Guys and Dolls The Musical
This Show revolves around the lives of four main characters:
Nathan Detroit and Miss Adelaide Nathan is a small time crook and gambler, who organises a floating illegal craps game for other gamblers from New York. He works with cohorts Nicely Nicely and Benny to find different locations for the game so that the local police cannot catch up with them. He has been engaged to Miss Adelaide for 14 years, and always tries to avoid the subject of marriage and is constantly trying to hide the game from her. Adelaide is a singer/dancer in a New York club called 'The Hot Box'; she thinks that she can change Nathan and thinks that he has stopped organising the craps games because of her!
Sky Masterson Sky is a professional gambler and has been known to bet on anything, hence his name Sky as in the sky is the limit! He usually manages to win any bet he makes. Because of prohibition he regularly flies to Havana, Cuba where good alcohol and bad women are freely available!
Sergeant Sarah Brown Sister Sarah is the Sergeant of the local Salvation Army mission. Her aim in life is to convert all of the sinners in New York of which there are many! She tries to do this with the help of her Uncle Abernathy and other Brothers and Sisters of the Salvation Army.
The story is set in 1940s New York, when prohibition, illegal gambling and crime were rife.
The story starts when Nathan is having trouble finding a new location for his craps game; he thinks a local garage will work, but the owner wants $1,000 before he will let it happen. Nathan does not have $1,000, and the garage owner will not accept his marker (and IOU). So, Nathan hits upon the idea of betting Sky that he cannot make the next woman he sees fall in love with him, the next women passing by just happens to be Sergeant Sarah, so Sky, always up for the challenge, accepts. The bet is for $1,000; Nathan thinks that there is no way that Sky will succeed with this bet so thinking he will soon be $1,000 the richer he gets on with arranging the craps game.
So, Sky goes to the mission, confessing to be a sinner who needs help, but only the help of Sarah. There is a board in the mission that shows a quote from the bible, and states that is from Proverbs. As if to prove that he wants to be helped Sky helpfully points out that the quote is not from Proverbs, but Isaiah. Sarah does not believe him and checks in her bible, only to find he is right! Sky tells her that he has stayed in every hotel room in America and in every hotel room in America there is a bible. He tells her that he has read the bible at least a dozen times!
Sky eventually convinces Sarah to accompany him to Havana, and takes her to a club called El Cafe'. When asked what she wants to drink Sarah replies a milkshake, or something with milk in it. The barmaid gives them both a Dolce De Lache a drink made with milk, but also contains, as Sky put it local flavouring - Bacardi! Sarah enjoys this drink so much she drinks more and unsurprisingly ends up drunk and dancing with the Cuban hunks in the bar. And as for Sky, well he manages to find one or two beautiful Cuban women to Salsa with!
Meanwhile, back in New York Adelaide has a cold and is convinced that it comes from the frustration of being engaged, but not married, for the past 14 years! She sings a song about this called Adalaides Lament, which is reprised throughout the show. She tells Nathan that she wrote her mother 12 years ago and told her that they had gotten married and to date they have had 5 children, who go to boarding school! She tells him this in the hope that he will finally agree to marry her.
-Will Nathan and Adelaide marry; will Adelaide get rid of her cold?
-Will Sky win the bet and get Sarah to fall in love; will Sky fall in love with Sarah?
-See the show and all will be revealed!
My thoughts on the show:
My sister-in-law and I were lucky to get excellent seats for a performance of this show. Never having seen any other production of this, not even the DVD; we did not know how much we were going to enjoy the show. Our main priority at the time of booking was to see Ewan McGregor live on stage, the show and its quality came as a second priority!
Immediately we were struck with the excellent stage design, the opening scene represented a street in 1940s New York and was so realistic, in a theatrical sort of way that we felt like we were actually there! All of the sets were brilliantly made and well lit and thoroughly convincing, they were a treat to see.
The costumes were another wonder to behold! All the mens suits were prefect and looked straight out of 1940 New York. The outfits that Adelaide wears when she is working in the club are beautiful and the Salvation Army uniforms are brilliant!
The storyline flowed very well, and from one scene to another the changes were flawless. There is an excellent mixture of love story, comedy, and sensuality (especially the dance sequences in the Cuban cafe and the Hot Box, I can certainly see why it was called the HOT Box!!)
The songs were very well sung. They include ones that we all know Sit Down Youre Rocking The Boat and Luck Be A Lady, and others that are not so well know like Marry The Man Today and Adelaides Lament. All are the kind of songs that stick in your head for weeks; Im still singing Luck Be a Lady to myself now!!
The entire cast were wonderful to watch, all of them extremely talented, from the leads right through to the chorus-line. When we went to see the show the lead actors/actresses were:
Ewan McGregor as Sky Masterson
Jenna Russell as Sergeant Sarah Brown
Douglas Hodge as Nathan Detroit
Jane Krakowski as Miss Adelaide
On 5 December there will be a new cast, I know that Nigel Harman is set to play Sky and I have heard that Sarah Lancashire is to play Adelaide.
We loved every minute of the show, and both agreed it was worth the 5-hour bus journey down to London from Yorkshire. My sister-in-law had never been to the theatre before this and I can tell you she is now addicted!
Although we originally only booked to see Ewan McGregor, we are glad that we have seen the show. It is now my favourite musical, Ewan has our total gratitude for being the reason we went to see such a wonderful show!
Whether you are a theatre fanatic, like me; or a theatre virgin, like my sister-in-law, I suggest that you go see the show, whether it be the all star cast in London, or a local production near you you will love every minute of it!
Currently Guys and Dolls is playing at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London.
Tickets cost from £15 to £55.
Visit the website: www.theambassadors.com/piccadilly