‘Guys and Dolls’
BENTON — The Royal Players’ production of “Guys and Dolls” is a treat for those wanting to catch a great family event at the tail end of summer, complete with great acting performances and a live quartet that -– despite the musical’s New York setting –- give it a small-town feel.
Directed by Teresa Johnson and LeAnne Womble, sisters who have long been a theater duo, this musical marks the beginning of their involvement with the Royal Players after moving here from the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
But for most of the cast itself, this is but another high point in their long line of productions. For theater aficionados acquainted with the works of the many amateur theaters in Little Rock, several cast members are no doubt familiar faces.
The big-betting, smooth-talking Sky Masterson is played by Shawn E. Charton, who looms tall over his “sinner” gambling buddies, and with his robust charm wins the heart of the soul-saving missionary Sarah Brown, played by Sarah Bragg. Timothy Womble, as Nathan Detroit, pin-points the character’s short temper, yet shows a soft heart for the showgirl Miss Adelaide, played by Sarah Etters.
These four did a wonderful job of bringing this classic stage musical alive once again. And brassy showtunes like “Luck Be a Lady” that stick in your head for days afterward are sung with an obvious pleasure.
Bragg is terrific as the staunch Sarah Brown, especially during her mistaken drunk and barroom brawl in Havana. Harold Dean as Nicely-Nicely and Brian Williams as Benny both give the show a bit of charm with their odd character quirks.
The most show-stopping performance, though, was given by Etters, who portrayal of Adelaide, with a nasal accent and prima Donna attitude, makes her a doll to watch. With her prissy, yet hilariously vulgar city-girl behavior, and slightly off-key vocals, Etters fully inhabits the character.
The musical continues through Sunday, Aug. 25. Call 315-5483 for showtimes and reservations.
— By Dustin Allen