We were drawn to the Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls primarily for one reason: Lauren Graham. The Gilmore Girl mom hadn’t sung much during seven seasons of the show. In fact, the one scene I can remember is a drunken and lovelorn Lorelai singing a karaoke rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” To be clear, it’s the Dolly Parton version.
Verdict? This woman has vocal chops! Graham was up against Craig Bierko (Lisa reminded me he was Carrie Bradshaw’s jazz musician boyfriend who made her realize she hates jazz) and Kate Jennings Grant and she definitely holds her own. You can’t say the same for Oliver Platt as Nathan Detroit.
Graham plays Miss Adelaide as a slow-talking, flashy-dressing, madly-in-love idealist. Her best moment is the revelatory scene with Grant’s “mission doll” Sarah Brown toward the end of the performance. They sit commiserating about the less-than-perfect men in their lives and Adelaide shares: “For 14 years I’ve tried to change Nathan. I’ve always wondered how he would be if he were different.” And then they break into their “Marry the Man Today” duet, which was spirited, full of girlfriend energy and beautifully performed.
The musical gives hope — but, tellingly, no proof — that people can change. The next scene is the happy ending finale; Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson are married, reformed crooks and gamblers, Sarah Brown isn’t such a tight wad…and Adelaide? Well, she just is — still tacky and still lovable.
Posted by: Mariela