A glitzy, showy, classic musical at the spectacular venue of the Savoy Theatre (it has now moved to the Phoenix Theatre with a slightly different cast). As a big fan of Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando in the iconic movie version of the gambling love story, my hopes were very high.
The set was very simple, largely a blank, black canvas that could be added to for particular scenes, such as dinner in Cuba, but mostly it was the chorus and dancers that added flavour- aside from the tender moments with just one couple on stage, which was almost too empty at times. But I loved the simplicity of the title song with just Nicely Nicely and Benny leaping around the stage.
My main takeaway was that Gavin Spokes as Nicely Nicely Johnson absolutely stole the show. As well as the above, he led the ensemble with a spectacularly joyful rendition of Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat and also stood out during the opening Fugue for Tinhorns.
I also had a soft spot for Jamie Parker as Sky Masterson, particularly in the romantic scenes, though he didn’t quite have the required Brando presence. But his next role is in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child which will surely be a performance to look out for.
Overall I enjoyed this production which had both appropriately glitzy and more pared down moments, but sadly it was just too long and didn’t keep up the momentum for the full running time. A slightly streamlined Guys and Dolls would be right up my street.