Magazine article The Nation

Guys and Dolls

Magazine article The Nation

Guys and Dolls

Article excerpt

The week that saw revivals of both Streetcar and Guys and Dolls must have been unsettling for Marion Brando, though his ownership of the role of Sky Masterson was never as secure as his claim to be the One and Only Stanley Kowalski. Still, his was the only Sky I'd seen till the present revival at the Martin Beck, and for my money, he doesn't have to worry about Peter Gallagher. This Guys and Dolls has been approved by most of the critics and it's the box-office hit of the season, but I have to say I found it more in the nature of Official Replica than Best Revival--to the degree that there is stage business lifted in exact detail from the movie (and so, I suppose, from the original production).

Faith Prince in the role of Miss Adelaide is the most capable of the replicants. She belts out "Adelaide's Lament" and "Take Back Your Mink" with drollery and gusto. But Nathan Lane as Nathan Detroit never reaches escape velocity. His voice is white bread when rye is required. On "Sue Me," his duet with Adelaide, which should be his moment of glory, he makes Nu sound like new. His mustache is a mistake, for which the program says that David H. Lawrence should be blamed.

Gallagher as Sky Masterson and Josic de Guzman as Sarah Brown are well paired. Theirs is just the sort of vocally impeccable and dramatically perfunctory performance one might expect to see at the New York State Opera. The sets by Tony Walton are very pretty and knowingly referential to the original sets by Jo Mielziner. William Ivey Long's costumes go overboard in the direction of garish. …

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