Total Pageviews

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Trip to Runyonland... ELOPE presents GUYS AND DOLLS at the Timm's Centre

I have a fond attachment to ELOPE Musical Theatre.  When I moved to Edmonton in 2005, the first how I auditioned for (and got in) was ELOPE's Fiddler on the Roof. There I met many good friends who remain part of the core of my friends today.  A few years later I was in Baby with ELOPE which added many more terrific people to my friends list and a few years later I directed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee which was an amazing experience.

This season, ELOPE is putting on the classic Guys and Dolls at the Timm's Centre.  It's a fun world of gansters, gamblers, showgirls and salvation army misionaries in New York in a time long past. The songs are highly recognizable from the cutsey A Bushell and a Peck, to Sue Me, to I'll Know, to the title song Guys and Dolls. This cast handled the music well, particularly the leads.  Christina O'Dell and Stephen Allred as the mismatched Salvation Army Missionary Sarah Brown and Gambler Sky Masterson both had sweeping voices well equipped to handle their soaring love ballads.  O'Dell handled the challenging If I Were a Bell terrifically with a full sounding soprano and Allred's Luck Be A Lady was similarly well delivered. James Toupin and Karin Thomas as the more comic couple Nathan Detroit and Miss Adelaide had a real chemistry.  They've appeared as a couple onstage previously (The Full Monty) and their ease with each other really worked onstage.  Thomas was a lot of fun and made some terrific character choices to great comic effect.  Toupin's Detroit was a great foil and always believable.  They were great onstage separately and even better when they shared the stage together. Another highlight for me was Joe Garreck as Nicely Nicely Johnson.  He did a fantastic job on the show stopper Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat.  

If I had one criticism, it would likely be to clip a few of the dance numbers both in length and in people onstage.  Sometimes in the big numbers like the Havana scene and Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat it got hard to know what to look at because there was just too much going on.  With a show this length some of the dances originally put in to cover scene changes could have been shortened to move it a long faster.  But that's me... I'm sure someone else has a different opinion on that.

It's a fun show and one you leave humming the songs.  A little birdie from Tix on the Square told me that it is selling really well, so this might be one to buy your tickets in advance for.  It was certainly a packed house last night!

No comments: