Tuesday, November 17, 2020

One That Got Away: Guys and Dolls (1992)

Even though I saw and enjoyed the National Tour of this production, I still count the 1992 Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls as One That Got Away. Actually, that National Tour is why I count the Broadway version I realized that I had really missed out. Odd as it may sound, I knew practically nothing about the show. Now, however, I count it among my favorites of the classic Broadway canon.

First of all, I love how the Broadway production was both classic and modern edge: lavishly designed, a large orchestra, and a large company. Director Jerry Zaks and choreographer Christopher Chadman brought a sharp, zesty performance to the stage.

Second, I realize now that I missed out on a cast full of actors either at the peak of their powers or on the cusp of a now legendary Broadway career. From principal cast to the ensemble, the company list is star-studded. Nathan Lane, Peter Gallagher and, in a star-making turn, Faith Prince led the cast, with a supporting cast including Walter Bobbie (Chicago), J.K. Simmons, Ernie Sabella, Ruth Williamson, and an ensemble full of Tony winners (present and future) and famous dancers. They include: Scott Wise (Tony-winner, Jerome Robbins' Broadway), Victoria Clark (Tony-winner, The Light in the Piazza), Nancy Lemenager, JoAnn M. Hunter, Mark Esposito, Timothy Shew (Les Miserables, The Visit), Cory English (Damn Yankees, Hello, Dolly!) and David Elder (Titanic, 42nd Street).

So, as I said, despite having seen a version of this production, I definitely feel like I missed out!

Guys and Dolls opened on April 14, 1992 at the Martin Beck Theatre and closed on January 8, 1995 following 33 previews and 1,143 performances. The production was nominated for 8 Tony Awards, winning 4: Best Revival, Best Direction (Jerry Zaks), Best Scenic Design (Tony Walton), and Best Actress in a Musical (Faith Prince).


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