Guys and Dolls (1950)
New Broadway Cast recording (1992)
Music & Lyrics: Frank Loesser
Synopsis: The musical is set among the world of the New York gangsters. Nathan Detroit, desperate for money, bets Sky Masterson that he can't get a Salvation Army girl, Sarah Brown, to go with him to Cuba while Nathan himself struggles in his long-term relationship to Adelaide who wants to get married.
I found most of the soundtrack fairly unforgettable which I was surprised over knowing how well-known Guys and Dolls is. The score is true to its time in terms of style and reminded me of Kiss Me, Kate.
My favourite song of the soundtrack by far was the love duet, I've Never Been in Love Before. I knew I had heard this song before but I had been unaware of its musical of origin. In fact, there were a few songs I recognised such as Luck Be a Lady and Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat. Adelaide's Lament is the infamous one which apparently you should never sing in an audition as trying to sound like you have a cold is rarely useful.
The original Broadway production which opened in 1950, did brilliantly well and won five Tony Awards including Best Musical. The first West End production opened in 1953. Guys and Dolls has since been revived several times in various formats, particularly in New York. Presumably due to the variety of characters and the many ensemble opportunities, the musical has become popular among schools and amateur groups.
A UK revival is being planned for the 2014 season at the Chichester Festival Theatre, which I will fairly certainly go and see. I get the impression from the number of professionals productions that have taken place that Guys and Dolls is one of those classic shows every musical theatre enthusiast should have seen at least once.