07.24.2019

Guys And Dolls Thrills At Sacramento’s Wells Fargo Pavilion - A Review

Guys And Dolls Thrills At Sacramento’s Wells Fargo Pavilion - A Review

By Michael P Coleman

I’d tell you that the musical theatre classic Guys And Dolls has never looked or sounded better, but I knew nothing of the show walking into Sacramento’s Wells Fargo Pavilion last evening.  I’d surmised, from the show’s title, that boys and girls were in it, but that was the extent of my knowledge. 

That made my almost-constant foot tapping, and occasional singing along with a character, all the more surprising. 

Toe-tapping and occasional singing?  I’ll keep it real: I caught myself swaying back and forth several times during the show. During “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat,” I almost jumped up and joined in on the hoofing.  (In my head, I could give Savion Glover a run for his money. In my head.)

How could I know these songs?  I could have sworn that I’d sung “I’ll Know” and “I’ve Never Been In Love Before” before, one lovestruck night long ago. 

Frank Loesser’s score is that accessible.

If you’re as unfamiliar with Guys And Dolls as I was, all you need to know is it’s a comedy set in 1940s New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. That combination of genre and setting is funny even on the written page. You’ll be laughing out loud, repeatedly, when you see it all play out on stage. 

It’s hard to shine a spotlight on stand-out cast members from this one. When I watched the ensemble taking their final bow, I had to acknowledge that they all shone brightly.  But if you insist…

Lenny Wolpe, as Arvide Abernathy, broke my heart wide open singing “More I Cannot Wish You,” as I thought of my own two girls. 

Lesli Margherita, an Olivier Award-winning Music Circus veteran, may have stolen the show as Miss Adelaide, especially during her laughable lament.  She almost channeled Jean Stapleton’s Edith Bunker from television’s All In The Family.

Edward Watts’ Sky Masterson?  In that suit and fedora, I’d have hopped on a plane to Havana with him, too.

Jeff Skowron, as Nathan Detroit, may have provided me with the night’s most consistent laughs.  I loved him…and not just because of that awesome last name! 

And Ali Ewoldt’s voice and stage presence can only be described as heavenly. I don’t think I’d ever wished harder for a couple to get together.  And she and Margherita killed “Marry The Man Today.”  I’ve been there…on both sides of that marriage! 

Guys And Dolls’ dancers were excellent, too.  They earned one of the night’s most sustained ovations after their “Crapshooters’ Ballet.”

I always know a show’s a good one when I have to stream the cast recording the next morning.  And when I did so this morning, I was tempted to hop up from my chair during “Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat.”

Then I realized that I was in my office, all alone, so what the hell?  This review might be a little late getting to you, but I couldn’t help myself!   Savion Glover, watch your back! 

Guys And Dolls runs through Sunday, July 28 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento. Tickets are available by phone at 916-557-1999, online at BroadwaySacramento.com, or in person at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street in Sacramento.

Mike Coleman headshotonly nologo 300Click here to connect with freelance writer Michael P Coleman, click here to check out his blog, or click here to follow him on Twitter.