in Stanley Donen’s death on the 21st of February in New York and the Earth continued to turn as if nothing had happened. Stanley Donen, the director (with Gene Kelly) Singing in the rain , A day in New York city , Funny face or Travel to two . Singing in the rain! No offense to the grumpy, the best movie of all time is a musical comedy. The joy in the pure state. The show total. The style, the music, the dancing, the humor, the love. And Donald O’connor in one of the most fabulous numbers in the history of the musical ( Make ’Em Laugh ). A masterpiece from 1952. Learning of the disappearance of Donen, it was cried under the snow, a need for consolation is impossible to satiate. It lifted its head, eyes full of tears, and we read the Guys and Dolls in illuminated letters on the pediment of the Theatre Marigny. In France, little is known about this musical, under the title White doves and villains gentlemen , also given to the film by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1955. Not the best Mankiewicz, not the musical, the most imperishable of Hollywood, despite the duo Sinatra-Brando. Or a little, because of Brando, that is not James Cagney, and has a sense of rhythm a bear. Jean-Luc Choplin, the boss of Marigny, had the good idea to return to the sources, the Broadway musical, ” phenomenal success in 1950 with a libretto by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. A dive in the New York of the prohibition. In those years, Times Square does not look like Disneyland. The area is the lair of mafia types and shady characters, gamblers and mobsters. A backdrop of film noir painted all the colors.
The argument holds in a corner on a tablecloth: two craps players, Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit, are to put the pot over by two women, a dancer and a volunteer of the salvation Army
The pink dominates. The argument holds in a corner on a tablecloth: two craps players, Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit, are to put the pot over by two women, the dancer Miss Adelaide and the volunteer of the salvation Army’s Sarah Brown. And after? Swing, swing, swing.
The director and choreographer british Stephen Mear, already recruited by Choplin at the Châtelet to sizzle the tap dancing of 42nd street, knows how to do it. It was under the hand of the tubes (the mambo caliente Havana , If I were a Bell , The Crapshooters’Dance , Lucky Be a Lady , Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat …). Four actors in the main roles play, dance and sing as they breathe: Ria Jones (Miss Adelaide in the false air of Bette Midler), Clare Halse (Sarah Brown), Matthew Goodgame (Sky Masterson) and Christopher Howell (Nathan Detroit). They are well supported. The rest of the band is equally at home in the elegant costumes and sets by Peter McIntosh, frames, bright, skyline, stylized Manhattan. In the pit, the orchestra of the Théâtre Marigny is ringing on the brass as a big band american. The all gives of the ants in the legs.
Guys and Dolls does not mention Stanley Donen, but he consoles us a little. It is already a lot.
“Guys and Dolls”, at the Théâtre Marigny. Carré Marigny (Viii). Tel.: 01 76 49 47 12. Opening hours: in the evening at 20h, sam. to 15h and dim. to 16h. Until 27 July 2019.