Last weekend, I was lucky enough to catch the new production of “Guys and Dolls” playing at the Piccadilly Theatre. Before I go any further, let me produce my union card for the International Federation of Geeks now and get it out of the way. While I always make the effort to see a show when I am in London, this time I made the journey from Switzerland to England for the sole purpose of seeing Ewan McGregor sing and dance around on stage.
Art? Culture? Support the theatre? Nah. I was in it for the Scotsman.
Now on to the show. It was quite simply marvellous! I didn’t expect it to be so wonderful. I had thought it would be good. Very good, even. I had also thought that Ewan would be the standout. He wasn’t. He was one strong part of a stellar cast. It was so amazing there were points in the play where I forgot Mr McGregor was in it. I admire him for being brave enough to select a project where he was part of a larger whole instead of seeking out a “star vehicle.”
During the “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” number the guy singing the lead (Martyn Ellis) was so amazing that he got a three or four minute wildly enthusiastic ovation. Some people were even standing. This was in the middle of the show! I’d never seen anything like it. The actors had to stand frozen on the stage for the duration waiting for it to be quiet enough to start up again.
But back to Ewan. He was fabulous as Sky Masterson. The only time I made a SW/Ewan connection was when Sky belted out “Luck, be a Lady Tonight” and I heard Obi-Wan up there singing “Luke be a Jedi tonight!” I blame “The Simpsons” for that. The rest of the time I saw and heard Sky. He could sing. He could dance. He was funny, sarcastic, and earnest — a compelling combination.
We asked about the possibility of a cast CD and were told that it is in the works. They hope it will be ready in the next few months. There are also plans underway to sell it via the internet.
I asked at the box office about ticket availability. They said that the show is sold out (except for Weds. matinees) until August. But that they release the front row (18 seats) and standing room space (2X18) at 10 AM the morning of a show (at the theatre box office). The tickets cost £20 and each person can buy a maximum of two. He said people were queuing starting at 5 AM. The theatre is dark on Sundays.
So, in short, London or bust! If there is any way you can get there, do it.