Sheffield Theatres continues to deliver on its reputation for ambitious musicals with this year’s Christmas show, Guys and Dolls. And what a treat this is. There’s something very special about Guys and Dolls, known as a musical fable of Broadway. It’s based on a dazzling set of stories by Damon Runyon, whose tales delve into the world of the dolls, criminals, gamblers and would-be saviours to be found in the bustling heart of New York City.
The story centres around two couples – Nathan Detroit, ring leader of what’s known as the ‘oldest established permanent floating craps game in New York’ and his fiancée Miss Adelaide, a glamourous singer at a local lounge club, who has been trying to persuade Nathan to get married for the past 14 years. When Sky Masterson, one of the country’s greatest gamblers, comes to town, Nathan bets Sky that he cannot take a certain doll on a date. Sky takes the bet, only for Nathan to name Sergeant Sarah Brown of the local Save A Soul mission, as the one he must whisk off her feet.
Guys and Dolls is underpinned by some of the most iconic musical songs around, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser here executed by a band on a mezzanine above the stage, bringing a sparkling richness to the score. In this production, it’s quite hard to pick a favourite number, but TJ Lloyd as Nicely Nicely Johnson brings the house down on the night with his rendition of Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat and the cast makes the most of Luck Be A Lady to serve up a big sweeping choreographed number.