Theatre Review: ‘Guys and Dolls’ dance numbers steam up small stage

Theatre Review: ‘Guys and Dolls’ dance numbers steam up small stage

By Cynthia Retamozo

The small stage in the Studio Theatre may not be the most ideal place for a hit Broadway musical like “Guys and Dolls,” but Northeastern’s rendition held its own Saturday night.

“Guys and Dolls,” which features intricate ensemble dance numbers, first hit the stage in the 1950s and is based on the short stories by Damon Runyon. Director Del Lewis and Northeastern’s theatre department did well with the large cast, which also used American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters.

In the first scene, the ensemble performed an almost silent-movie-like scene that previewed the kind of characters in the show: everything from betters and gamblers to giddy nightclub dancers to religiously conservative missionaries.

The story revolves around the lives of Nathan Detroit, played by senior theatre major Michael Satow, and the notorious better Sky Masterson, played by sophomore geology major Joey Fiore. Detroit holds illegal craps games in New York City that draw dozens to the betting pools, but he has trouble finding locations to hold them due to increased police activity.

When Detroit needs money to rent a space for his craps game, he makes a bet with Masterson saying that he cannot take the missionary Sarah Brown, played by sophomore theatre major Maggie Racich, who is adamant about “saving the souls of sinners,” on a date all the way in Havana, Cuba.

From here, all bets are off as Masterson succeeds, yet truly falls for Brown whose social inhibitions begin to break down, but still clings on to her missionary ways.

The acting was second to none as the actors fully embraced their roles.

One particular actress that struck a chord was Racich playing the uptight Brown. Racich’s sternness and posture would make Catholic school nuns proud.

In addition, Racich and Fiore share strong chemistry onstage as Masterson and Brown despite playing as polar opposites. In the notable musical number “I’ll Know,” they describe their ideal lover, only to discover they find it in each other.

Other notable performances were by junior psychology major Ahmad Maksoud, whose energy as Detroit’s sidekick Nicely-Nicely Johnson rocked the entire ensemble as he led the cast in singing “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

Middler theatre major Matthew Zahnzinger, whose posture and mannerisms as Brown’s uncle Calvin was extremely convincing of an older man.

Middler theatre major Lisa Dempsey played the giggling and bubbly Adelaide, Detroit’s fiance

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