Regional Theater Review: GUYS AND DOLLS (Theatre at the Center in Munster, Indiana)

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by Molly Woulfe on September 24, 2011

in Theater-Regional

GREAT DAME

Were the masterpiece from the golden age of Broadway Guys and Dolls an actual guy or doll, he or she could score Social Security next year; but make no mistake, this 1950 hoofer is no worse for the wear, thanks to Frank Loesser’s timeless score and Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows’ cheeky book about strippers and dice-rollers (who, at times, seem more Disneyesque than Runyonesque). Veteran director William Pullinsi, always one to respect a classic, wisely banks on the music in his cheery revival at Theatre at the Center in Munster. All the leads are strong singers, and they go for broke. Guys and Dolls - Theatre at the Center in Munster Indiana – Regional Theater Review by Molly WoulfeThe surprise hard ten at this crapshooters’ ball: New York actress Angie Stemberg as Miss Adelaide, the toast of the Hot Box Dance Club and perennial fiancée of Nathan Detroit (Norm Boucher). Too many peroxide-headed dames in too many revivals have sold the Divine Miss A short as a blonde bombshell desperate to channel her inner housewife. Yet whether she’s sniffling (“Adelaide’s Lament”) or stripping down to a bustier (“Take Back Your Mink”), Stemberg radiates such sweet sexiness and sheer devotion to Nathan that she is love incarnate. Nathan Lane look-alike Boucher is just as smitten when not preoccupied with finding a joint to host his floating crap game. As the pair kiss, fight, and make up, one hopes that starchy mission doll Sarah Brown (Caroline Kobylarz) and hunky gambler Sky Masterson (Robert Hunt) are taking notes on when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em for the long haul. Guys and Dolls - Theatre at the Center in Munster Indiana – Regional Theater Review by Molly WoulfeAn unseen orchestra and solid ensemble keep the scenes rolling, from Broadway to Havana (where Sarah throws down rummy “milkshakes” like Sky does dice) to a double wedding in Times Square.

molly @ stageandcinema.com

photos by Michael Brosilow

Guys and Dolls
Theatre at the Center in Munster, Indiana
scheduled to end on October 16
for tickets, visit http://www.theatreatthecenter.com/

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