So last night I went to see the opening of Guys and Dolls starring Erin Davie. It was also a first date with someone so I was trying to really behave myself and not only pay attention to the show, but to him as well. It turns out he is just as bitchy as me and changes his mind as much as me, so it was more like the critics from the muppets than two people on a date. Then again we did get to hold hands during the show so it was fun and a bit more than the critics. Anyways, here is my review of Erin Davies in the touring cast of Guys and Dolls.
The show got off to a very bad start, even before it began. I don’t know if the cast had jitters or what was going on but with the curtain going up at 8pm, they were actually still rehearsing some of the largest numbers in front of audience members and out of costume. (They weren’t rehearsing or sound checking at 8, but it was up to about half an hour or so before.) Not only did it ruin some of the anticipation, but it was horrible to have their interpretation of Guys and Dolls exposed before we got to see it. It sort of ruined the new choreography and it set the show up to appear extremely unprofessional. Not only should they not have been rehearsing songs like Take Back Your Mink in front of the audience, but if they didn’t know it by opening night (This is just me being bitchy about seeing the numbers practiced before the show starts), they weren’t going to know it. So we finally sat down in our seats after seeing the biggest numbers performed with a horrible attitude and being pissed and waited for the show to begin.
Even with a horrible first impression of a very talented cast (It technically isn’t necessarily the casts fault that they were sound checking before the show.) that rehearsed in front of the audience, we actually fell right into the show. The show took place at Wolf Trap park which is North America’s, and the only national park that was built and dedicated to the performing arts. Liz Taylor was even on the board of directors for the park, and each year they give an honorary mention to the first lady. Wolf Trap park is an open air amphitheater so it was sort of neat to get to see real acting without the lights and effects that can be hidden with complete darkness in a theatre. It really helped to show who had talent and who just had a great voice and can follow a dance routine. The tour of Guys and Dolls starring Erin Davie definitely did just that.
Everyone has a bad night or a night where they are not on all the way. Unfortunately this was one of those nights for Erin. Her voice is amazing and she is incredibly talented, but she was not hitting her notes all of the way and it seemed like her acting faded out to where you couldn’t even see her. She disappeared into the cast and you lost track of her. Adelaide, although an extremely flamboyant character to begin with, bursted out in every scene and people could not wait to see her again. Normally people always love Adelaide because she is a flashy and funny character, but Megan Sikora completely stole the show and took the role of Adelaide to an entirely new level.
Erin had a ton of times to shine like in the bar fight in Havanah while being drunk on Bacardi, but she didn’t use it or take the chance to really stand out. Instead you were focused on the ensemble, instead of the star, which was extremely unfortunate. Luckily though the entire cast was super talented which meant that even the ensemble was fun to watch. Ben Crawford who played Sky Masterson was a lot of fun to watch, not to mention really cute, but he sort of Patti Luponed every syllable.
Every breath was inhaled way to deep, but you need a deep breath with a great voice like his, and he hit every syllable like a T and P with a ton of force. Unfortunately he also hit a few syllables that didn’t actually even need to be hit, but those inflections made him stand out even more. Focusing on those notes and syllables actually worked for him and I really enjoyed his performance. Probably the best male performer on stage though was Glenn Rainey who played Nicely Nicely Johnson. It was almost insane, but for someone who plays a back up character or supporting character, the singers around him had to keep up and match his notes. They were all very good, but it was like the rest of the cast singing with him had to match his voice to keep up. It was completely unexpected.
The set stayed true to a classic show set however the dancing and the costumes were definitely modernized a bit. The routines were improved and I loved how they changed little pieces of the songs. The only thing I didn’t like was that Erin disappeared into the background. She has a huge voice that is incredible and it didn’t even come out after the first solo she did. Even with that song, it felt like she held back and it sounded like she went flat on a few notes. It was definitely an off night for her because she is extremely talented and if I would go again I know she would be back to belting out some amazing notes. She is someone that I hope everyone gets to hear as her voice is absolutely amazing and I always look forward to hearing her sing.
The touring cast of Guys and Dolls staring Erin Davie is definitely one worth seeing. There is a ton of talent in the show and their updated version is fun to watch. I was pissed that they were practicing right up until the curtains came up (again that is a slight exaggeration), but the show was definitely worth watching after when it started. Unfortunately I was not on my best either that night and was having issues with allergies. Because of that I will probably not get to see my date again who was absolutely cute and a really nice guy. Because of that I figured the perfect song to play in this post is Adelaide’s Lament or A Person, Can Develop a Cold. This video isn’t from the Guys and Dolls Touring cast, but since they just had opening night there isn’t any video available. The touring cast is a lot better and their version of the Hotbox Theatre is also a million times better than the one in the video. Anyways, if you get a chance to see the Touring Cast of Guys and Dolls starring Erin Davie then go.