Guys and Dolls 2009

The Standard, Friday 29 May 2009

Show Brings Out the Best in Cast

Review - Guys and Dolls
Clacton Amateur Operatic Society
Princes Theatre, Clacton

The mega Broadway hit Guys and Dolls will go down as a memorable swansong for The Clacton Amateur Operatic Society.

The 1950s award-winning musical marked the end of an era for the society which is celebrating its 80th birthday this year.

For the singers are changing their name to Clacton Musical Theatre Society and are already planning their next production, the family pantomime Mother Goose opening on New Year's day.

Guys and Dolls with its melodious songs and toe-tapping rhythms brought out the best in a big cast.

They sang their hearts out as they played cards, marched with the mission drum and even performed a striptease.

The story evolved around the Save a Soul Mission in New York urging repentance from the gamblers in their jungle of sin.

But it's also a double love story with gambler Sky Masterson taking a bet he can take the mission leader Sarah Brown to Havana while crap game organiser Nathan Detroit tries to evade marriage to his night club showgirl, Adelaide.

Star of the show was Cathy Roberts as the songbird Adelaide who tottered and winced and produced an amazing high-pitched American drawl throughout her dialogue and songs.

Cathy and her hot box girls certainly got the audience's attention when they stripped to their basques in a seductive version of Take Back Your Mink.

She was paired up with Ben Adams as her scheming gambling fiance easily led astray by the likes of Nicely Nicely, Harry the Horse and Liver Lips Louie.

Douglas Garner was an over the top but utterly believable Big Julie, the hard man of gambling.

The mission leader Sarah Brown was played with charm by teenager Chantelle Tyler and Ben Long put in a strong performance hitting all the notes with ease.

The show was held together by new musical director Geoff Osborne and his pit with ten musicians.

If the guys and the dolls are anything to go by the show promises a healthy new era for the singers.

Sue Howlett

National Operatic and Dramatic Association - NODA

Guys and Dolls

Clacton Amateur Operatic Society
Director - Val Massey
Choreographer - Nikki Mundell-Poole
Musical Director - Geoff Osborne

An excellent set greeted the audience on their arrival to this production which was bright with very colourful costumes and musically the tempo was maintained through the show.

The start with Broadway was well choreographed with interesting happenings leading into Fugue which was snappy, but without the harmonies at the end which adds to this number.

Chantelle Tyler as Sarah Brown did well with a pleasant singing voice and together with Ben Long as Sky Masterson the balance was good on the duets. Ben Adams as Nathan gave a totally convincing character as the long time fiance of Miss Adelaide played by Cathy Roberts and again the pairing was good.

The male chorus I felt were very strong and gave a good account in all the numbers as did the whole company in Sit Down, which came over very well.

I thought the crap shooters dance extremely good and all the choreographed numbers had Nikki's stamp on them in refreshing routines. El Cafe Cubano was particularly good also.

I would have liked the incorrect proverb in the Mission Hall to have been more visible to the audience? The lighting I found quite confusing and I could not understand the variance at times with very dim patches on the set where it was difficult to see the action.

All the supporting characters were well played and it was a very good first night. It was well appreciated by the audience and I enjoyed the production very much. A well thought out programme with a good cover for this society's 80th Anniversary.

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