won’t want to go home.
The costumes (design by Mina Holtom) and live music (MD Chris Toon and band) really bring the show to life and lift it well beyond the average. It’s a big show and is given detailed direction by director George Lamb and choreographer Beth Yearsely. The principal dancers are Cibele Alvarenga, Alice Cammell, Jenny Chatten, Sascha Cornelius, Emma Gray, Charlotte Howarth, Keli Wain and Maisie Cutts all of whom bring plenty of grace and Hot Box Girls pizazz to the many and varied dance numbers inspired by street dance, Cuban Jive, Stomp, salsa and ballroom. Importantly, there is plenty of humour and character built into the dancers’ work on stage and it shows.
Strong highlights of the show come from the excellent performances by Rhodri Denton (Sky Masterson), Emily Rebecca Owen (Sarah Brown) Jake Gelernter (Nathan Detroit), and we enjoy some real knockout performances from Lu Anthony (Nicely-Nicely Johnson), Jodie Lakin (Miss Adelaide) and Maisie Cutts (Big Julie).
The packed audience tonight includes many supporters from not only Beeston Musical Theatre Group but also banks of people from other local amateur musical theatre groups and their genuine applause and cheering is a delight to experience. Before it sells out get yourself down to the Duchess Theatre Long Eaton for a delightful Guys and Dolls.
Guys and Dolls runs until 29th October.