Last night we used a gift certificate that our daughter and son in law gave us for Christmas. We went to the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre here in Fort Myers to see Guys and Dolls. I had called yesterday afternoon and they had just had a cancellation for 6 people at table C2. We could have the two seats closest to the railing which was fine by me. The theatre had a proscenium stage (you know—the kind that has a curtain that goes up and down?) and then about 7 levels, each about a foot higher than the last, for tables. Some tables are for two, some for 4, and some for 6 or 8. Ours was a table for 8. There were already two people there at the opposite end of the table when we got there. As we were eating our salad, 4 more showed up and crammed themselves into the remaining four spots. They had been seated near the back but wanted to move closer. After sitting there for about 3 minutes, they decided it was too crowded (at least that was the reason they gave. Hmmmm) and moved back to their original table. So we had a table for 8 for the 4 of us. Lots of room to stretch out. A big buffet was set up with lots of salads, pork loin, beef, salmon, pasta, veggies, and tons of desserts. Adult beverages were extra but of course we had to have a couple. The food was good and the service was great.
Now on to the play. I LOVE Guys and Dolls. Many moons ago when I was totally involved in the Fort Findlay Playhouse Community Theatre, I worked on this show. For the life of me, I can’t remember in what capacity but I think it was probably lights. That meant I got to sit in the light booth every night and sing along (quietly) to every song. And what great songs they were. Guys and Dolls, Fugue for Tinhorns, A Bushel and a Peck, If I Were a Bell, I’ve Never Been in Love Before, Take Back Your Mink, Luck Be a Lady, and my all time favorite, Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat. The last one is what is commonly referred to as the 10:00 Waker Upper. (It seems that every musical has a big rock ‘em sock ‘em number around 10:00 which is usually the showstopper number of the show.) Anyway, this is the number in Guys and Dolls and the number last night was fantastic. The couple that played the leads, Sky Masterson and Sarah Brown, were great. Good voices and good acting. The other lead couple was half and half. The guy that played Nathan Detroit was ok. Good voice but a bit over the top acting wise. The gal that played Adelaide was WAY over the top. She way over acted and even though she wore a mic, it was like she felt she needed to shout. Adelaide is such a fun part and I didn’t enjoy this Adelaide at all. The Guys were great. Good voices, good dancers etc. The guy that played Big Julie was super. He was about 6’6 and built like a football player but boy could he act, dance, and sing. When we did the show in Findlay, we didn’t have a big guy try out for the part so we cast the shortest guy we could find and went against type. It was pretty funny actually. (Hey, Karen, do you remember any of the rest of the cast?? Or were you too young to remember? Hint—it was Bill’s first play at FFP and he, Terry, and Dan were all in the show.)
Anyway, this was our first trip to Broadway Palm. We have been to the Barbara B. Mann Theatre to see road shows of Evita, Man of La Mancha (which incidentally I directed at FFP) and Lion King and we are regulars at the Schoolhouse Theatre on the island (which by the way we attended this week also) but we’ve never been to the Broadway Palm. Last night’s trip won’t be our last. I love musicals and this is about all they do. They also have a second stage where they perform smaller shows. Right now they are doing Monkey Business which is described as Nunsense but with monks. They had the cast give our audience one brief song last night before our show started. I would love to see that show too. Shows coming up on the main stage are Caberet and 42nd Street. I guess we’ll just have to go and see some more theatre!
Anyway, thank you Karen and Michael for the gift certificate. It was a wonderful Christmas gift. One we sure didn’t expect and one we enjoyed immensely.