To the editor:

Every time I visit my daughter and son-in-law in the Kansas City area, we find one or more live theatre productions to attend.  This Thanksgiving’s trip was no different; on Friday night, Nov. 29, we found a gem at the Slightly Off Broadway Theatre in Excelsior Springs.  I especially like the name of your group.  You are a great example of what keeps theatre alive and kicking in America.

We saw a terrific production of Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls.”  We have seen this show at other amateur venues; this one was one of the best.  It was just amazing what you did in a small space. I read director Tanya Duncan’s “From the director” who pointed out some exceptional efforts on the part of her cast and production crew.   We witnessed them: quick changes in a well-designed set took us from scene to scene adding to the story line; lighting that enhanced those scenes; and music that was right on throughout the show.  The sound effect of the plane on each leg of the trip was a nice touch.  The costuming was right on!

We particularly enjoyed the ensemble singing and dancing.  As with other members of the audience, we had our favorites.  We thought Colonsay Selby as Miss Adelaide was the best female performer and David Shewell as Skye Masterson had the best male performance.  We also liked Amanda Day as Sarah Brown, Joe Caronia as Nathan Detroit and Wayne Day as Nicely, Nicely Johnson.  And finally Jean Meacham as Arvida Abernathy deserves a special mention; she sang well in her “More I Cannot Wish You.”  It was refreshing to see that role, traditionally done by a man, played by a woman.  Nice casting throughout, Ms. Duncan.

This was a fun evening for us.  A great show, well done!  It is easy to see why you won your awards: best cultural venue and The Missouri Historic Preservation Legacy Award.

Hayden Smith

Muskegon, Mich.

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