Sunday, March 01, 2009

Lucky Sixes? Des McAnuff Rolls Dice Opening Sixth Broadway Guys And Dolls

Lucky Sixes? Des McAnuff Rolls Dice Opening Sixth Broadway Guys And Dolls

Later today, the ultimate Broadway-based musical fable Guys And Dolls will open for the sixth time on the Great White Way. Helmed by Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), this fifth revival opens at the newly refurbished Nederlander Theatre, a block south of 42nd Street.

This Guys And Dolls will be noteworthy, not necessarily because of it cast -- including Craig Bierko as Sky Masterson, Lauren Graham as Miss Adelaide, Kate Jennings Grant as Sarah Brown, and Oliver Platt as Nathan Detroit -- but because of McAnuff's incorporation of Dustin O'Neill's elaborate video projection design, as well as the introduction of the creator of the stories upon which Guys And Dolls' stories and characters were based, Damon Runyon himself (played by Raymond del Barrio) .

Way back in 1950, Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling took Runyon's stories and transformed them into Guys And Dolls' beloved book, while Frank Loesser wrote the timeless score. The trio took home the 1951 Tony Award fro Best Musical.

Of course, many Broadway audiences -- myself included -- still fondly recall the glorious 1992 revival that took home four Tony Awards, including for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Director (Jerry Zaks) and Best Actress in a Musical (Faith Prince as Miss Adelaide). In addition to Prince, that wondrous incarnation also starred Peter Gallagher as Sky Masterson, Nathan Lane as Nathan Detroit, and Josie de Guzman as Sarah Brown.

Will McAnuff's gimmicks be enough to make this revival erase 17 year old memories of the last Guys And Dolls mounting? Find out tomorrow as I not only provide my own SOB Review, but also share my regular critics' capsule.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 02 March, 2009, Anonymous BroadwayBaby said...

The nearly universal pans and terrible buzz about this revival do not surprise me. When I heard Des McAnuff was picked to direct it, I shuddered. Des is a very good HIGH CONCEPT director, but he's not one to let the story speak for itself or to let musical theatre veterans do their stuff without over-directing. It is quite unfortunate that the Michael Grandage production (which eschewed bells and whistles and was better cast) did not make it across the pond.


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