One of the fondest achievements of the American musical theater in its heyday 50 years ago was "Guys and Dolls." It had its beginnings in the droll underworld stories of Damon Runyon. In an age that resisted critical hyperbole, the New York Times' Brooks Atkinson came right out and said it was a "masterly achievement." Everything seemed to come together in "Guys and Dolls." Pretty good story by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, compellingly eccentric characters (by Runyon), music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, and in the original 1950 production, direction by George Kaufman, choreography by Michael Kidd, design by Jo Mielziner, three pillars of the Broadway establishment. Two years ago "Guys and Dolls" was restaged in New York. In a move that was virtually automatic, the theater industry's Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play or a Musical went to "Guys and Dolls." This is the production, directed by Jerry Zaks and now on tour, that comes to Shea's Buffalo Center starting Tuesday. In the touring show Nathan Detroit is played by Philip LeStrange, a Broadway stage and television actor, and Miss Adelaide is played by Beth McVey, who has extensive Broadway musical credits. There will be eight performances: Tuesday through next Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 30, at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, May 1, at 2 and 7 p.m., in the performing arts center at 646 Main St.
-- Terry Doran