Guys and Dolls
On two occasions, I’ve become an enormous fan of a Broadway production, and then found myself lucky enough to work on it. The blockbuster 1992 revival of GUYS & DOLLS was one of those (the other was CITY OF ANGELS).
This production was one of those rare occasions when everyone on the stage, and everyone behind the scenes, was exploding with talent that perfectly matched the material and perfectly complemented each other’s contribution.
The orchestrations were a hybrid of the originals, given a sensational new gloss by Michael Starobin. GUYS & DOLLS had a first-rate music department and I was happy to take my seat at the keyboards in the pit whenever I was needed.
I made acquaintances that would blossom further: I wrote orchestrations for Faith Prince’s one-woman show some years later, and for the big band presiding at Nathan Lane’s 50th Birthday Party.
In the ensemble was Victoria Clark, whom I had known since her CATS days on the road. David Elder was in the ensemble, and his enormous talents were later on major display in TITANIC, and the Encores production of STRIKE UP THE BAND – and in several of my own AMERICAN SHOWSTOPPERS concerts with the Fred Barton Orchestra. And playing the role of General Cartwright was the always hilarious Ruth Williamson, whom I eventually conducted in ANNIE at Austin Musical Theatre, while I simultaneously played the role of Bert Healy.
The 1992 revival of GUYS & DOLLS got four Tony Awards and ran for nearly 1,200 performances.