Wednesday, April 29, 2015


How would Guys and Dolls have fared if we spent all our time with General Cartwright in the Save-A-Soul Mission? Maurice Evans was the star and he played the Reverend Brock so he got five stodgy songs. The fun numbers go to the prostitutes and gamblers, leaving the show with a permanent imbalance.

After the 2000 Encores revival the New York Times wrote:

The book, by George Abbott and Jerome Weidman, is full of hokum, but the score has a great deal of the sophisticated charm that is characteristic of the composer and lyricist, whose gift for time-specific musical spirit is apparent in numbers like the winking, oversentimental ballad ''Artificial Flowers'' and the ragtime-ish production number ''Little Old NewYork.'' The score also shines a light on a number of gems. One, ''How the MoneyChanges Hands,'' is an explanation by the chorus of prostitutes to a disguised Reverend Brock of the sequential payoffs of a corrupt capitalist system. Sung to a slowly swaggering Bock melody, it has the same gleeful that's-the-way-of-the-world acceptance as ''Politics and Poker'' from ''Fiorello!''

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