Monday, April 20, 2009

A person can love it

Boston Brahmin saw the latest revival of Guys and Dolls on Broadway last weekend, and it was a matinee to remember. This is a classic, the quintessential Broadway musical about New York characters from a certain mythical age. The language and the music are thoroughly enjoyable. You don't need to know anything to follow the simple story and admire the professional production. The little Brahmins had a ball, too-- and as teenagers, they are not easy to please.

A tale of two couples, Nathan Detroit, a fast-talking, down-on-his-luck gambler in 1930s New York, his anxious stripper fiancee Miss Adelaide, Sister Sarah Brown, a missionary trying to reform the city of sins, and her beau Sky Masterson, Guys and Dolls is based on characters from Damon Runyon's short stories. There have been many revivals of the original 1950 production. Nathan Detroit has been played over the years by luminaries Frank Sinatra and Nathan Lane; this latest version is played by Oliver Platt, who has big shoes to fill, and he does so. (Hear Platt's interview today on NPR)

The New York Times reviewer called this Guys and Dolls "static" and "stiff" (see review). Well, he obviously didn't see the same show that I did. Trust me, you want to see this.