Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Dailey and Kenley Players Tops in "Guys and Dolls"

Cleveland Press June 17, 1964

The Kenley Players' company seems to get better every year. Frank Loesser's durable "Guys and Dolls" is evidence of this.

There are at least five major parts in this show, perhaps more. The guest star of the week is Dan Dailey, who has the role of gambler Sky Masterson. The others listed above may not have star billing, but every one is superlative.

There's Carolyn Maye as Sarah Brown, the lass who works at the Save-a-Soul Mission. Miss Maye has a ringing soprano voice that stands out even in ensemble numbers and with all that wonderful singing ability she can act, too.

As Nathan Detroit, smalltime gambler, is Sid Stone, a loose - limbed, frantically - gesturing comic.

Adelaide, a night club entertainer to whom he has been engaged for 14 years, is portrayed by Sherry O'Neil, a long-legged dancer who belts out a few brassy songs besides.

MISS O'NEIL had some trouble with occasional lines of Brooklynese. She'd be better off dropping that part of the characterization than to be inconsistent.

Of the many characters that fill the show, one with a number of songs and most of the good lines, is Nicely-Nicely Johnson, played more than nicely by Jack DeLon. He too, has an amazing voice.

Dan Dailey is not the sort of entertainer who lands in a summer production and then walks through his part. He is slick and persuasive as the big~time, devil-may-care gambler.

HE PLAYS the part with a trace of humor, a little of himself coming through. He moves about with the grace of a dancer -- which is what he is, after all. His best singing is the "Luck Be a Lady" number, which he turns into a rousing, dramatic hit. He had some uneasy moments in earlier songs but seemed to recover without letting them bother him.

After the final curtain, Dailey is out on stage to do a few gags and run through a dance number. The routine (the gags, not the dance) is the sort of thing Pat O'Brien has been doing after his shows around the country. Dailey simply proves that O'Brien doesn't have a patent on the practice of telling Irish jokes.

"Guys and Dolls" with its Damon Runyon characters is almost 14 years old. There's Angie the Ox, Harry the Horse, Big Julie and others wearing the floppy hats and double-breasted suits.

The songs are still good -- "I've Never Been in Love Before," "If I Were a Bell," "A Bushel and a Peck," "The Fugue for Tinhorns" and the title song.