Over the past few years, the venerable Old Log Theatre has undergone a transformation. Gone are the familiar farces, which have been replaced by a different flavor of theatrical comfort food: musicals.
“Guys and Dolls” certainly fits the menu. It has a classic score loaded with tunes that have seeped into the American consciousness. There’s a mid-20th-century New York City vibe full of chewy vernacular and tough-guy accents. There’s even a message, about forgiveness and giving the ones you love a second chance (and third, fourth, fifth) after they make a mess of things.
Kent Knutson’s steady direction brings out plenty of the life and heart of the musical, especially Frank Loesser’s venerable score. The story goes through as many twists and turns as Nathan Detroit’s permanent floating crap game. He’s got more problems than finding a gambling spot and avoiding the police; his long-suffering fiancée Adelaide desperately wants to make an honest man out of him. Nathan needs money quickly, so he makes a sucker bet that high roller Sky Masterson won’t be able to romance the pious leader of the local mission, Sarah Brown.
These twin romances are the heart of “Guys and Dolls.” The lead quartet is strong, topped by Eric Sargent as the smooth Sky and Kym Chambers Otto as psychosomatically sick Adelaide. The company sings and dances well throughout, and a few stiff moments in the acting are quickly swept aside by the next timeless number.
Guys and Dolls
Who: Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. Directed by R. Kent Knutson.
Where: Old Log Theatre, 5195 Meadville St., Greenwood.
When: 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat. 1:30 p.m. Wed., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends June 16.
Tickets: $30-$40. 952-474-5951; oldlog.com
Ed Huyck is a longtime Twin Cities theater critic.