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Guys and Dolls: Off the Record

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Broadway babies be warned: Guys and Dolls: Off the Record isn’t a behind-the-scenes peek at the smash 1992 Broadway revival of this ”quintessential American musical.” Rather, it’s a documentary about the production’s cast album. Thanks to Nathan Lane (gambler Nathan Detroit), Faith Prince (a Tony winner for her role as Nathan’s long-suffering fiancée Miss Adelaide), along with a pre-O.C. Peter Gallagher, Frank Loesser songs like ”Sue Me” and ”Luck Be a Lady” are here given new life. Off the Record infiltrates New York City’s BMG Studios, shifting between the action at the microphones (perfectionist Gallagher retakes the intro to ”My Time of Day” ’til it hums) and discussions between producers and director Jerry Zaks in the control room (is Prince’s ”Adelaide’s Lament” too flat?) There are many lighthearted moments (Prince botches the ”Lament,” then lets loose with some very un-ladylike cursing; the self-deprecating Lane rips the show’s success), but the documentary scores its biggest points for depicting the unheralded, unseen work that goes into the making of a cast album — and for scoring an interview with Loesser’s widow, actress/Broadway legend Jo Sullivan. Casual playgoers may shy away, but Off the Record will rock the boat of theater geeks everywhere. A

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