Sunday, March 1, 2009
I Liked it!
But then, I am not a theater critic. I am a big nerd that hates a lot of stuff and demonizes those who deserve being demonized.
It turns out that the theater critic of the almighty NYT didn´t like the Broadway revival of Guys & Dolls, a play that we saw in previews and I greatly enjoyed. To tell the truth, I believe my problem is that I have the whole concept backwards; I always believed that G&D was a delightful, classic musical in the same sense that pre-Citizen Kane movies are delightful and classic. That is, it is a great piece, considering what was going on during the period.
The thing is, the original material is sorta flat. G&D has quite a few great songs, but the plot is just a couple steps up from a bland daytime sitcom; if it wasn´t for the music, no one would even remotely remember the play. That´s the whole point of some musicals, after all; you buy into the whole happy fiction and forgive that the whole thing is a bit of a contrived mess. Like opera, but sung by humans and without needing years of education and snobbery to get it.
So this G&D is slightly clunky and a bit flimsy. Well, the play sorta is. So what. The actors are engaging, the play flows really well, and everyone buy Craig Bierko (at least the day we saw it) can deliver a good tune. The critic bables about the lack of chemistry, but to tell the truth, I think it was there in plain sight. In G&D, there is not much depth into the whole character thing, so it is all about the actors making you have a good time, and I had it. It is not the best play of all time, but that´s what´s on the script.
If you want depth and all that, wait until Sondheim.