Guys and Dolls, Brisbane Harvest Rain’s first fully professional production, was aptly big budget, brightly costumed and included some big names in the cast.
Charming and vocally talented baritone Ian Stenlake (Sky Masterson) has charisma galore but only a few moments in the script allow it to be fully utilised.
Angela Harding as Sarah Brown has a lovely tuneful voice, which unfortunately wasn’t helped by the consistent sound issues in the amplification department .
Casting was spot on, with the delightfully well seasoned theatrical Wayne Scott Kermond giving the best performance of the night as Nathan Detroit. Similarly Liz Buchanan, as Adelaide, was a gorgeous and delightfully impressive Hot Box girl.
Daryl Somers in his cartoon like padded suit brought some nice tap-dancing talent as Nicely Nicely Johnson and led the cast in the exciting number ‘Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat’.
Dale Pengally was also terrific as Benny Southstreet, singing, dancing and caricaturising up a storm. He may easily have played any major role in the production.
The chorus members were snappy in ill-fitted coloured costumes, with choreography by George Canham serving the show well. However a little more fire from the chorus would have added to the impact of this production.
There were many good things about the show – it had talent, heart, and colour – but something seemed to be missing; not for lack of talent or commitment from the team, but perhaps because of a lack of chemistry between the leads. Overall a certain finesse seemed to be missing from the production itself.
Melbourne’s The Production Company get these short seasons so right and Harvest Rain has a little way to go in learning to maintain the sincerity and depth in these theatre classics over a short run.
Guys and Dolls played in the Concert Hall at QPAC from 20 to 23 March.