Tuesday, June 01, 2010
On Top of Mt. Tam 3: Guys and Dolls
When Marilyn Smith started the reign of musicals on top of Mount Tamalpais, she brought in James Dunn, head of the theatre department at College of Marin, and he's directed just about every production since.
This means that the theatrical style is very traditional, with a familiar formula of a few outsized props (usually vehicles or in the case of "South Pacific," planes), a family-oriented take on the material, and a very foursquare approach to staging.
This works for some pieces better than others. A bowlderized "Hair" three years ago was surprisingly moving while "Man of La Mancha" last year was something of a disaster.
"Guys and Dolls" turns out to be perfect for the old-fashioned approach, and the cast for this year's production is mostly wonderful.
Here's a special shout-out for Kimberly Jensen as Miss Adelaide and Randy Nazarian as Nathan Detroit, two characters who can be insufferable or totally entertaining. Also charming were Joshua Castro (above left) as Nicely-Nicely and Tyler McKenna as Sky Masterson (above right). My only request is that the live orchestra be brought out to the front or the side of the stage. The music is half the fun and their disembodied presence backstage is annoying.