Saturday, August 19, 2006

Does London's Guys and Dolls Still Swayze Critics?

Does London's Guys and Dolls Still Swayze Critics?

Now that Patrick Swayze has officially opened in Michael Grandage's acclaimed West End revival of Guys And Dolls, what are the critics saying?

Most enthusiastic was the Daily Telegraph's Elena Seymenliyska: "Patrick Swayze finally made his belated debut as Nathan Detroit in Michael Grandage's Guys And Dolls -- and, boy, was it worth the wait....[O]nce he starts to sing -- and better still, to dance -- he sprinkles armfuls of magic dust all around."

The Times ' Sam Marlowe still recommends the show (with 3 stars out of 5), but cautions, "[T]here is a hole where the show’s heart should be -- and that is the fault of the leading performances, Swayze’s among them....[W]hile his Nathan Detroit is loose-limbed and nimble, he lacks lightness of touch. Every gesture, every joke, appears overdeliberate and a shade mechanical."

The toughest criticism comes stateside. Matt Wolf of The New York Times is downright dismissive: "Swayze sounded O.K. but cut a decidedly goofy, charmless figure, at odds with the rhythms, ethnicity and humor of a role that has been bizarrely cast before....The result has a trickle-down effect on a production from Michael Grandage that blew the lid off the Piccadilly Theatre when it first opened nearly 14 months ago....Still, the British have long prized Guys And Dolls above all Broadway musicals, and it would appear to take more than some newly pervasive miscasting to dampen their enthusiasm. At the performance last Wednesday, the show was sold out and got a standing ovation."

The tuner is currently booking through January, but a touring production will hit the road in the United Kingdom next month as performances begin at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland. There has been no further word on whether Grandage's revival will eventually reach Broadway.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Swayze Lands London's Detroit Role (June 5, 2006)
Sheen/Langella to Portray Frost/Nixon in London (June 2, 2006)
London’s Theatrical Hodge-Podge (May 30, 2006)
London's Guys And Dolls 1st Anniversary Ticket Offer (May 27, 2006)
SOB’s Best of 2005-06: #2 – Guys And Dolls (Piccadilly Theatre, London, UK) (May 26, 2006)
Guys and Dolls Imported to Broadway from London? (May 15, 2006)

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