Smith makes much of this extremely funny, especially when Ivey, in a tantrum, attempts to practice self-excommunication. His script, however, shortchanges the deeper conflicts that lie beneath the doctrinal badminton. This makes Walter Bobbie's mostly smooth but superficial production lurch noticeably from event to event, like a car hitting a series of speed bumps. Still, the pleasure of watching four such excellent actors at work gets you over the bumps pleasantly enough—Overbey's performance is particularly touching, and Ivey's more demented moments rank with the best of Bea Lillie.

An overheated slot machine: Guys and Dolls
Carol Rosegg
An overheated slot machine: Guys and Dolls

Details

Guys and Dolls
By Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows, and Jo Swerling
Nederlander Theatre
208 West 41st Street, 212-307-4100

Distracted
By Lisa Loomer
Laura Pels Theatre
111 West 46th Street, 212-719-1300

The Savannah Disputation
By Evan Smith
Playwrights Horizons
416 West 42nd Street, 212-279-4200

mfeingold@villagevoice.com

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