Review: Guys and Dolls at La Comedia Dinner Theatre

BY: Michael Woody
last updated 03/05/2024
Review: Guys and Dolls at La Comedia Dinner Theatre

"Top 5 of all the shows we’ve seen" We don't usually hear from his wife, but as Mike points out—wives are always right! Guys and Dolls is at La Comedia now thru March 24.

Mike Woody reviews Guys and Dolls, now thru March 24 at La Comedia

If all the elements of La Comedia’s production of Guys and Dolls were equivalent to a hand of playing cards, it would be a full house. Unbeatable. My wife proclaimed it’s in the Top 5 of all the shows we’ve seen at La Comedia over the last 10 plus years, and wives are always right. You can bet on that.

The cast, set, costumes and even the food was top notch. It’s not very often that La Comedia does an old classic musical, it’s the first time they’ve done ‘Guys and Dolls’ in nearly forty years. If this quality level is any indication then old time musicals should become more common. Hello, Dolly anyone?

The cast is perfectly assembled, with a major strength being the harmonious male voices. It’s no wonder that craps is how Nathan Detroit (Cole Fletcher) supports himself because when he speaks, he’s full of it. Despite that, Fletcher has a booming voice that captivates your attention.
Up against the clock to find a place to hold his craps game, Detroit is forced to make a bet with prolific gambler Sky Masterson (Elliot Handkins). Handkins  provides just the right amount of slime to the role of a master manipulator.

Never far away from Nathan Detroit  is the dynamic duo of Benny Southstreet & Nicely  Nicely. It’s a welcome return for Dylan Jackson, as Benny, who brings a spark to every role he’s in and a glorious La Comedia debut for Paul Hernandez as Nicely. A more fitting name would be Outstanding Outstanding as Nicely just isn’t a strong enough adjective to describe the performance. Hernández was named one of ‘Broadway’s Rising Stars’ in 2022, and his rendition of ‘Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat’ provides a glimpse of why.

The female counterparts are equally superb. The longtime fiancée of Nathan Detroit is Adelaide played by Allison Gabert, whose likability is as contagious as a cold…A-choo! Her whiny New York accent is as pitch perfect as her voice.

The bet between Detroit and Masterson is whether a modern day missionary, Sarah Brown, could be woo’ed to Havana, Cuba. Brown is on a crusade to clear the streets of sin, but with the help of a ‘Cuban milkshake’ her heart gets entangled with Masterson. Her character is in the right line of work, because Brennan’s voice is a God send. She emotes a pure heavenly sound.

I’m guilty of rarely mentioning the set designs in my reviews. The scenery in many of the recent shows has been picturesque, including this one. The backdrop of the city is very eye catching, I often found myself looking at all the details. All the sets were equally impressive and quickly changed.

Last but not least, the food on the buffet has been upgraded. I rank this as the best meal I’ve ever had at La Comedia. For the first time ever, I was only half way through the buffet line and my plate was full. I had to double stack. Kudos to the chef for providing such a vast array of tasty options. The fried zucchini/squash were amazing…for me to praise a vegetable says a lot. It’s nice to see some new things on the buffet.

I bet you a bushel and a peck, that Guys and Dolls will be amongst your best experiences ever at La Comedia.

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