THE BLACK REP CLOSES ON A HIGH NOTE WITH MULTI-ETHNIC CAST OF HIT MUSICAL "GUYS AND DOLLS"
The St. Louis Black Repertory 30th Anniversay season will be closing on a high note as the company revives the 1950 Tony Award winning musical GUYS AND DOLLS.
Directed by Black Rep Founder and Prioducing Director Ron Himes, GUYS AND DOLLS, which runs until June 30 at the Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square, tells the story of Nathan Detroit (played by Gary Vincent, PICTURED IN SECOND PIC )) who is an illegal gambler and his problems with his forlorn nightclub singer girlfirend Miss Adelaide (played brilliantly by Roz White Gonsalves PICTURED IN THE YELLOW DRESS WITH VINCENT) who wants him to settle down and marry her after a "14 year engagement) and his drive to find money to rengt a spot a to hold a big tiem crap game wihen big time gamblers (including Black Rep fave A.C. Smith as Bug Jule) come to town.
Trying to obtain the money, Nathan comes across Sky Masterson (played by J. Samuel Davis who puts on yet another great performance PICTURED IN THE TOP PIC ) a high-rolling gambler who takes a bet with Detroit in order to oput money down on a spot. The bet--If Sky can get holy roller Sarah Brown (played by Sophia Stephens, PICTURED TOP AND BOTTOM PIC), the neighborhood saint to go to dinner with him and take her to Havana Cuba. If he can't win her over, Detroit wins the money for the spot. If he can win her over, then Sky wins. Afterward, the game is on as we meet various cast of colorful and witty characters that keeps the story moving along from one highlighted scene to the next.
The Black Rep 's rendition of GUYS AND DOLLS is definitely on point. The acting is rich (especailly White's and Davis' who are definitely in the running for picking up a Woody Award this fall at the Black Rep's annual theatre award show). The set is colofrul and vibrant, setting the environment of a storefront town. The flashy 50s upscale clothing and dazzling choreography (epsiclaly the Havana scene) is simply breathtaking.
Beside a few audio problems and some of the actors not elevating their voices to a theater level, GUYS AND DOLLS is definitely a show stopper. What makes this rendition diffrent than those of the past (eg. the-all black version on Broadway in 1977), is there is no reference to color from the racially mixed cast (only hint of color reference was Stephens' character talking about her wish to go Africa than to Cuba). Thus, the play is perfect for any interpretation in that it is musical fantasy.
FYI, it would have been nice if the title could have been changed from GUYS AND DOLLS to BROTHERS AND BABES. Just sayin.
GUYS AND DOLLS
runs until June 30
3610 Grandel Sqaure
for tciket and showtimes call 314.534.3810.
or visit www.theblackrep.org