Tuesday 25 June 2024

Guys & Dolls Musical at the Stanley Theatre

I cannot recall the last time I watched a musical live. I fear it must have been in high school! It was about time I got out and watched a live production. Guys & Dolls has taken over the Stanley Theatre on South Granville and it was a magnificent performance. The Arts Club Theatre Company has brought the world of 1950s New York gangsters to Vancouver. Everything was perfect from the costumes to the stage sets, the vocals and the acting! I have never seen a production on the stages of Broadway in New York, but Vancouver brought the razzle-dazzle to the stage. I attended the Saturday, June 15, 2024, 8PM show which was sold out! When the venue is sold out, you know it is going to be an amazing show! Guys & Dolls has now entered its final week of shows, with the last show being Sunday, June 30th, so if you are considering watching the show, I strongly encourage you to do so soon!

This show was extra special for me because I got to sit front row, smack dab in the middle. These seats are considered the best in the house because you get an unobstructed view of the performance and if you so dare, you can practically reach out and touch the performers. Yet if I were to go again, I would probably pick a few rows back from the stage because I found my neck got sore having to constantly look up. 

Guys & Dolls is a classic Broadway musical which first premiered on the stages of Broadway on November 24, 1950. The show follows a group of Manhattan gangsters, gamblers and showgirls and a missionary determined to save her mission while also cleansing the streets of sinners. Unfortunately for her, she finds herself charmed by a gangster who whisks her away for a fun dinner in Cuba and is instrumental in helping her save the Mission. The other two leads are a gangster who does everything he can to avoid committing to marriage with his showgirl girlfriend. This duo was definitely the comedic relief to the more serious leads. 

My favourite was Sarah Brown played by Chelsea Rose. Her voice was incredible! It is even more incredible when you realize that she is singing live while also dancing and acting. Her voice definitely overpowered the rest of the ensemble. Now I like to do some research before writing my blogposts and I came across a little fact that I just have to share! Chelsea Rose and Jonathan Winsby play love interests in Guys & Dolls as Sarah Brown and Sky Masterson. The two are also engaged in real life! Their potential future children are going to be so musically and artistically gifted! No wonder their chemistry up on stage was so believable because it is REAL!

Ms. Adelaide played by Madeleine Suddaby was my second favourite character. In the musical, she is a showgirl at the Hot Box. She had a couple of fun songs and dances which I really enjoyed. I also just love glitter and her costumes had the most! She sings "A Bushel and a Peck" and the ensemble comes out wearing the most fabulous fruit-themed costumes. This was probably one of the only songs I recognized because it is used in my favourite movie, Julie and Julia! 

The set design was excellent. They had these massive glittered signs that would come down from the ceiling to indicate a new setting. I also enjoyed the massive "Hot Box" background with the silver tinsel which the cast would peak through during the song. Also, one of the characters on set would always be eating or drinking something which was a funny inclusion as I always just assumed the "foods" on sets would be fake. In this case, nope! That slice of pie was very much real. 

Let me know if you have seen or go watch Guys & Dolls on South Granville at the Stanley Theatre in Vancouver. I did see Waitress will be taking the stage next summer which is at the top of my list of musicals I want to see. If you have any other recommendations, let me know!

The pictures are taken on my cellphone, so they are not the greatest. 


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