Vancouver Playhouse



A musical fable of Broadway based on

a story and characters of Damon Runyon

Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser

Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows

Director: Michael Shamata

Musical Director: Lloyd Nicholson

Choreographer: Jeff Hyslop

At the Playhouse until December 9th, 2000

TICKETS: (604) 873-3311 OR TICKETMASTER: (604) 280-3311


by Ed Farolan

I think Glynis Leyshon's love for musicals paid off by including, in Vancouver Playhouse's repertoire for this season, a nostalgic revival of a Broadway musical classic that was a hit in 1950 (1,200 performances). Leyshon herself commented that she was determined to put musicals back to the Playhouse stage. And rightly so because we come to the theatre to be entertained, and what better way to be entertained by enjoying a musical comedy like Guys and Dolls.

The actors were terrific singers, dancers and comedians. John Ullyatt (Sky Masterson) reminds me of the young Marlon Brando when he did the film version of this musical, but I think John did a better job as Sky than Marlon did in the movie.

Laara Sadiq (Sarah Brown), on the other hand, is a look-alike of the young Barbra Streisand in movies like Funny Girl. I wish, though, that she would belt out those songs with more energy as Barbra does.

I enjoyed, as did everyone else in the audience, the energy and comicity of Stephen Miller (Nicely Nicely). He was most funny and entertaining in the Prayer Meeting scene, as did everyone in the ensemble who supported him as he did his rendition of "Boat to Heaven".

Karin Konoval was just great.  In every way, she performed professionally.  No wonder she has received and been nominated for many Jessie awards.

Most of the audience, I could see, were mostly seniors, and they were very appreciative with the actors' efforts, and laughed at all the punch lines.  They obviously caught the humour of those good ol' times.

I would suggest that the souvenir program (especially for musicals like this) list down the titles of the songs so that we won't be perpetually guessing "Oh I know that song, but what's the title?"

It was pretty late to stay for the Q&A session with the cast.  Perhaps if it were a matinee performance; but not after an evening show when everyone is tired and in a hurry to go home to hit the sack.