I recently spent the afternoon at the Shaw Festival Theatre enjoying their musical production of Guys and Dolls. The program describes the story as follows:
“In New York City, you’ll meet wise guys and chorus gals, gamblers and actresses, cops and bobby-soxers. Pious Sarah Brown, a sergeant at the Save-A-Soul mission, wants to save their souls while Nathan Detroit needs $1000 to save the city’s oldest floating craps game. Enter high-roller Sky Masterson who takes Nathan’s crazy bet – to woo the virtuous Sarah! Who will take a real gamble on love? Will luck be a lady tonight?”
Now, I’d seen Guys and Dolls before and it really had been abysmal. Of course, it was at my daughter’s high school where really sports are the main attraction. They seemed to have dragged whatever males they could get, probably from detention, to play all the male roles, and filled it out with some delinquent females with one shining star in the mix who played the virtuous Sarah. The poor boy that played Sky could not dance, act or sing. It was torture.
Clearly, this was not my experience this summer with the world renowned Shaw Festival. Wonderful professionals in a spectacular backdrop re-shaped this production for me that afternoon. Some of the loveliest songs like, “I’ll know” and “More I Cannot Wish You” rang through me “As If I Were a Bell”. Oh that’s what that song is supposed to sound like! I loved it.
If you do yourself the very wonderful favour of visiting Niagara this season and catching Guys and Dolls, watch for Jenny L. Wright, who steals the show with her performance as Adelaide! She is hilarious, well-timed and has an amazing voice which she uses to craft her portrayal of the long suffering fiancé of Nathan Detroit.
Arrive a bit early for the show and enjoy a glass of Niagara wine in the spectacular Shaw gardens. A lovely chilled glass of Niagara reisling and a fabulous musical – what a lovely way to spend the afternoon.