It’s the tried-and-true story that pits men versus women, comparing their ideals and priorities while asking how the two have managed to live together in harmony thus far. Frank Loesser’s classic musical comedy, Guys and Dolls, reports back that for everything a guy does, he’s “only doing it for some doll.” Adapted from Damon Runyon’s popular stories about New York City life and the characters that occupy it, Guys and Dolls spins a yarn about two couples, their distinct differences, and the “oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York.” It first premiered on Broadway in 1950, won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and since then it has established itself as one of the most popular musicals ever.
For the past three months, the cast of Marblehead High School’s Guys and Dolls have been rehearsing up to five times a week. The cast is made up of students from all grades, with Jacob Sundlie and Alec Glass in the main male roles, as Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit respectively, and Annie Krivit and Libby Jancsy in the main female roles, as Sister Sarah and Miss Adelaide respectively. There are a whole host of supporting characters from all aspects of New York life: there’s a mission band, a group of crapshooters (one all the way from Illinois), and cabaret dancers.
Anticipating the moment when the red curtain will rise and the show will begin, the cast and crew have been rehearsing tirelessly for this coming weekend, Directed by Fran Betlyon, with musical direction by Amanda Roeder, and technical direction by Greg Dana, Guys and Dolls tells the story of a gambler who needs money to find a place for his illegal crap game and decides to make a bet with another gambler about a certain “mission doll.” Of course, nothing goes according to plan, and hilarity ensues as the battle of the sexes comes to a head.
I have been going to rehearsals and working on the show for the past few weeks; I can assure you that in this amusing and romantic musical, the actors on stage (as well as the crew offstage) are having the time of their lives. Guys and Dolls is such an enjoyable musical with catchy music and funny character names (Harry the Horse!) that will be remembered long after you have left the theater.
Guys and Dolls is playing this weekend only at the Nelson Aldrich Performing Arts Center, at the Marblehead Veterans School, on 217 Pleasant Street, in Marblehead. It is an experience to be had by all for it is a timeless tale of love and gambling in 1930s New York. Come see for yourself Friday or Saturday night at 7 p.m., or on Sunday at 2 p.m., why this performance of Guys and Dolls should not be missed!
Alex Kerai is the lighting designer for Guys and Dolls.