Guys and Dolls Is Worth The Gamble At The Georgetown Palace Theatre!
By Olin Meadows
Guys and dolls, the great American musical about, thugs, dolls, dancers and the perils of gambling gets a bit of a makeover in the current production at the Georgetown Palace Theatre. The show directed by Palace resident Ron Watson, is a fun and carefree evening at the theatre. The show runs smoothly and keeps a nice steady pace that makes it enjoyable but not too long. Part of the charm of this show is the superb casting of a majority the cast. The true star of the show is Samantha Watson, as Miss Adelaide. Adelaide is the glue that holds this show together, she is the love interest in the longest engagement in history, as well as the star of the Hatbox Cabaret. Miss Watson give a humorous and spot on portrayal of a love sick starlet on the verge of a breakdown. Miss Adelaide fits Miss Watson with the style and elegance of a couture gown! However Miss Watson is not the only actor in this production to bring home the bacon, Steve Williams as Sky Masterson has a voice that just makes you want to fall in love with him. Williams brings heart, and class to the character of the big bad gambling gangster in town. Rounding out this stellar cast is Daniel Montplasir as Nathan Detroit, Miss Adelaide’s long term Fiancé, as Detroit Mr. Montplasir is the perfect image of a man afraid of commitment and yet torn by his love.
There are some stellar standouts in the ensemble of this cast, Kirk Kelso as Nicely Nicely Johnson give a nicely crafted character, that rocks not only the boat but the entire stage in his rafter rattling performance of “Sit Down Your Rocking the Boat.” Then there is the ominous and terrifying Big Jule who is played by the youngest member of the cast Bryce Keesee-Lourigan, who’s take on a gangster is sidesplitting and spot on! Honorable mention should also go to Linda Myers as Mission General Matilda B. Cartwright, Steve Menke as Brother Arvide Abernathy, Pete Munoz as the Master of Ceremonies and Rusty Charlie, as well as the Hatbox Dancers, Danielle Ruth, Nancy Penner, Cici Barone, and Martha Hurley.
The Lighting Design by Palace regular Faith Casteneda is well thought, and helps to give depth and clarity to some of the less the effective scenic design. Speaking of Scenic Design, while designer Dean Patch had some creative innovative thoughts, they did not all play well. The large brick wall that appeared to be in the middle of every street in New York City was not effective use of space, and while I applaud the attempt to make the show seem multi-dimensional the cut out at the bottom of the stage was a poor usage of space. And please, please, please can we have one show at the palace that does not use the projector images for portions of their set? I love technology and understand the need to conserve space on the smaller stage but enough is enough.
Aside from the poor scenic choices the show is well built and is effective. The cast is superb, the direction is thoughtful, motivated and fits the story well. The choregraphy by Jessee Smart is colorful, fun and some of the best I have seen in a long time. Over all this show is an easy 4 out of 5 stars, get to this show while you can!
Guys and Dolls Runs through June 15 with performances Friday through Sunday. For more information and tickets go to http://www.georgetownpalace.com