Guys and Dolls tells the story of gangsters and gamblers, sure, but it does so for laughs — it’s Boardwalk Empire by way of Bugs Bunny. From the outrageously colored zoot suits to the exaggeratedly colorful New York accents, everything is designed to elicit a chuckle.
And laugh you do, thanks to the cast assembled by the Westchester Broadway Theatre, which opened the show on April 11. The comedic cast is anchored — and carried away — by its two comedic leads, Nathan Detroit (Michael Brian Dunn) and Adelaide (Allie Shauer). (Shauer was last seen at the Westchester Broadway Theatre as Lina Lamont in Singin’ in the Rain, making her the WBT’s queen of squeaky-on-purpose voices.) Together, they’re the perfect picture of a lovable-no-goodnik and the patient girlfriend who just can’t shake him loose.
The true stars of the show, though, are the Frank Loesser songs, and Guys and Dolls has some of his greatest: “Luck Be a Lady,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” “If I Were a Bell” — the list goes on. If you’re a Loesser fan, this is a more-than-a-dozen-for-the-price-of-one opportunity, delivered by a talented cast that has no troubles with the eccentric rhythms of the overly formal street-thug dialect.
Guys and Dolls is also one of the few shows where the men in the cast get showier dance numbers than the women, and the WBT’s guys were up to the task, putting on a fantastic “Crapshooters’ Ballet” — one of the highlights of the evening.
Guys and Dolls will be at the Westchester Broadway Theatre until June 9. Afterward, it’ll follow up with The Sound of Music (June 13 to August 11), and then Oliver! (August 15 to September 8). It’s a strong summer lineup filled with perennial favorites, but, in my opinion, Guys and Dolls is the most fun one in the bunch, and perfect if you’re looking for an evening of light entertainment.