Original National Theater Cast

Guys and Dolls (Original National Theatre Cast)

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The revival of Guys and Dolls produced by the British National Theatre opened at the Olivier Theatre on London's South Bank on March 9, 1982, and starred Bob Hoskins as Nathan Detroit and Julia McKenzie as Adelaide. The staging attracted mixed reviews, but it resulted in this cast recording, made in April 1982, and it eventually transferred to the West End on June 19, 1985, for a run of 354 performances. Based on the recording, one is inclined to think that, as is often the case with this near perfect musical entertainment, the good reviews were due to the work itself, and the less enthusiastic ones to the casting and orchestrations. It is also true that an American critic would have been more likely to take the production to task for the inconsistencies in the accents, which more often suggest Cockney than Brooklyn. This is especially true of Hoskins, though, of course, he isn't heard much on the cast album, since Nathan rarely sings. But John Normington, for example, turns "More I Cannot Wish You" into an Irish tenor performance, and Julie Covington as Sarah Brown makes little attempt to sound American. With Ian Charleson performing only an adequate Sky Masterson, it's left to Julia McKenzie to shine, and she throws herself into "A Bushel and a Peck" and "Adelaide's Lament." Beyond the cast, the second problem is the arrangements by Tony Britten and Terry Davies, which are overly busy and earnest, constantly adding punctuation to music that doesn't need it. Frank Loesser's score for Guys and Dolls may be practically fool-proof, which makes nearly any recording of it enjoyable, but it does not benefit from the "improvements" generations of musical directors feel the need to give it as their own personal statements.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:01
feat: David Healy
3 1:20
4 2:23
5 3:14
6 1:43
7 3:17
feat: David Healy
9 2:09
10 3:54
11 3:52
12 1:08
13 2:27
14 1:57
feat: Ian Charles
16 2:04
feat: David Healy
18 2:37
19 1:05
blue highlight denotes track pick