Whats playing at Starlight? Ill tell you whats playing at Starlight.
Has any couple onstage been more star-crossed than Sarah Brown, the uptight Skid Row missionary with God in her heart, and Sky Masterson, the upright golden boy with gambling in his heart? Unlike Romeo and Juliet, whose families enmity makes their love impossible, Sarah and Sky are separated by their own fundamental natures.
And has any musical been more perfectly constructed than Guys and Dolls? Its so light, so sure on its feet, with Frank Loessers brilliant music and lyrics and Jo Sweling and Abe Burrows rock-solid book so witty and brassy and sometimes heartbreaking. Its almost easy to miss how every song is in the right place (and how many of them are classics), how every character is so vividly established and worth rooting for, and how every story beat rings like a bell, ding dong ding.
So sue me. What can you do me? I love it.
I was there Tuesday at the great burgundy-clouded, ominous-thundering, lightning-crashing, gully-washing Guys and Dolls, when storms closed the show right after the title song (delivered with panache to spare by the Laurel-and-Hardy duo of Garth Kravitz, as Benny Southstreet, and Glenn Rainey, as Nicely Nicely Johnson). That just means I got to go back the next night and see it all again from the start. Im so glad I did.
The angel-voiced Erin Davie gives Sarah Brown a divine set of pipes, belying the severity of her Salvation Army-ish uniform. And if anything, Ben Crawfords voice is too magnificent for the streetwise Sky. Davie and Crawford blend uneasily on "Ill Know," then cohere smoothly in "Ive Never Been in Love."
Steve Rosens Nathan Detroit is a walking punch line in plaid. Megan Sikora is the total package as Adelaide -- a fizzy bombshell amalgam of Lucille Ball, Betty Boop and the Judy Holliday of Born Yesterday. As the shows silliest and wisest character, she wins huge laughs and applause with her squeals, growls and helium-inflated line deliveries.
Director Gordon Greenberg delivers the show as glitzy comic entertainment. The set puts the entire height of the Starlights stage ablaze in lights, and even minor ensemble roles are played with arresting flair. Patti Colombo deserves mention for her show-stopping choreography. The crapshooters are spectacular in "Luck Be a Lady" (when Crawford really comes into his own) and behind Rainey in Nicelys mission testimony, "Sit Down Youre Rocking the Boat."
I think by now you know the score. You should go. If I were a salad, Id be splashing my dressing. Bet you eight to three youll have a wonderful time. Especially if, like me, youre one of those suckers who believes in fly-by-night Broadway romance.