A tale of unrequited love, Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit, two gambling womanisers and philandering gangsters, this classic musical comedy has rarely been off stage since it’s first appearance on Broadway over 70 years ago.
Although the acclaim bestowed on last week’s Studio32 production in San Fulgencio wont’ be quite as wholesome as the 1950’s original it is certainly no less deserving, as the company of 2022 provided the audience with great dancing, effortless scene changes and a cast large enough not to give the appearance of everybody each playing three parts, all of which added to the quality and feel of this show.
I have no criticism of the cast, who were excellent throughout, with some outstanding performances, as we were transported to the dangerous streets of New York in the fifties, where Nathan Detroit (played convincingly by Bill Nicholson) is attempting to set up another crap game, but is struggling to find a venue away from the prying eyes of Lt Brannigan (Lydia Kay), and his disapproving fiancée of 14 years Miss Adelaide (the excellent Donna Waters).
As the storyline develops, Sarah Brown (the amazing 19 year old debutant, Katy Pearl) is a straight-laced Salvationist from the Save Our Soul Mission, determined to rid the city of evil, alcohol and gambling, until she meets Sky Masterson (take a huge bow, Rae Daniel, formerly of Grange Hill fame). He accepts and wins a bet to woo Ms Brown and sweep her off to Havana.
Although the four principals were rocks of the show, the supporting cast gave their all and were impressive throughout, none more so than Andy Kirkwood, whose Nicely-Nicely Johnson was effervescent and jolly, and his Duet with sidekick Benny (played excellently by Riche Lucey) featured the show title song Guys and Dolls, while his Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat also hit the spot. Kevin Spicer as Harry the Horse was hilarious while Granma Peggy played by Judith O’Neill pleasantly surprised us all with her rendition of “More I Cannot Wish You”
It was wonderful to hear many other old classics like “A Bushel and a Peck,” “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” “Luck Be a Lady”, together with the Pearl-Waters duet “Marry the Man Today” all of which reminded us of far less complicated times.
Next up for Studio32, A Night on Broadway, scheduled for the Cardenal Belluga Theatre in mid November, and with the company even now working on a number of exciting additions to the cast, it is already looking to be a winner. Watch this space!