Who’s the lucky lady? I am, I am!!! I feel so fortunate that I get to go to the Fox Theater, experience the lush art culture Atlanta has to offer, and drive it home to you in my Backstage Beat Mustang. This time around, it was the Broadway classic Guys and Dolls
The only real experience I’ve had with the musical Guys and Dolls, other than seeing the 1955 film with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando, was my high school production in the early 90’s. My dance training kept me in the studio but at school I was an orchestra geek, playing the upright bass and auxiliary percussion in the pit. I loved being invisible yet an integral part of the high school musicals. Now everyone knew I was a serious dancer and got plenty of on stage experience, but when Guys and Dolls rolled around I thought maybe this was my chance to try my hand at acting. I practiced, I sang and I delivered lines hoping to get a beefy part, Adelaide perhaps. My heart pounding, I went to see the cast list. I was cast as…drumroll please… a Hot Box dancer. I guess my lot in life was already determined around 16 years of age. So I pulled on my fish net hose, character heals and double breasted pin striped jacket and did what I was trained for. Secretly wishing I had stuck with the orchestra, because the music is really great.
Premiering on Broadway in 1950, Guys and Dolls is thought to be amongst the great Broadway
musicals. It is a play with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. The original Tony Award winning show was directed by George S. Kaufman, with dances and musical numbers by Michael Kidd. It has been revived on Broadway, in the West End and we get to enjoy it as it passes through Atlanta this weekend.
This production at the fabulous Fox Theater was a lot of fun. The story is driven by two couples. First is the underground gambling facilitator, Nathan Detroit and his burlesque dancer fiancé, Adelaide. Second is mission general, Sister Sarah Brown and high roller Sky Masterson. The plot thickens when Detroit (Steve Rosen) is looking for $1000 to set up a craps game, and he bets Masterson (Ben Crawford) that he will not be able to convince Sister Sarah (Erin Davie) to go to Havana with him. Through trickery and deceit and another bet, he was able to convince her to dine with him under the condition that he procures 12 real life sinners for an important mission meeting. The dinner just happened to be in Cuba.
In the process, the self-proclaimed bachelor Masterson falls in love.
Detroit has been engaged to Adelaide for 14 years. A remarkable performance by Megan Sikora, All
Adelaide wants is for her guy to marry her. To make matters worse, she told her mother that she’s been married with five kids for several years. This lie has caused so much stress she constantly has a cold. My favorite part of the whole play was her rendition of “Adelaide’s Lament”.
Intertwined into these two plots, there was lots of gambling, lies and the mission was invaded by sinners. In the end, love won out and wedding bells rang.
So if you need your theater fix this weekend, go see Guys and Dolls at the Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta. Show playing now and through Sun. Aug. 21st.
The Movement In Stillness – “First Breath” by Travis Magee
“First Breath”, a new exhibition of photography by Travis Magee
The Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery
Film Society of Lincoln Center
There are these moments among skilled choreography and seasoned performances where you lose yourself. If you happen to be experiencing this, you will most probably hear a gasp or a groan. There is no language adequate to tell the tale later because they affect you in a primal, visceral way. These moments transcend language and are too intimate to describe. To those of you who don’t frequent the many exquisite dance events happening around the world today… this is the reason to see dance live! The bitter sweet dichotomy can perpetuate a frustration, that the experiences can’t REALLY be translated to anyone who wasn’t at the dance performances, sharing the adventure. These feelings lead to the question, “How do we bottle this?”
Dearly Departures: “A Long Way… A Longer Distance Call”
The Lucky Penny has become a cornerstone of Atlanta’s cutting edge dance and technology. Dearly Departures: A new dance by Blake Beckham and her impeccable motley crew of technicians and performers, at Georgia Tech’s DramaTech Theater, have created yet another night of artistic excellence
The little black box theatre, more of a trapezoidal space is reminiscent of the old train stations lined with a long illuminated bench Stage Left, an “Old Skool” telephone booth Stage Right and a Split Flap display board hanging above. The experience begins with a Rolodex scrolling sound as the Split Flap illustrates very slow, movie style, credits. This sets a mellow tone, allowing the audience to hunker down in our seats and get comfortable. The lights dim then flicker off, in a “cool” and unusual manner, foreshadowing the unexpected and poetic experience to come.
The clickety clack of the display is overtaken by ambient music and lights go up on dancer Alisa Mitten. She smoothly makes her way around with long relaxed movements, allowing her fingertips to initiate her locomotion. As we watch, the Split Flap is feeding us contemplative ideas to ponder as the action unfolds.
“Away… Way back… Go… Go… Go back.” And a repeated mantra of “Begin again” & “Begin & End.”
T. Lang: A Woman Searching
The raw space at the Goat Farm is set up with four see through scrims hanging from the ceiling, situated in a square, to separate the performers from the audience. Seats are arranged in the round, meaning all the way “a round” where the action was about to take place. The first question of the evening is to figure out which side of the room we want to experience this evening from. Obviously, there is no right or wrong… just questions.
On June 7th, I found myself asking a lot of questions at the World premiere of T. Lang Dance Company’s performance of Post Up. The cast of nine extraordinary women were uniformly exposed in white bras and cherry red leggings. The uniformity brought to mind a complex woman or many women in a similar situation, perhaps battered or in a prison. An inquiry later enhanced by zig-zagged projections on the fabric we were looking through. The tastefully sparse costumes highlighted the performers’ beauty and I was reminded of how majestic women are, in all iterations, with different curves, hair lengths, textures and hues of skin.
The tone in this screened in cage was desperate, sad and played with themes of struggle and vulnerability but through it all a feminine strength became apparent. Not only through the athleticism of these prodigious artistic athletes but in an instinctual comradery that naturally exists between woman, especially at times of crisis.
MUSIC10 years ago
The Best Rock in Town – Charley Magruders Memories
Tough Mudder10 years ago
10 Musts to Survive Tough Mudder
Just For Fun6 years ago
46 Double Takes You Won’t Believe!
GeekChic!6 years ago
7 Tips On How To Be Successful at Dragon*Con
Comedy5 years ago
Ho Ho Ho Steve-O? Holiday Laughs with Steve-O at the Improv Atlanta
Aural Pleasure6 years ago
Exclusive : Tom Arnold Interview with The Backstage Beat
Music Gallery5 years ago
Turkuaz at Aisle 5
Concert Reviews6 years ago
Hundred Waters Entrance The Sinclair