Tuesday, July 06, 2004

 “Guys and Dolls”

WOR RADIO review by David Richardson, Transcript, 7/6 Broadcast

That music Ed is from one of my all time favorites “Guys and Dolls” which is now being revived at the Paper Mill Playhouse out in Millburn, New Jersey. It stars Robert Cuccioli as Sky Masterson, Kate Baldwin as Sarah from the Salvation Army, Michael Mastro as Nathan Detroit and my favorite Karen Ziemba as Adelaide who’s been trying to marry Nathan for years. The story, originally conceived by Damon Runyon, is about a big gambler Nathan who’s trying to get a crap game going in the Biltmore Garage but who needs $1000 to ante up as a down payment. To get the money he makes a bet with Sky Masterson that he can’t get a girl of Nathan’s choosing to go to Havana. He chooses the puerile Sarah Brown but loses the bet as Sky does get her to go to Havana and of course they fall in love. The sub plot is about Adelaide who is appearing at the Hot Box club and Nathan who is tying to stay unhitched. Well the boys finally get their game, the Salvation Army finally gets a bunch of sinners to try and convert and everyone ends up happily ever after. The silly plot is of no real consequence, however, but the musical numbers are: “A Bushel and A Peck,” “If I Were a Bell,” “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” “Sit Down You're Rockin’ the Boat,” and, of course, the title song.

This is another fine production from the Paper Mill and when that great theatrical organization, who is lucky to have Charlie Siedenburg handling its press relations, sticks to revivals of famous shows they do very well. For anyone listening out there in Millburn take that little piece of advice seriously.

A couple of “Guys and Dolls” sidelights: When it opened in 1950 an orchestra seat cost 9.50, it won 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, ran 1200 performances, and of course was made into a movie starring the late Marlin Brando. It was also brought back in 1976 and 1992 with Nathan Lane and that year it won the Tony for Best Musical Revival. Quite a background.

Anyway, if you have never seen “Guys and Dolls” or even if you have, this is a terrific revival that you simply must drive over and see. It’s only on until the 18th so you’d better hurry. I loved it, as the song goes, ‘a bushel and a peck.’

©WOR Radio published in cooperation with the Paper Mill Theatre