Guys and Dolls, Montgomery Theatre
Ellesmere Operatic Society’s production is more than craps, spats and dodgy New York accents. We’re in for a treat as the orchestra fires up. Luck Be a Lady Tonight, and big gangster suits appear amongst ladies twirling their colourful skirts. This contrasts with the conservative red suited Salvation Army moving soberly against the backdrop of a well-lit New York Street.
Pretty, well-intentioned Sarah Brown is failing to cure the city of gambling-itis. Soon, however, handsome but roguish Sky whisks her off to Havana for cocktails and sexy salsa dancing and she falls for the biggest gambler of all.
Charlotte Spowage is terrific in the lead role as Sarah Brown. She is sweetly vulnerable and has a great singing voice. Sadly Mark Taylor as Sky Masterson is badly miscast. He seems very awkward when dancing and his singing voice is rather weak.
The script is very funny and the dream partnership of Damien Ross as gambling den organiser, Nathan Detroit and Carol Wibberley as Miss Adelaide share many of the best lines, as well as some genuinely tender moments. Much of the banter is based around the fact that Adelaide’s mum thinks she is married with five children, which she gradually divulges to an increasingly astonished, fourteen year betrothed Nathan.
Stephen Evans as Benny and David Jefferson as Nicely-Nicely are underused but the latter does a fun rendition of crowd pleaser, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat. The ensemble was well directed and the choreographers have come up with three distinct and captivating dancing styles.