‘Guys & Dolls’ a good bet at Theatre by the Bay

| ckasden@queenscourier.com |

There are bad guys with hearts of gold and good guys with larcenous souls. Their long suffering “dolls” lovingly confront them while hoping for wedding bells. That’s just part of the story at Theatre by the Bay’s version of “Guys and Dolls.”

Though things have changed on Broadway since the show’s 1950s premiere, there’s something about people, places, love and loyalty that still rings true. Director/Producer Lawrence F. Bloom acknowledges that warm feeling, utilizing veteran community performers. Many have worked together onstage for years. The comfort level between actors is unmistakable and very, very effective.

Eli Koenig very capably plays confirmed gambler Sky Masterson. He delivers his lines with the shrewdness of a shark about to lure and devour his prey. By the play’s end, though, his noble side emerges. John Canning, who always fills the stage with his powerful voice and reassuring presence, is a great Nathan Detroit.

Lila Edelkind as Miss Adelaide clearly savors her role with a twinkle in her eyes, a beaming smile and an excellent singing voice. She also overcomes a dress “malfunction” with elegance. Andrea Amarosa as Sarah Brown is an equally lustrous star with an excellent singing voice. She is musically determined to bring decency to the corrupt denizens of 42nd Street.

Mark Solkoff gives a very strong performance as hapless Nicely-Nicely Johnson. He is especially strong in “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” and the difficult tri-melody/tri-harmony “Can do, Can do…” with Benny Southstreet (Joe Rand) and Rusty Charlie (Richard Carlan).

More colorful characters with loud colors and louder plaids for their double breasted suits and wide brimmed hats are named Harry the Horse (Drew Lubeck), Angie the Ox (Ira Cohen) and Big Jule (Stan Stolar). Others caught in the sometimes poignant, usually comical collision between do-gooders and ne’er-do- wells include Peter Bohlman, Steve Stromberg, David Gordon, Sue Fiebert, Fran Geier,

Marleen Rothstein, John Zion, Cathy Cosgrove, Ed Cushman, Sam Kaufman and a talented ensemble.
Of course, the troupe owes much of its success to co-producers Barbara Koenig, Martha Stein,

Musical Director Alan Kingsley and Choreographer Michele Mazzocco.

In fact, there’s still one weekend remaining to enjoy this warm hearted favorite. Call (718) 428-6363 or surf to www.TheatreBytheBayNY.com for information on this production and their spring musical,

“Anything Goes.” As always, save me a seat on the aisle.