By John Lyle Belden
At last, Footlite Musicals said “can do” to their latest show, with “Luck being a Lady” after some “persons developed a cough” but these people all say “sit down” and enjoy for one more week.
If you are familiar with those references then you know that, after its initial delay, the popular classic musical “Guys & Dolls” is on stage a the Hedback through Dec. 4. Written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows with songs by Frank Loesser, this 1950 Broadway hit is based on short stories by Damon Runyon about various characters on the streets of Depression-era New York City.
Some gamblers seek a high-stakes dice game and look to popular cohort Nathan Detroit (Thom Brown) to set it up, in spite of the NYPD’s Lt. Brannigan (David Johnson) keeping close tabs on the most likely locations. Local high-roller Harry the Horse (Jack London) has even brought in Big Jule (Lot Turner) out of Chicago. Nathan’s companions Nicely-Nicely (Scott McFadden) and Benny (Jeffry J. Weber) assure all that craps will occur, but Detroit must first come up with some quick cash to pay off Joey Biltmore (Leo Goffinet).
Seeing a sure-fire bet, Nathan Detroit wagers smooth-talking gambler Sky Masterson (Christopher Vojtko), who just returned from Las Vegas loaded with cash, that he can’t persuade Save-A-Soul Mission “Sergeant” Sarah Brown (Natalie Marchal) to travel to Havana with him. Sky takes that action, and odds are this will lead to one wild, funny, and romantic adventure.
The cast also includes Marie Beason as the Mission’s Gen. Cartwright, who arrives for a surprise inspection; Steve Demuth as Mission drummer Arvide Abernathy, Sarah’s uncle and father figure; and most wonderfully, Jonna Kauffman as Miss Adelaide, showgirl and Nathan’s long-long-long-time fiancé.
Indeed, while the Guys hold their own, it is the “Dolls” who truly shine in this production, with Marchal giving an exceptional performance in her Footlite debut, while Kauffman charms as the girl who’s a bit more smart and savvy than she lets on. And you can tell Beason is having fun as the evangelist just pleased to see sinners come in the door, whatever the pretext.
Unlike the floating craps game, this action will be easy to find: 1847 N. Alabama in downtown Indianapolis. Get info and tickets at footlite.org.