Friday, May 26, 2006

SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #2 – Guys And Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre, London, UK)

SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #2 – Guys And Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre, London, UK)

Luck was most certainly not my lady last July when I first attempted to see Michael Grandage’s excellent and thrilling revival of one of Broadway’s most classic musicals, Guys And Dolls.

Terrorist attacks shattered the morning on the day I was prepared to take my second row seat at London’s Piccadilly Theatre and closed West End theatres for the very first time since World War II. That day was quite surreal to say the least, and the tragic loss of human life certainly made the closings seem very inconsequential.

Fortunately for me, I was able to make a return visit to London last November about a week before Ewan McGregor and Jane Krakowski exited the production, and guess what? I managed to snare second row seats again. I’ve seen and loved countless productions of Guys And Dolls, including the wonderful, celebrated 1992 Broadway revival featuring Peter Gallagher, Nathan Lane and Faith Prince. But never before had I so thoroughly enjoyed the captivating wit, charm and music of Guys And Dolls as much as I did through Grandage’s brilliant production.

Certainly, the star power of Ewan McGregor illuminates even greater after his stellar take on Sky Masterson, complete with Brooklyn accent and heavenly singing voice. Thanks to Rob Ashford’s enthralling choreography, McGregor also demonstrated a charismatic gift for dance as well. As the token American in the production, Jane Krakowski was delightfully ditzy and charming as Miss Adelaide. British thespians Douglas Hodge and Jenna Russell worked magic as Nathan Detroit and Sarah Brown, respectively.

There has been recent talk that this quintessential revival may be headed to Broadway, although there’s no guarantee that any of the original London leads would reprise their roles. But with Grandage’s exhilaratingly fresh take on a story so many have seen before, I have no doubt that American audiences would be as enchanted as I was in London. That’s why Guys And Dolls ranks as #2 on my SOB Best of 2005-06 Theatrical Season list.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Sheen/Langella to Portray Frost/Nixon in London (June 2, 2006)
Swayze Lands London's Detroit Role (June 1, 2006)
SOB's Best of 2005-06: #1 - Theater Of The New Ear (Royce Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA) (May 30, 2006)
London's Guys And Dolls 1st Anniversary Ticket Offer (May 27, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #3 – Hedda Gabler (Brooklyn Academy of Music – Harvey Theatre, New York, NY) (May 25, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #4 – A Blameless Life (Steppenwolf Garage, Chicago, IL) (May 24, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #5 – Reeling (The Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis, MN) (May 23, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #6 – “MASTER HAROLD”…And The Boys (Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, IL) (May 21, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #7 – Love Song (Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, IL) (May 19, 2006)
SOB's Best of 2005-06: #8 - Billy Elliot The Musical (Victoria Palace Theatre, London, UK) (May 18, 2006)
SOB's Best of 2005-06: #9 - The Well-Appointed Room (Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, IL) (May 17, 2006)
SOB's Best of 2005-06: #10 - Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York, NY) (May 15, 2006)
Guys and Dolls Imported to Broadway from London? (May 15, 2006)
The SOB Five "Worst" of 2005-06 (May 12, 2006)
SOB's Best and Worst of 2005-06 Theatre Season (May 12, 2006)


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