Newbury Musical Theatre Society
The Newbury Musical Theatre Society web site is at www.newburymusicaltheatre.co.uk
Formerly Newbury Operatic Society.
A Musical Showcase, 16th August 2014 at
Stockcross Village Hall
Part of StockFest.
Review of Guys and Dolls
9th to 12th April 2014.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
NMTS plays a winning hand
Newbury Musical Theatre Society: Guys and Dolls, at the Corn Exchange, from Wednesday, April 9 to Saturday, April 12
This was the second time that Newbury Musical Theatre Society have produced Guys and Dolls, the first being in 1988.
The appeal of this musical comes from a number of factors, the unique and comic writing of Damon Runyon, whose stories it is based on, the strong music score by Frank Loesser, and the original book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows.
Many will also remember the successful film version, with an all star cast including Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and Jean Simmons, in 1955.
From the opening overture by the orchestra, conducted by Michael Evans, the show was a fast moving kaleidoscope of colour, costume, shifting scenery and effervescent actors and dancers moving gracefully across the stage.
Safe to say, I think, that this is not your average musical storyline; a New York gambler, Sky Masterson, played with panache by Martin Rogers, takes on a bet that he can get a Salvation Army-type girl. Sister Sarah Brown, played by Kate Izzard with attention to the reserved nature of her character and in possession of a strong, attractive voice, to go on a date to far off Havana with him.
The sub plot involves another low-life gangster, Nathan Detroit, underplayed nicely by Jamie Ledwith, trying to avoid marriage to the girl he's been engaged to for 14 years - Miss Adelaide, played suitably over the top by Holly Lucas. And all around are gamblers and shady characters with names like Big Jule, Harry The Horse, and Liver Lips Louie, and the members of the Save A Soul Mission.
The songs were generally very well sung and put over, with Luck Be a Lady a standout, along with Miss Adelaide's lament and Kate Izzard's strong performance on If I Were a Bell. A big feature number Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat, sung by Tony Randall as Nicely- Nicely Johnson, could perhaps have been more prominently featured on him rather than the singers around him, but it came over well overall.
I have nothing but praise for the choreography, all of the small-part actors, singers and dancers who functioned en masse, like clockwork, and the overall direction by Jeanette Maskell. Only once did one of the dancers almost lose her footing during a routine, but she recovered so quickly only the eagle-eyed would have noticed.
This was a lavish, colourful production and one for the society to be proud of.
Guys and Dolls, 9th to 12th April 2014
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, 23rd to 26th October 2013. See the review in the archive.
The Sound of Music, 9th to 13th April 2013. See the review in the archive.
The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes - The Musical, 18th to 20th October 2012.
See the review in the Archive.
Anything Goes, 11th to 14th April 2012
West End to Broadway, 27th to 29th October 2011
Beauty and the Beast, 12th to 16th April 2011. See the review in the Archive.
The Mikado, 28th to 30th October 2010. See the review in the Archive.
Fiddler on the Roof, 7th to 10th April 2010. See the review in the Archive.
Night at the Oscars, 22nd to 24th October 2009
Kiss Me, Kate, 14th to 18th April 2009. See the review in the Archive.
Jack the Ripper, 16th to 18th October 2008
The Pajama Game, 8th to 12th April 2008. See the review in the Archive.
The Pirates of Penzance, 18th to 20th October 2007. See the review in the Archive.
Thoroughly Modern Millie, 10th to 14th April 2007. See the review in the Archive.
Calamity Jane, 18th to 22nd April 2006. See the review in the Archive.
Old Tyme Music Hall, 15th to 16th September 2006
Calamity Jane, 18th to 22nd April 2006
Hello Dolly!, 29th March to 2nd April 2005. See the review in the Archive.
Into the Woods, 2nd to 3rd July 2004. See the review in the Archive.
HMS Pinafore and The Zoo, 13th to 17th April 2004. See the review in the Archive.
South Pacific, 22nd to 26th April 2003. See the review in the Archive.
Trial By Jury, 10th October 2003, at the Ramada Hotel, Elcot Park.
A Gilbert & Sullivan Evening, 24th and 25th October 2002. See the review in the Archive.
Oklahoma!, 2nd to 6th April 2002. See the review in the Archive.
My Fair Lady, 17th to 21st April 2001. See the review in the Archive.. See the review in the archive.. See the review in the archive.