Ladies and Gentlemen: Guys and Dolls
To quote Kiss Me, Kate: "another op'ning, another show." Actually, two openings this week. And the other offerings are still quite tasty, even if they're not fresh out of rehearsal. Would we write up anything stale?
Enough of these cookie-bakey metaphors. To quote Annie Get Your Gun: "let's go on with the show(s)":
The Leverett House Arts Society kicks off its fall season with Guys and Dolls, that "musical fable of Broadway" and one of the classic musicals of the American theater (the film doesn't begin to do it justice). The small stage might cramp the dances, but nothing can keep down Frank Burrows' beautiful score, ranging from the delicious "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" to the exquisite "I'll Know." We think the witty book by Swerling and Burrows can hold its own, too. Guys and Dolls relates two love stories: that of Nathan Detroit, operator of the "oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York" and Miss Adelaide, his fiancee of 14 years; and that of big-time gambler Sky Masterson and Sarah Brown, a Salvation Army lass. Based on a story and characters by Damon Runyon, Guys and Dolls opens tonight, and plays this Fri. and Sat., and next weekend as well. At the Old Library in Leverett House, tickets at the door or at Holyoke Center.
Guys and Dolls gently spoofs the pious. Bible-reading has more serious overtones in Inherit the Wind, by Lawrence and Lee. The play is based on the famous John Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925, in which a young schoolteacher was tried for teaching his science classes Darwin's theory of evolution--a practice forbidden by statute in his Bible-Belt state. The political orator William Jennings Bryan led the prosecution, while Clarence Darrow defended the teacher. Though the characters in Inherit the Wind are but thinly disguised, the playwrights have turned a sensationalistic trial into a lyrical clash between tradition and free thinking, with the two attorneys assuming the roles of opposing ideologies. This Thurs., Fri., and Sat., at the Loeb Ex. Tickets are free, but should be picked up at the Loeb one day before the performance.
All dressed up (in your Halloween costume) and nowhere to go? The Radcliffe Pitches welcome a costumed audience at their Halloween Jamboree this Saturday. The program includes several songs from the '40s, performed in the Pitches' inimitable style. Joining them for this concert will be the Harvard Krokodiloes, and Yale's Society of Orpheus and Bacchus. The Kroks need no introduction; as for the Elis, we hear they sound pretty good, though they still go to you-know-where. The Jamboree is in Sanders Theater; tickets at Holyoke Center or at the door.
At first glance, the Loeb's production of The Children's Hour seems to have a lot of promise. A visiting director, elegant and appropriate sets, and pretty stage pictures, however, do not save this play. Consistently wooden acting cancels out all flourishes of technical competence. Lillian Hellman's play concerns two schoolteachers whose lives are ruined when a spoiled and rebellious pupil accuses them of lesbianism. The highly emotional confrontations throughout the play demand good acting, and it just isn't there. But if you want to see for yourself, it's playing at the Loeb Mainstage, tonight, tomorrow and Sat. Tickets at the Loeb box office.
If you care for something more civilized, then take a few steps across Mass. Ave. and you'll find yourself across the Atlantic and in the Edwardian England of Bernard Shaw. The First Parish Church presents Love Among the English, a bouble-bill of Shavian one-acters. The plays portray battles between the sexes as only Shaw can portray them.
Mid-terms are getting you down. You need spiritual comfort. You need to feel happy. You just need to get away. The gratification of all three needs is just a subway ride away: Godspell, that joyous musical celebration of the Gospel of St. Mark, is playing in Boston through Nov. 23. Stephen Schwartz, the man who helped bring you Pippin, provided the score, of which Day by Day is only one of the many gems. C'mon, get religion. At the Music Theater; call 536-3919.