Guys and Dolls

At 6th Street Playhouse
Runs in Santa Rosa through October 7, 2018

Randy Nazarian, Ariel Zuckerman and Brett Mollard. Photo by Eric Chazankin.

The venerable musical Guys and Dolls has often been referred to as the great American musical, praise supported by its many awards and revivals since 1950 in the U.S., the U.K., and around the globe. Its popularity seems unbounded, and audiences love to discover or revisit it, as witnessed on opening night at 6th Street Playhouse. Happily, this production warrants the revisit and praise, for its excellent cast and enjoyable staging.

Based on several Damon Runyon short stories, the book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling captures the New York post-Prohibition underlife world of petty gangsters, gamblers, and con men, as well as the missionary efforts of those who aimed to reform them. Nathan Detroit (Ariel Zuckerman) runs the “oldest, established, permanent floating crap game in New York,” but he’s having trouble finding the right spot for it, owing to police crackdowns and a lack of funds. His cronies Nicely Nicely (Randy Nazarian) and Benny (Brett Mollard) lend a hand, fending off police lieutenant Brannigan (Levi Sterling) and gun-toting Chicago gangsters (Benjamin Donner and Carl Kraines).

Nathan also has to mollify his “doll” Adelaide (Ella Park), lead performer at the Hot Box nightclub; their engagement of 14 years hangs in the balance, as she’s fed up with his nefarious activities. When notorious gambler Sky Masterson (Ezra Hernandez) hits town, Nathan sees a way to raise funds for his game and put the pesky Save-a-Soul Mission folks to good use, especially their attractive leader Sarah (Eleanor Paul). Insert mayhem, miscommunications, misunderstandings, and Cuba, before we get to a resolution. …

To continue reading about this production, go to Talkin’ Broadway:
Guys and Dolls