Guys & Dolls // Gold Coast Little Theatre

Review by Jake Goodall

Glitz, Glamour and Hollywood! Gold Coast Little Theatre’s production of Guys and Dolls is a fantastic rendition of this classic!

There is nothing better than sitting in a dark theatre as the overture plays on a classic musical as you get ready for whatever comes our from behind the curtain. This is the feeling you get sitting in the audience at Gold Coast Little Theatre!

Guys and Dolls is a musical romantic comedy set in Manhattan that tells of con-man Nathan Detroit’s efforts to find new life for his illegal, but notorious, crap game. When their trusty venue is found out by the police, Nathan has to find a new home for his crap game quickly – but he doesn’t have the dough to secure the one location he finds.

The set design by Sonja Fox is impeccable, featuring card suits and dice throughout the entire set. Utilising a two-tiered set with a round revolve emulating the stage for the Hot Box dancers, it was a spectacle to behold when the curtains opened. The lighting design by Hayden Schokman and Stuart Morgan was simple yet effective, Schokman and Morgan used coloured lighting to highlight key moments throughout the production along with general washes illuminating the entire grand cast.

The costumes by Stuart Morgan, Lee Patterson and Kim Reynolds were time appropriate and extremely intricate. The use of block character colouring was a smart choice by Director Stuart Morgan highlighting the relationships of each of the characters. Special mention to Colleen and Kim Reynolds for Adelaide’s costumes, these costumes were extravagant and spectacular!

The Direction by Stuart Morgan was natural and calculated. Each move the actors made was smart, and helped to move the story forward. Morgan is a talented and experienced director which is clear in this production. The highlight of Morgan’s direction was how they worked with the actors to create intimate and close relationships between the characters.

The Musical Direction by Ann Sparks was fantastic, each actor can cleverly sing in their character voices without impacting on their technique or quality which is a testament to Sparks’ work with them.

The Choreography by Flynn Anderson was electric. Anderson is a young choreographer with many shows already under his belt. The dancing in this show felt fun and was a delight to watch.

Sky Masterson was played by Dean Giltinan with the suave and funk reminiscent of Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé. Giltinan commanded the stage every time they appeared, they have a stage presence that had the audience in awe.

Opposite Giltinan was Louise Harris as Sarah Brown, Harris was a perfect choice for Sarah with her classical musical technique. They embodied the character with their innocence and poise.

Chris Catherwood as Nathan Detroit was Nathan Lane on stage. Catherwood’s characterisation was fantastic, their use of vocal techniques and gestures was considered and thoughtful providing the audience with a loveable and hilarious character.

Opposite Catherwood was Kim Reynolds as the neurotic and sometimes crazy, Miss Adelaide. Reynolds is an experienced and talented actor and theatre creator which can be clearly seen in their portrayal of Miss Adelaide. As such a classic character, it can be hard to create your own version however Reynolds takes Miss Adelaide by the horns and creates her own beautiful character!

Flynn Anderson as Nicely Nicely Johnson and Dean Bradley as Benny Southstreet were a brilliant comic duo throughout this entire production. Bradley and Anderson provided the audience with hilarious quips and tricks that helped add a fantastic element to this production not usually seen throughout this show.

Additional cast members include Ricky Moss as Rusty and Big Jule, Carey Parsons as Harry the Horse, Del Halpin as Arvide Abernathy, Ethan Robinson as LT Brannigan and MC, and Carole Lange as General Cartwright. As well as Hot Box Girls Halle Anderson, Annie Chase-Smith, Madyson Cloherty, Bella Janssen and Jaeda Power. Rounding out this huge and brilliant cast are the fantastic ensemble with Maggie Holmes, Liz Manteit, Jaryn Oliphant, Alessandra Perry, Jeffery Walker and Denis Watkins.

Overall Guys & Dolls at Gold Coast Little Theatre is a fantastic retelling of this classical production under the brilliant guidance of Stuart Morgan. This is a wonderful night out at the theatre for anyone looking for a dose of classical musical theatre, so all that’s left to say is BRAVO!

Guys and Dolls performs until 6 th of May 2023 at Gold Coast Little Theatre. For more information visit their website.

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