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There was a fundraiser for Carnegie Hall recently, and a staged production (one time only) of Guys and Dolls, with Nathan Lane as Nathan Detroit. It must have been fabulous:

The evening, a benefit for Carnegie Hall, featured an all-star cast, headed by Nathan Lane at his hearty-voiced and double-take comedic best, portraying the manic, perpetually nervous gambler Nathan Detroit, who runs “the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York.” Mr. Lane was reprising a role that made him a star in the acclaimed 1992 Broadway production. Patrick Wilson brought his robust voice and dashing looks to the role of Sky Masterson, a legend among the gamblers, a smooth operator willing to stake almost anything on a bet. Sierra Boggess was endearing as Sarah Brown, a sergeant in the Save-a-Soul Mission, singing with gleaming, operatic confidence when we first meet her, but revealing inner yearnings as she finds herself inexplicably falling for Sky.

The right Miss Adelaide, the nightclub singer who has been exasperatingly engaged to Nathan for 14 years, can walk away with “Guys and Dolls,” which is precisely what the amazing Megan Mullally did here. Her “Adelaide’s Lament,” in which when this model of patience realizes that her chronic cold may be a psychosomatic reaction to the endless delay of her wedding day, was a beguiling mix of tenderness and twangy Brooklynese. But now and then, Ms. Mullally (who is currently in previews in the play “Annapurna,” Off Broadway) welled with a fleeting moment of vocal and emotional intensity that revealed her character’s genuine inner longing.

Tommasini ends his review by calling for the release (on DVD, I think) of the archival footage so everyone can watch this production. I can only second that b/c I would LOVE to see it myself.

In the meantime, here's a clip of Nathan Lane in the role (in the earlier production):

Last week's diary was about Cabaret, and I didn't mention the plot at all b/c I thought everyone would be familiar with it from the movie. I was wrong. And Cabaret is simplicity itself compared to Damon Runyon's collection of losers, gamblers, shysters and other interesting denizens of Manhattan mid-20th-century. So here's a bit of synopsis:

Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson are gamblers: Nathan, as noted above, runs that craps game. Sister Sarah runs a mission to convert all the sinners in this low-down slum (think Bowery and you have the right idea, although Runyon was writing about Hell's Kitchen mostly, and that's adjacent to the theater district, lol: not a slum anymore!). Sister Sarah is starting to fall for Sky when they go to Havana (on a bet Sky has with Nathan).

Meanwhile Adelaide, Nathan's fiancee of fourteen years (played by Faith Prince), is getting fed up with always being stood up...when it comes to the wedding (performance begins right before the two minute mark):

And of course, the iconic "Adelaide's Lament" -- again with Faith Prince:

For the full details, go to Wiki:

A number from the Tony Awards:

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