With a new addition to the Segerstrom Center for the Art’s 2014-2015 Broadway season, Guys and Dolls are taking over Orange County for a limited time engagement. Tonight through Sunday, April 19th, the national tour of the hit broadway show will be in town, celebrating the golden era and boasting one of the greatest scores ever written for any musical. And the Segerstrom is offering you the opportunity to catch a glimpse.
Arguably one of the best-known musicals in the industry, Guys and Dolls has a specific aesthetic and appeal to audiences, though everyone will find something to love in this newest rendition. With an all-star cast, audiences will be immersed in a 1940’s scene of gamblers, sinners and showgirls as the musical recreates a time of simpler vices and vibrant charm.
In the “Jungle of Sin” of 1940’s New York, audiences will encounter incisive and clever comedic moments, met with subtlety and the refinement that only a cast of this caliber can deliver. At first glance, the vibrant lights and swinging music will draw you in, but it’s the characters and the familiar feel that will have you wanting more. From the moment that you meet the leads, to every funny or heart-wrenching moment in between, the show will keep you glued to your seats, that is, unless you’re falling out from laughter.
I would venture to say that it’s the familiarity that really draws you in. The scenes, the people, even the music seem altogether familiar, even when they’re not. Obviously, you’ll recognize some of the songs, if not all of them, and the archetypes are all those that you’ve encountered before. But the combination of the elements will likely remind you of the golden age of Hollywood, filled with characters and comedians like Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz—and yes there’s even a Havana scene in there to take the allusions over the top too.
Originally premiering on broadway in 1950, Guys and Dolls is a musical that has been refined over the past 65 years with the iconic performances of many of broadway’s favorite actors. But it’s also a musical that allows for new talents to shine through the brilliantly familiar characters, as well. The tale of Nathan Detroit’s famous “oldest established, permanent floating crap game in New York” and his constant shenanigans in hopes of hiding his gambling from his showgirl girlfriend, Adelaide, Guys and Dolls has multiple layers of comedy that meet with a clever tale of boy-meets-girl in Sky Masterson’s pursuit of Bible-thumper Sarah Brown. And the peaks and troughs of the play are punctuated with witty little songs and clever comedic asides, so that the audiences never tire of interplaying storylines.
But it’s not just the comedic chops that these actors display—there are some brilliant singers in the bunch as well. When it comes to the vibrato in the voice of the leads, you could easily mistake the musical cast for that of the Phantom of the Opera, but it’s the brilliantly stark contrast to the spoken word that really elevates this national tour of Guys and Dolls.
Lauren Weinberg who plays the showgirl archetype Adelaide from the Hot Box nightclub, reveals smooth undertones and a vibrato of a singer far beyond the confines of her character. Pair that with the charm and booming voice of Matthew Taylor, who plays high-betting bad boy Sky Masterson, and you’ve got hit!
This is one show that you won’t want to miss—you have our marker on that!