Top positive review
The original Guys and Dolls: still the best
on May 27, 2009
This brilliant score has passed the test of time; it sounds even better today than it did when it was recorded in 1950. Nearly 60 years old, it sparkles with humor, intelligence, and glorious melodies. The original cast recording has never been matched. Robert Alda sings superbly as Sky Masterson, and is matched in lovely duets with Isabel Bigley as Sarah Brown. Vivian Blaine's performance as Adelaide is definitive, and even Sam Levene (who really cannot sing at all) is amazingly effective in his one extended number ("Sue Me"). The underappreciated Stubby Kaye makes a huge contribution to many of the numbers. But the real stars are the lyrics and music by the amazing Frank Loesser. If this is not the greatest musical comedy score of all time, I don't know what is. Accept no substitutes; the original cast recording is the only one to get. (Loesser hated the movie version, in which Frank Sinatra's crooning was completely at odds with the rough-and-tumble character of Nathan Detroit. And while Marlon Brando's singing as Sky Masterson is creditable, he doesn't hold a candle to the brilliant Robert Alda.) Musicals don't get any better.