Guys and Dolls – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Between Covid, climate change, political issues, abortion rights, the battle over Ukraine, it’s easy to see lots of things in life are a gamble, but not the current Lucky Lady production of “Guys and Dolls” rolling the dice in a perfect 7 to 11 combination until Sunday, August 14. The odds are definitely stacked in your favor as the saints try to win over and convert the sinners. The Frank Loesser musical, with book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, that has been delighting millions for over seven decades, will be staking a claim for entertainment and joy at the Sharon Playhouse in Sharon, Connecticut.

Get ready to love this show a bushel and a peck, thanks to the sympathetic entreaties of Miss Adelaide, an adorable Lauralyn McClelland, who has been waiting patiently for her fiance Nathan Detroit. Nathan is a fast talking, slippery commitment adverse Robert Anthony Jones, who has been dragging his heels for fourteen years instead of making their relationship legitimate. The fact that Miss Adelaide abhors gambling and Nathan can’t wait to make a quick buck by running crap games make the chances of his being honorable about 100 to 1.

In order to finance his latest illegal endeavor, Nathan decides to con the biggest bettor of them all, the suave C.K. Edwards as Sky Masterson, who is ready to wager on practically anything. Nathan finds a sure bet, that Sky can’t get the pious and pure head of the Save-a-Soul Mission, the pert Amanda Lea LaVergne as Miss Sarah Brown, to fly with him to Havana, Cuba.

The quick thinking Sky accomplishes the impossible and trades his marker for one dozen genuine sinners in exchange for a lunch date with Sarah, southeast of the border. Against all odds the two find love and salvation while Nathan and his cronies Rusty (Nicholas J. Reese). Nicely-Nicely (Joshua Spencer), Benny (Dom Giovanni), Harry the Horse (Evan Lennon), Angie the Ox (Vincent Law) and Big Jule (David Fanning) are busy running around New York City hunting down the elusive and ever changing location of the crap game of the hour. A determined Lt. Brannigan (John Champion) is always a step or two behind in trying to catch them in the act.

Glorious Frank Loesser tunes propel this Damon Runyon inspired story, like Adelaide’s perpetual cold, “Adelaide’s Lament,” caused by Nathan’s irresponsibility, Sarah’s grandfather Arvide’s (Payton Turpin) tender love advice in “More I Cannot Wish You,” Nicely-Nicely’s fervent plea “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and Sky’s determined prayer “Luck Be a Lady,” among many others. Justin Boccitto directs and choreographs this colorful cast of characters in a high powered production that’s a sure crowd pleaser, on a clever set by Thomas P. Swetz, with a kaleidoscope of costuming by Michael Bottari and Ronald Case.

For tickets ($15-45), call The Sharon Playhouse, at 860-364-7469, ext, 201 or online at Performances are Thursday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Masks are required.

Come place your winning wager on a guaranteed bet!