Saturday, November 19, 2016

review - GUYS AND DOLLS - ASU Lyric Opera Theatre

Sara Sanderson and Brynn Lewallen
photo: Tim Trumble
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs through November 20th

"With numerous showstopping songs, Guys and Dolls is a musical comedy classic full of charm, style and wit. ASU Lyric Opera Theatre's production features a bevy of talented guys and dolls and impressive creative aspects that bring this beloved 1950 musical to vibrant life....Based on the short stories of Damon Runyon, and with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, Guys and Dolls won the Tony Award for Best Musical, ran for 1,200 performances on Broadway, and won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Runyon's characters are brought vibrantly to life through Swerling and Burrows' charming book and Loesser's fantastic songs, which include the upbeat showstoppers "Luck Be a Lady," "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" and the title song, the romantic numbers "If I Were a Bell" and "I'll Know," plus several superb comical songs. ASU Lyric Opera Theatre's production features some exceptional vocalists and comic actors. With expert comic timing and a firm grasp of her character, Brynn Lewallen is sensational as Miss Adelaide. She doesn't play this part in the traditional "ditzy blonde," a fresh take on the character. ...Sara Sanderson's excellent vocal skills provide clear dulcet notes in Sarah Brown's many beautiful songs and she embodies the part with a refined sense of hope and sincerity. As Sky, Lane Northcutt delivers exceptional singing abilities ,and Adam Sowards has fun with the many frantic moments and frenzied situations Nathan Detroit finds himself in. While I didn't quite buy either Northcutt or Sowards as these slightly seedy gambling men, mainly due to their youthful looks and sweet stage presence, they both form realistic couples with Sanderson and Lewallen, respectively, and all four deliver superb performances of Loesser's well-known songs...In supporting parts, Drake Sherman is a comic gem as Nicely Nicely Johnson. ....he also does a sensational job leading the showstopper "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," where Nellie Shuford as General Cartwright gets a fun breakout moment....For this production the character of Big Jule has been changed to a woman, and Erin Kong has fun with the part, instilling this domineering character with a strong sense of power over the men around her, though she lacks a bit of menace that is needed to make the moment when she bets against Nathan truly make sense. ....Director Toby Yatso and choreographer Molly Lajoie keep the pace upbeat and lively with Lajoie's varied choreography exceptional. Miles Plant's music direction derives superb vocals from the cast and a sensational sound from the large and excellent orchestra. The scenic design by Alfredo Escarcega presents a New York City street ...though I wish the backdrop had more color and substance, as the large black buildings painted on the drop seem at odds with the colorful and creative sets. Jessica Florez's costumes and the hair and makeup by Sharon Jones are lovely representations of the period...Full of fun characters and a score with non-stop hits, Guys and Dolls is a classic musical in the truest sense. With solid direction, impressive choreography, and joyful performances by this talented cast, even with just a few very small shortcomings, ASU Lyric Opera Theatre's production is still a blast and a lovely presentation of this classic show." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

No comments:

Post a Comment