Theater Caps are bite-sized punch-packing capsule reviews by resident theater critic Elaine Liner. Use them as a reminder -- or a teaser, if you procrastinate -- of her full-length reviews in The Mixmaster's weekly sister.
The touring production of Guys and Dolls winding up its run this weekend at the Music Hall at Fair Park isn't the best production of that show we've ever seen. The best was the Broadway revival in the 1990s starring Peter Gallagher (he sings!) as Sky Masterson, Nathan Lane as Nathan Detroit, Faith Prince as Miss Adelaide and, as the roving gang of gamblers, every great Broadway character actor of that decade, including Ernie Sabella (you know him as the naked guy on the subway to Coney Island on Seinfeld).
The current tour feels like it was cast with understudies whose ambition has given way to exhaustion as they've crisscrossed the nation.
Miss Adelaide, played by Megan Sikora, is the standout, squeaking through "Take Back Your Mink" with some mighty comedy moves. The rest are just adequate.
Ben Crawford as Sky has a B-level Craig Bierko vibe. His 5 o'clock shadow just seems ... lazy. Steve Rosen makes Nathan into a whiny schlemiel, equal parts Jon Lovitz and Matthew Broderick.
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By the second act, they're all clicking better on Frank Loesser's timeless score: "Luck Be a Lady," "Sue Me," "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat."
Even a so-so production like this one will win you over. The show itself, with its charming, funny, old-fashioned depictions of girls who want love and guys resisting "I do," is just that good.
Guys and Dolls continues through July 31 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Call 800-982-ARTS or dallassummermusicals.org.