Guys and Dolls
While many American musicals from the golden era of the late '40's to the early '60's have had to undergo cosmetic surgery in order to remove racist and/or sexist blemishes, the original Guys and Dolls remains as adaptable and thoroughly entertaining as ever. In its current production of Frank Loesser, Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows' take on Damon Runyon's classic tale of small time gamblers and their molls, the Arvada Center has given full reign to story's potential.
Sally Burke and Nicole Hoof's costume's are a riot of plaids, pinstripes and pastels in perfect harmony with Richard Pegg's cartoonish cityscape, all reflecting the hyperbolic, yet endearing characters that frequented Runyan's Gotham of the 1930's.
Daniel Guzman is suave and silky voiced as the dashing high stakes gambler Sky Masterson who, on a bet, tries to get a date with the straight-laced, romantically repressed bible-thumper Sarah Brown, the spirited and full-voiced Joan Staples. While their chemistry had not been fully realized on opening night, nevertheless Guzman and Staples sing well together and make a believable if not fairy tale romance out of it. Nathan Detroit, who runs the oldest established floating crap game in New York, and Miss Adelaide, the lead singer/dancer at The Hot Box Club, on the other hand, are a comic book couple if there ever was one. Engaged for 14 years and counting, Gregg Price is polished and quick-witted as the loveable yet unrepentant Detroit, while Beth Flynn is an eccentric and mellow voiced crack-up as the vacuous yet golden-hearted Adelaide.
Director Tim Bair's casting is generally strong throughout, with fine character actors Rick Hilsabeck, Brian Kelly, Rob Costigan, Charles Hudson, Rob Reynolds, Frank Oden, Jan Waterman and George Jackson, III keeping things lively. Troy Rintala's choreography is often brilliant, though a couple of numbers, particularly "Luck Be A Lady," fail to live up to possibilities.
The Arvada Center's production of Guys and Dolls runs through July 29th. 303-431-3939.