When you first hear the name Damon Runyon, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking of that wonderfully nostalgic view of New York City’s golden era through the show, Guys and Dolls.
First opening in 1951 and penned by Broadway legend Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, the show hosts some of Broadway’s best loved tunes: Luck Be a Lady, Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat, Adelaide’s Lament and so many more.
This week, Hastings is fortunate enough to be able to see an amazing production of Guys and Dolls at the White Rock Theatre.
In a show filled with hustlers, gamblers, showgirls, gangsters, and religious reformers, Guys and Dolls is a special treat for the eyes and ears.
It promises to serve up a view of a more innocent time some of us long to return to - and follows through on that promise.
No mobile phones, no Facebook or Twitter features in this show. Just a great, old fashioned love story that has stood the test of time.
Directed by David Sismore, we are taken on a humorous journey into the life of street hustler, Nathan Detroit, played by Richard Baker.
Nathan is trying to organise his floating crap game, all the while struggling to keep it hidden from his long suffering fiancée of 14 years, the showgirl, Adelaide, performed by Kellie Kelly.
Added to the mix is the forthright Sarah Brown, played by Robyn Nash, and a Salvation Army-styled band, set on cleaning up the streets of New York by ‘saving’ it’s many gamblers and hoodlums from their life of crime.
Then professional gambler, Sky Masterson, performed by Kenny Giles, comes along and shakes up Sarah’s world as much as she shakes up his.
All the while, cops are looking for the ever moving crap game. Bets are made and lost; love is found and lost, in this sparkling story filled with laughter, great dance sequences - choreographed by the talented Royah Hamed, with wonderful singing performances - arranged by musical director, Clare Adams
Yes, some of the language is dated compared to the ‘text speak’ of our modern age. But that is the real charm of this piece.
These days, you will never hear of characters called, Nicely-Nicely Johnson, Harry the Horse, Benny Southstreet or Rusty Charlie. It all adds to the tapestry of a time long gone and the overall nostalgia of the piece.
A few changes to the original production come in the casting of Big Jule. Normally you get one of the meanest looking male actors in the role. This time, we have the innately funny Michelle Brown playing the dangerous, ‘can’t win’ gambler just in from Chicago to play “Craps”.
All in all, this is a delightful production filled with colour, wonderful costumes and an ensemble of very talented performers.
A must see for those who wish to take a journey back in time to revisit Old New York before it is lost forever!
Playing at the White Rock theatre now until Saturday, November 2, at 7.30pm, matinees are on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.
Tickets are still available at the box office costing £10 or £12 for adults.
Concessions are also available.
Phone the White Rock box office on 01424 462288.