Review: Peak Performance in Guys and Dolls at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre

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It’s a safe bet that Guys and Dolls is always going to be a winner when it comes to drawing a crowd.

Some of the best-known numbers in musical theatre, colourful choreography, bad boys made good and the most unlikely of romances make it box office gold.

David Hopkinson, Rob Hall, Joan Hopkinson and Debi Alvey, left to right, in Peak Performance's production of Guys and Dolls.

David Hopkinson, Rob Hall, Joan Hopkinson and Debi Alvey, left to right, in Peak Performance's production of Guys and Dolls.

A sizeable audience at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre last night (Thursday, May 28) lapped up the fable of free-spirited gambling guys and strait-laced mission dolls.

The production is as bright as the paint palette of suits sported by the colourful high-rollers and spins along like well-thrown dice.

Backcloths depict a street scene in Broadway and a sewer where the gamblers stake their last dollars. The minimalist staging allows the large cast plenty of space and adds to the atmosphere of a big, empty mission hall under threat of closure.

Musical highlights include Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat, captained by director Mike Spriggs in the role of Nicely Nicely Johnson who dances across the stage as he sings; Take Back Your Mink, led by Joan Hopkinson in a delightful performance as wannabe bride Miss Adelaide; and Luck Be A Lady, headed by David Hopkinson in the role of ace gambler Sky Masterson.

In her role as mission doll Sarah Brown, leading lady Debi Alvey’s beautiful voice rings out in If I Were A Bell and blends well with that of her opposite number David Hopkinson in I’ll Know. There’s a delightful scene in which Sarah and Miss Adelaide imagine what married life would be like and their respective beaus appear either side of them to tackle domestic duties.

Rob Hall gives a polished performance in the role of Nathan Detroit, whose focus is pulling in the big bucks on crap games rather than whisking his fiancee of 14 years up the aisle.

Lovely dance scenes set in nightclubs on Broadway and in Havana, which are choreographed by Jo Hooper, and toe-tapping tunes, played by an orchestra conducted by musical director Nick Stacey, add to the vibrancy of the production.

Guys and Dolls continues its run at Chesterfield Pomegranate Theatre until tomorrow (Saturday, May 30).