Guys and Dolls | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Guys and Dolls

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This touring revival of the wacky, tuneful 1950 musical, based on Damon Runyon's comic tales of Times Square's hoodlum subculture, boasts song-and-dance man Maurice Hines as Nathan Detroit, operator of the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York. Hines is good, though he dances less than one might wish; but the real stars of this boisterous, laugh-packed production are the less famous leading players. The foxy Alexandra Foucard brings sizzling sexiness and a huge, dynamic voice to the part of Miss Adelaide, Nathan's showgirl fiancee of 14 years; her Betty Boop-style line readings are sometimes eccentric and over-the-top, but her timing's so good and she's having so much fun with the role that you can't help but fall for her. Brian Sutherland is engagingly rough edged and cocky as macho gambler Sky Masterson, and his wife, Diane Sutherland (better known to Broadway aficionados as Diane Fratantoni), is feisty and funny as the Salvation Army sister he falls in love with; both Sutherlands also do full justice to the rich lyricism of their romantic songs. With his brassy tenor, roly-poly Clent Bowers brings down the house as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, the happy hood who finds redemption in the rousing revivalist anthem "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," and Donna Migliaccio mines Merman-esque mirth from the usually insignificant role of Sarah's Salvation Army CO. Director Charles Randolph-Wright has filled the show with imaginative, sometimes off-the-wall sight gags (including a pair of dancing brides straight out of Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring), adding an irresistible vaudeville energy to the hilarious script by Abe Burrows and original director George S. Kaufman. And Frank Loesser's witty, jazzy score remains a classic--18 songs and not a dud in the bunch. Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph, 312-902-1400. Through December 16: Tuesdays, 7:30 PM; Wednesdays, 2 and 7:30 PM; Thursdays, 7:30 PM; Fridays, 8 PM; Saturdays, 2 and 8 PM; Sunday, December 9, 2 and 7:30 PM; Sunday, December 16, 2 PM. $27-$70.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Joan Marcus.

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