Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows's

Guys and Dolls

April 15th - October 29th Festival Theatre Ticket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 12 Critics
12 Reviews
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The New York Times - Jesse Green

08/14/2017

“The women negotiate the musical-theater style with more finesse, especially Blythe Wilson as a believably dim but lovable Miss Adelaide.

And in smaller roles the advantages of the repertory system are evident in the quick, confident character choices made by actors who, on other days, are probably appearing in “H.M.S. Pinafore” and “Romeo and Juliet.” The repertory system doesn’t, however, account for the narrative verve and daring athleticism of the dancing, which Ms. Feore brings so far forward on the Festival Theater’s thrust stage that you expect to end up with a crapshooter in your lap.”

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The Chicago Tribune - Chris Jones

08/04/2017

“Feore clearly figured out that although the show’s two leading female characters, Sarah Brown and Miss Adelaide, are poorly treated by men (one is seduced as a bet; the other waits years for a promise unfulfilled), they still are the only adults on the stage. Thus they will win the long game. And when you feel secure in that victory, “Guys and Dolls” becomes a lot more fun….

Thus Feore, whose productions invariably are bursting with life and emotional openness, makes certain you know that Blythe Wilson’s atypically wry Miss Adelaide is far smarter than Sean Arbuckle’s pliant Nathan Detroit.”

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Mike Fischer

07/31/2017

“I’d need a book to tell you all the good things about Feore’s “Guys and Dolls”; I’ve rarely encountered a choreographer-director whose dances are not only so physically breathtaking, but also tell such rounded and full stories.”

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The Detroit Free Press - John Monaghan

08/27/2017

Director and choreographer Donna Feore has amplified the dance sequences for “Guys and Dolls” with unforgettable results…

Michael Gianfrancesco’s set, which uses a map of New York City streets on the floor of the Festival Theatre’s thrust stage, is a highlight of the show. It also gives the dancers a grid on which to perform the complicated dance routines. On a stage this small, you marvel at how they manage to perform their big moves while avoiding a Times Square pileup.”

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The National Post - Robert Cushman

06/13/2017

“Evan Buliung is superb as Sky, restlessly prowling every room in which he finds himself, as if searching for the limits of his own impregnability.

Then there is Steve Ross, perfect as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, the most amiably rotund of gamblers, due to the fact that he is perpetually eating. If his “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat” does not raise the roof as it is accustomed to do, that may be because it has a whole succession of hard acts to follow.

One of them is the show’s title song, which Nicely and his pal Benny Southstreet, played by the contrastingly gaunt-framed and scissor-legged Mark Uhre, perform with such verve you may wish it will go on forever.”

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The Slotkin Letter - Lynn Slotkin

06/09/2017

“Feore’s choreography as always is fast almost to the point of frantic and leaves everyone, including the audience, breathless. Whether it’s the intoxicating throb of “Havana” or the revival meeting vibe of “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ The Boat,” or the acrobatic-balletic slide of “The Crapshooters Dance” and “Luck Be A Lady,” Feore ramps up the energy level with each number….

Donna Feore has done a fine job of filling the production with her vision, choreography and humour. Her company of actors and dancers is sterling.”

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The Hamilton Spectator - Gary Smith

06/05/2017

“From the moment the Technicolor magic of lighting designer Michael Walton’s neon heaven of New York’s Times Square sends megawatt sizzles of rainbow lights across Broadway and 42nd Street, you know you aren’t in Stratford anymore. You’re in Oz, of course, by way of the naughty 1940s and those nifty 1950s.

Designer Michael Gianfrancesco has created a landscape of old post cards. They’re all here — Broadway girlie shows, dance hall tango parlours and all-night automats, where Broadway low-lifes, hot-to-trot chorus girls and checked-suit gamblers prowled a terrain that could only exist in the glorious fantasies of writer Damon Runyon.”

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The Globe and Mail - J. Kelly Nestruck

06/02/2017

“Buliung and Gordon have that chemistry that Sky talks about right off the bat – and deliver a truly swooning romance in short order, making their inner struggles to get past their own ideas of themselves seem the biggest obstacle to a more permanent pairing.

He’s the most believable Sky I’ve ever seen – a recognizable portrait of the aging bachelor, rather the phony player of pop culture. She, meanwhile, is an utter delight in a role that seemed tailored to both her vulnerability-filled vibrato and swell comedic chops. Gordon amusingly plays with clichés of primness and is gung-ho in her physical comedy (especially in the tipsy tussle she gets into in Havana, one of several gloriously choreographed scenes that seems to swarm the stage like a flash mob).”

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Broadway World - Lauren Gienow

05/31/2017

“Blythe Wilson is a revelation as Miss Adelaide. From the start of every number that she is in, she has the audience in the palm of her hand-to the point where she somehow had someone in the audience sneezing during Adelaide’s Lament (in which Adelaide believes her own sniffles are the result of her current relationship status). Some might call this a coincidence, but Ms. Wilson’s performance is so magical that it is honestly rather fitting that she have such an effect. “

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James Wegg Review - James Wegg

06/01/2017

“As the Festival’s in-house musical maker, Donna Feore moves from strength to strength (first reviewed in these pages with the 2007 production of “Oklahoma!”. With this offering, she can certainly lay claim to being one of the finest choreographers for this type of show in Canada, if not the planet.

..get ye to Stratford and savour the electricity of unbridled enthusiasm mixed with great skill before the final curtain.”

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The Toronto Star - Carly Maga

05/31/2017

“Blythe Wilson is a highlight as Miss Adelaide, a cabaret performer and long-time fiancée of crap-game runner Nathan Detroit (Sean Arbuckle, whose only fault is a disobedient New York accent).

Wilson is at once light and airy, shrieking in delight, but also sombre, thoughtful, and a career woman — her acts at the Hot Box are sexy and flirty, but are received with cheers and without jeers from her male audience members.”

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Robyn's Reviews - Robyn Godfrey

05/31/2017

“Evan Buling and Alexis Gordon as Sky Masterson and Salvation Army Sergeant Sarah Brown create the most chemistry seen between an onstage couple in Stratford for years.

And while Ms. Gordon is known for her musical prowess she demonstrated a range yet unseen here, from operatic to sultry, and was yet vocally matched by Buling, best known on our stages as an actor first.

Ms. Feore’s use of classically trained actors in musical leads is well known and she proves once again it is a smart choice – Mr. Buling and Ms. Gordon’s pairing was surprising but pays out in spades.”

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