Archives for August 2018

Guys and Dolls: Don’t bet on this production

In Guys and Dolls, three gamblers sing about the horses they're betting on.

The singing—including in “Fugue for Tinhorns” (with Jason Lam, Colton Fyfe, and Argel Monte de Ramos)—is the most consistent success in this production. (Photo by Jennifer Suratos)

The musical Guys and Dolls is immortal, which means that it will survive this production.

Based on stories by Damon Runyon, Guys and Dolls is set in New York in the ‘30s in the underworld of gambling. Nathan Detroit, who runs a floating crap game, bets high-roller Sky Masterson that he won’t be able to date the pious Salvation Army sargeant Sarah Brown. Meanwhile, Nathan has been engaged to Adelaide, who is the star performer at the Hot Box Club, for 14 years—and Adelaide is getting antsy.

Every song in this musical is perfection. “Fugue for Tinhorns”, the first number, establishes the overall tone of brilliantly polished brass. The intertwining melodic lines support witty lyrics as three gamblers choose which horses to bet on: “I know it’s Valentine/The morning work looks fine/Besides the jockey’s brother’s a friend of mine.” “Adelaide’s Lament”, in which Adelaide explains the psychosomatic origins of her chronic cold, is one of the great character songs of all time.  And Sarah’s “If I Were a Bell”, which she sings when she falls in love with Sky while on a date in Havana, is so purely ecstatic it could be sung by a thrush. [Read more…]

5 quick tips for writing a readable review


Hilton Als. Columbia University. The New Yorker. Theatre critic.

Hilton Als is an associate prof at Columbia University and a theatre critic at The New Yorker magazine. He’s really good. You should read this guy.


I’m looking for emerging critics who would be interested in helping me to cover the Vancouver Fringe Festival. If you’re interested in this gig—which will involve a little money, although not tons—please submit a sample review of between 200 and 600 words to

If you’re a member of a marginalized community, all the better. Let me know about that. Theatre criticism needs more diverse voices. PLEASE DO THIS BY MONDAY, AUGUST 13.

Here you go: [Read more…]

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