I could hardly contain my anticipation walking into the air-conditioned Robinson Theatre last night as the opening night performance of Guys and Dolls was minutes away. The opening announcement boomed over the speakers as the audience took their seats. The lights started to dim as the live orchestra began the lively Overture.
In case you are not familiar with the show, Guys and Dolls is a Tony Award winning musical comedy with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. In short, it’s a story about gambling gangsters, showgirls, mission workers and the chaos that erupts when bets are made, lost and won.
A fantastic performance was given by leading man Brent Barrett who played charismatic gambler Sky Masterson. His smooth, yet commanding vocals were mesmerizing. In his very first scene with Sarah Brown, played by Mara Bonde, he reminded me of Clark Gable and his portrayal of Rhett Butler in the classic film Gone with the Wind.
Two standout performances came in the second act from supporting characters Arvide Abernathy, played by Terry Donilon, and Nicely-Nicely Johnson, played by Brad Peloquin. Donilon’s rendition of “More I Cannot Wish You” was wonderfully sweet and was sure to have put a smile on the faces of everyone in the audience. Peloquin’s performance of “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” was high energy and a joy to watch.
I must take a moment to mention the fine work done by Choreographer Rachel Bertone. The ensemble looked like they were having a great time with energetic Musical Theatre Jazz style routines complete with individualized dancer tricks. There were more than enough high kicks, splits, turns and tricks throughout the show not only from the ladies but from the fellas as well. I would have to say my favorite routine was “Havana” with its fierce Latin dance moves and plenty of hip shakin’.
Overall, this show was a fun night out and I think the rest of the audience in last night’s mostly full house would agree. Guys and Dolls plays from June 11-21, 2015 at the Robinson Theatre (617 Lexington Street, Waltham, MA). For information and tickets visit www.reaglemusictheatre.com
For more of my reviews and theatrical thoughts check out: http://intheatresome1isalwayswatching.blogspot.com/