Guys and Dolls recently gained acclaim again after Entertainment Weekly named Guys and Dolls the best musical in the last one-hundred years. The musical tells the story of gamblers, gangsters and other characters within New York City in the 1920s and 30s. It is also a love story between notorious gamblers and the women who love them. Ephrata Performing Arts Center reminds audiences why this show is the best musical of the last one-hundred years. Guys and Dolls delivers strong vocals, breathtaking choreography and outstanding acting, and this show will win audiences’ hearts with this remarkable production.
The musical, Guys and Dolls, is based on two short stories written by Damon Runyon, “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure.” The show opened on Broadway in 1950 and won the Tony Award for Best Musical that year. Frank Loesser wrote the music and lyrics for Guys and Dolls, and Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows penned the book. The show has had several revivals in London and on Broadway. The most recent Broadway revival was in 2009, and starred Lauren Graham, Oliver Platt, Craig Bierko, and Kate Jennings Grant.
EPAC’s production of Guys and Dolls is loaded with talent and infused with creativity. Every element of this show is strong, from the set, to the orchestra pit, to the actors, to the directing. Nick Smith plays Sky Masterson, the smooth-talking gambler. He is convincing as the gambler and his character evolves throughout the show. His performance throughout the show is smooth. Stacia Smith portrays Sarah Brown, the Salvation Army officer. Stacia Smith is perfect in this role, and her voice is angelic and powerful. Audiences can see Sarah’s confliction about Sky through Smith’s portrayal of the character. Adelaide is played by Lynne DeMers Hunt, and she successfully depicts the cabaret entertainer and her frustration with her fiancé, Nathan Detroit. Hunt’s performance in “Take Back Your Mink” is solid, and her duet with Stacia Smith in “Marry the Man Today” is one of the best performances in the show. Bob Checchia plays Nathan Detroit, a gambler who has a phobia about marriage. Checchia is animated in this role, and he successfully portrays his fear of marriage. His duet with Hunt, “Sue Me” shows the love and anger these two characters have for one another, and it is an entertaining duet. Nicely Nicely Johnson is played by Jim Rule, and his performance is solid. His songs, “Guys and Dolls” and “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” are entertaining and the best songs in the show. Rule’s performance in Guys and Dolls is worth the price of admission. Gene Ellis portrays Big Jule and he adds humor throughout the show, and is definitely convincing as a Chicago gangster. Rounding out this fabulous cast is John Kleimo as Arvide Abernathy. Kleimo adds the right amount of kindness, and makes the song “More I Cannot Wish You” one of the more emotional songs in the show.
The ensemble also needs recognized for the amazing amount of energy they bring to this production. The opening sequence and “The Crapshooters Dance” are energetic and incorporate brilliant choreography. The chorographer for this production is Irving Gonzalez and he deserves applause. Another individual who deserves recognition is the director of Guys and Dolls, Edward Fernandez. In addition, the costume designer is Janell Berte, J. Benjamin Farrar serves as the Set Designer, and JP Meyer is the Music Director.
Do not miss this production of Guys and Dolls - it is brilliant and energetic. The show runs at the Ephrata Performing Arts Center through August 10, 2013. For more information and tickets visit their website at www.ephrataperformingartscenter.com or call the box office at 717-733-7966.
Final Thought: Guys and Dolls at EPAC wins audiences hearts with this energetic and talented production. Do not miss this wonderful show.
Kelli Curtin is editor and writer for theatresensation.com. In addition, she writes for the online sites broadwayworld.com and figlancaster.com and is a freelance writer. Kelli is excited to share her passion about theatre and the arts with her readers. Kelli can be found on twitter @theatrescribe and on Facebook/theatresensation.