Guy & Dolls @ The Lyceum
After seeing the performance of Guys and Dolls at the Lyceum, I was confused. I thought that they missed a key song from the show! Where was the toe-tapping theme tune with the lyrics “Guys and Dolls, we’re just a bunch of crazy Guys and Dolls.”?! After sharing my confusion on Facebook, I was informed that this song was, in fact, a skit from The Simpsons, performed by Mark Hamill and a chorus encouraging Luke to “be a Jedi tonight”. My reputation as a man of culture lies in tatters.
Many people, like myself, are likely aware of Guys and Dolls as a show, but less aware of the details, which is a shame. Featuring probably the greatest names of any stage production ever, Sky Masterson (see!) is a habitual gambler eager to win a bet by snaring the innocent Sister Sarah Brown, while Nathan Detroit (come one!) is desperately trying to avoid a marriage commitment to Miss Adelaide, his long-suffering fiancé, while also trying to arrange a craps dice game for the city’s ne’er-do-wells .
Guys and Dolls is choc full of easy wit and salty characters, with some of Broadway’s greatest show-stopping tunes, including Luck be a Lady, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boatand My Time of Day. The choreography is highly creative, switching from flirtatious to utterly chaotic, at points leaving the audience breathless. Richard Fleeshman (Coronation Street) drips with oily charm as Masterson, while Louise Dearman (Wicked) steals the show and the biggest laughs as the determined but hapless Miss Adelaide. Originally released in 1950 and steeped in that New York culture of gamblers, gangsters and nightclub singers, it’s characters are still very familiar – probably best described as a parodying today’s ‘Lad’ culture, but eminently more likeable.