Thursday, June 23, 2011

Brentwood Operatic Society at the Brentwood Theatre

The Devil's own city, squeezed onto a Brentwood stage made even tinier by extra seating and an upper level over the Mission.
So a pocket-size Loesser, losing most of the hoofing but thankfully preserving the music, well served by an experienced cast and a lively band under MD Ian Southgate.
Miss Adelaide is a peach of a part, and Louise Byrne more than did it justice, resisting the temptation to over-sell the comedy; her Nathan was seasoned musical comedy actor Justin Cartledge, very much at home in this role. Her Hot Box Girls didn't really warm up till the second half [and Havana looked very tame], but his “evil-looking sinners” made an effective character ensemble, given some clever choreography for Luck Be A Lady and Sit Down. The title song featured just two of the gang, Martin Harris's lovely Nicely-Nicely, and Gary Ball's Benny.
Bob Southgate was an impressive Big Jule, and William Wells, though hardly a native New Yorker, brought out the comic frustration of Lt Brannigan.
Ben Martins was a suave Sky, wooing Amy Clayton's demure Miss Sarah: she handled her songs with superb style, though her distinctive voice was not always enhanced by the sound system.
Guys and Dolls was directed by Margaret Kiel, with additional choreography by Sarah O'Sullivan.

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