Broadway Classic finds home on the Lyman stage

Jeffery LamsonSpecial to the Southern News

A production of the Broadway classic Guys and Dolls by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra at the John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts complete with a cameo from President Joe Bertolino as Angie the Ox. Conductor, William Boughton and director, Wendy Morgan Hunter were able to put on a wonderful show at the Lyman Center that made the whole audience cheer.

The cast was both enthusiastic and charismatic in their performances capturing the spirit of the original while also being unique. This was due in no small part to the NHSO performing all of the music live on stage along with the actors. The vocal performances were all very energetic and enjoyable. The cast was also very much able to adapt, react, and improvise along with the audience responses as well as some technical hiccups. The actors’ performances in tandem with the instrumental performances made for a great show that was absolutely worth seeing.

Elaine Carroll, CEO of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and also General Cartwright within the production said that Guys and Dolls was great pick to follow NHSO’s production of My Fair Lady last year. NHSO has been attempting to appeal to a wider and more diverse audience with Carroll saying that Guys and Dolls is, “… a lot of fun for a lot of reasons.” She goes on to note that Guys and Dolls appeals to a lot of people due to the diversity of music styles and musical theater format itself. She also mentioned that having SCSU students performing and using the Lyman Center as a venue was a perfect opportunity to attract fans of musical theater that may have otherwise not seen the show.

Marketing Director, Katie Bonner Russo, also mentioned how Guys and Dolls is a part of NHSO introducing more outside of the box programming. Bonner Russo also said, “The show Guys and Dolls appeals to people who both like musical theater and are really into other musical art-forms.”

It was also important to hold the show at Lyman over other venues in New Haven due to its capacity of 1,500 people. It was important to have a space that seated over 1000 but not as much as 2,600 which is the capacity at Woolsey Hall where the New Haven Symphony Orchestra usually plays. Bonner Russo also said that Lyman was, “… really interesting because of the thrust stage.” This layout gives listeners a, “totally different listening perspective,” than they would have had by just sitting in the middle, in front of the orchestra says Bonner Russo.

President Bertolino’s cameo went over well as the crowd laughs and applauded his appearance just as Elaine Carroll predicted they would. The New Haven Symphony Orchestra put on a great show as a whole and the Lyman Center was a great venue for the production. The acting, the singing, and the musicianship was all professional and on point while being able to capture the fun and light-hearted musical romance that is Guys and Dolls.

Photo Credit: Jeffery Lamson

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