Thursday, February 11, 2016

Roving Pittsburgher Report, Guys & Dolls, A Showcase of Talent at PPT

Guys & Dolls:  A Showcase of Talent at PPT
By Good News Reporter, Megan Grabowski

When Pittsburgh Public Theater (PPT) produces a musical you are sure to be wowed.  This season, the American classic, Guys & Dolls will not disappoint.  An audience pleaser all around, Guys & Dolls is entertaining for both the musical maven as well as any theater novice.  Producing artistic director, the esteemed Ted Pappas, has covered all the bases to assure this performance is nothing less than stellar. Guys & Dolls is a must see.

One of America's most beloved musicals, Guys & Dolls takes place in mid-century bustling New York City.  Small time gambler Nathan Detroit (Joel Hurt Jones) is scrambling  to find a location for the next floating crap game, while dodging Lt. Brannigan (Tony Bingham) and  Miss Adelaide, (Kirsten Wyatt) leading performer at the Hot Box night club and his fiancée of fourteen years.   With help from fellow hoodlums Nicely, Nicely Johnson (Quinn Patrick Shannon), Rusty Charlie (Joe Jackson) and Benny Southstreet (Gavan Pamer), Detroit attempts to arrange the game at the Biltmore Garage.  Owner Joey Biltmore (Daniel Krell) wants a $1000.00 deposit before he agrees and Detroit is broke.   He decides to earn the $1000.00 by making a wager with Sky Masterson (Charlie Brady) a man who will bet on anything. Detroit bets Masterson that he can't convince the beautiful and pious, Sarah Brown, Sergeant of Save- a- Soul Mission, to take a trip with him to Havana, Cuba.  Masterson, accepts the challenge. What follows is a quest for love and redemption depicted through an award winning score and clever choreography.
Charlie Brady and Doreen Burns

The four leading roles, Nathan Detroit, Sky Masterson, Sarah Brown and Miss Adelaide boast notable credits ranging from live theater,  film and television, national as well as local theater.  The leading ladies are exactly what you would expect from a PPT production, refined and skilled in their craft.  Burn's operatic vocal range is resounding and at times nearly drowns out her male counterparts.  Kudos to Wyatt whose New York accent is on spot. She manages to maintain it throughout the entire performance, something I have witnessed many talented men and women struggle with on stage.   Masterson, a ladies' man, can schmooze a woman and roll a set of dice, sing and dance too.  His rendition of “Luck Be a Lady” was a highlight of the show but my heart melted listening to Miss Adelaide and Nathan Detroit sing the duet, “Sue Me”, it was sweet and harmonic.
Although there isn't one single cast member who disappoints, the supporting cast and ensemble are especially brilliant. The beautiful Hot Box girls, as Farmerettes, in “A Bushel and a Peck”, are just the right amount of risqué.  Sarah's grandfather, Arvide Abernathy (Larry John Meyers) sings “More I Cannot Wish You”, a sentimental tune that warms the heart and Nicely, Nicely Johnson and the ensemble receive a roar of applause after “Sit Down, Your Rockin' the Boat”. 

  The O'Reilly Theater has a mid-sized stage and the choreography is tailored to the space.  Personally, when I see a strong male cast I look forward to powerful leaps and turns.  The dancing in Guys and Dolls doesn't lack these attributes but there were moments when I expected  larger.  The dancing was most engaging during “Havana” and “The Crapshooters Dance”. 

Guys & Dolls boasts bright and cheery costumes, an uplifting musical score, energetic dancing and engaging acting.  The show runs through February 28 at The O'Reilly Theater in Pittsburgh's Cultural District. 

  For more information or to purchase tickets visit

Reviewed by Megan Grabowski
Income Maintance Caseworker at State of Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
Positively Pittsburgh Good News Reviewer, Professional writer, Social-Media Junkie, Community Fundraiser and Pittsburgh Enthusiast. 

Roving Pittsburgher Report, Wilkommen to "CABARET" AT THE BENEDUM CENTER


An unbiased review by Mr. and Mrs. CardiologyGood News Review by Dr. Santosh and Mrs. Sunita Pandit

The air was electric as we waited for the show to begin!  This was the first time in our simple career of attending shows in the Cultural District that we really noticed the audience’s feel of anticipation and awe of what was to come.  My husband,Dr. Santosh Pandit or Mr. Cardiology, as
he has been dubbed, got busy right away using the opera glasses to watch the unusual activity on the stage. There were actors limbering up and actually doing cartwheels and splits! I can understand his curiosity because the gals on stage looked from our seats in row Q as though they were wearing nothing!  They were all wearing skimpy clothing in flesh colors… I noticed the stage had a second story where it was filled from end to end with musicians… or were they the actors… ohhhh they were doing both!

The swell of the audience’s energy climaxed as the lights dimmed.  The lead, Emcee – Randy Harrison came out from behind a door and started to sing.  Oh but I could not understand his words. I wanted to adjust the acoustics so that I could lower the music and hear him clearly.  It was worse for my husband as he does not understand French!  But to my delight, the loud music became a minor detraction as the actors outdid themselves in producing their heart felt performances.

Pittsburgh is in for a real treat with this rendition of Cabaret.  For those like Mr. Cardiology who did not grow up in America… do a little reading so you can follow the story better and that way you can concentrate on appreciating the performances.  Well worth more than the price of the tickets… My favorite was Fraulein Schneider – Shannon Cochran… singing ‘So What’… with Sally – Andrea Goss singing ‘Don’t Tell Mama’ a close second!  Randy Harrison as the Emcee was actually like a band leader in his ability to keep the energy level at peak for the entire performance… made me think everyone else was making sure they kept up! BRAVO!

To all the cast and crew my Hats Off to YOU! Congratulations and Thank You for coming to Pittsburgh and allowing us to ‘Get Away’ from our daily routine…

MrsCardiology – Sunita S. Pandit

Sunita Pandit, host of Mrs. Cardiology which is an anchor podcast at is also the practice manager for her husband Santosh Pandit's private cardiology practice in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, she is also the Health Director on the Board of NAWBO Greater Pittsburgh. Dr. Santosh Pandit is a private practice cardiologist in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.