Cleverly capturing the essence of 1950s New York City through eye-popping costumes, creative staging, and snappy dialogue, Cohasset Dramatic Club presents the clever musical comedy, ‘Guys and Dolls.’ Immediately from its fresh, entertaining opening which launches the show’s lively pacing, the ‘Guys and Dolls’ cast show they have a gift for comic timing in the spoken and unspoken. Directed by Lisa Pratt, musically directed by Mark Bono, and choreographed by Dori Bryan-Ployer, this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical continues through Saturday, March 26 at Cohasset Town Hall Theatre in Cohasset, Massachusetts. Click here for tickets and more information.
‘Guys and Dolls’ features a number of Frank Loesser’s memorable hit tunes that have endured the test of time brought to thrilling life through vivid city backdrops by scenic artist Denise Feeney and a cast that glides and sways in dynamic costumes by costumes and props designer Irene Vafides. Poodle skirts, satin dresses, and pinstriped and plaid suits combine with layered staging depict the Big City’s magnitude and help convey little stories told on the pulsing city streets. A man walking around flashing gold watches was a highlight.
Cohasset Dramatic Club’s ‘Guys and Dolls’ hearkens to an era of slick, double talkers and unforgettable dames. This impressive cast captures a rhythmic camaraderie through clever stage blocking and smooth choreography especially between Steve Dooner as Nathan Detroit, Chris DiOrio as Nicely Nicely Johnson, Mike Nakashima as Benny Southstreet, and the crapshooters during the classic tunes, ‘The Oldest Established’ the title track, ‘Guys and Dolls,’ and ‘Luck Be a Lady.’ Whether it is a wink, a pat on the back, or a longer pause, their sight gags are something to behold.
At the heart of this timeless musical comedy is a moral struggle. New York City gambler Sky Masterson, dressed distinctly in a purple suit and black hat and portrayed with subtle, natural charisma by Trey Lunquist, makes the bet of his life as he agrees to ask out Sarah Brown, a conservative Salvation Army sergeant. Linquist is likable and charismatic, possessing a cool ease throughout the production. With her hair pulled back and simply dressed in a burgundy and black uniform, Nicole Mayne Warner portrays confident Sarah Brown with a disciplined pensiveness. Warner has a warm, yet guarded presence and her soaring soprano voice delivers a lovely version of ‘If I Were a Bell.’ She and Lunquist have a captivating chemistry especially during the tune, ‘I’ll Know’ and she and Kelly Hines as Adelaide give the boys a run for their money in the amusing number, ‘Marry the Man Today.’
Smiling and effervescent, Kelly Hines embodies Adelaide in every smirk and sassy remark. With a thick, whimsical New York accent, Hines depicts Adelaide’s complicated nature seamlessly whether she sizzles with the fun loving Hot Box dancers in ‘Take Back your Mink’ in costumes recalling classic Hollywood or evoking laughter and sympathy in a simple dress during ‘Adelaide’s Lament.’ Hines and Steve Dooner as her fast talking fiancé Nathan Detroit, brim with delightful chemistry throughout the show. Dooner, dressed in a pinstriped suit and an often adjusted tie to depict Nathan’s flabbergasted nervousness, is impressive whether scheming or pleading. His frowning, but charismatic Jack Black-like demeanor is especially charming under pressure when it looks like his head is just above water.
Chris DiOrio strikes the right balance of imposing but sweet in the role of crapshooter Nicely Nicely Johnson. His unassuming presence and spot-on comedic timing is endearing as he delivers a wild, whopping story during the pinnacle number, ‘Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.’
Cohasset Dramatic Club continues their spring season with the romantic musical comedy, ‘Guys and Dolls’ Fridays and Saturdays on March 18, 19, 25, 26 and Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. A final Sunday matinee will be held on March 20 at 2 p.m. All performances take place at Cohasset Town Hall Theatre, 41 Highland Ave in Cohasset, Massachusetts. Call 617-922-0280 or click here for tickets and follow Cohasset Dramatic Club on Facebook!