Performing Arts
© Mike Keenan

Shaw Festival's Guys and Dolls Loaded with Talent

Guys and Dolls photo by Emily Cooper The Shaw Festival's 52nd season is approaching, and Guys and Dolls will be the big money-maker in 2013, so its casting was priority one for Artistic Director, Jackie Maxwell.

Accordingly, Kyle Blair returns to play gambler Sky Masterson after a season at the Stratford Festival's wonderful, fun-filled production of The Pirates of Penzance and 42nd Street. (Stratford produced Guys and Dolls in 2004 with Scott Wentworth playing a terrific Sky Masterson.)

Elodie Gillett appears as conservative Save-a-Soul Mission sergeant Sarah Brown following last season's Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti after a two-year run as Lorraine in the Toronto production of Jersey Boys.

Jenny L. Wright appears as nightclub performer and perpetually engaged Miss Adelaide. Her portrayal of Hilda Shannon in last season's A Man and Some Women made me hate her, she was so convincingly odious.

Shawn Wright , currently in Canadian Stage's The Arsonists, returns after a 23-year absence to play charming small time hood Nathan Detroit.

Thom Allison , last season's big gun as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime will reveal his comedic side as gambler Nicely-Nicely Johnson. His rendition of "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" will surely be one of many anticipated highlights of the production.

Guys and Dolls also features the talents of: Patty Jamieson as General Cartwright, Billy Lake as Benny Southstreet, Peter Millard as Arvide Abernathy, Aadin Church as Big Jule and Kelly Wong as Rusty Charlie.

Elodie Gillett   Shawn Wright   Thom Allison   Kyle Blair

We are familiar with Frank Sinatra's 1955 rendition of Luck Be A Lady, but here are all of the musical numbers in order:
Act 1: Runyonland - Ensemble; Fugue For Tinhorns - Nicely-Nicely, Benny & Rusty Charlie; Follow The Fold - Sarah, Arvide & Mission Band; The Oldest Established - Nathan, Nicely-Nicely, Benny & Ensemble; I'll Know - Sarah & Sky; A Bushel And A Peck - Adelaide & The Hot Box Girls; Adelaide's Lament - Adelaide; Guys & Dolls - Nicely-Nicely & Benny; Havana - Sky, Sarah & Ensemble; If I Were A Bell - Sarah; My Time Of Day - Sky; I've Never Been In Love Before - Sky & Sarah;

Act II: Take Back Your Mink - Adelaide & Hot Box Girls; Adelaide's Lament - Adelaide; More I Cannot Wish You - Arvide; The Crap Game Dance - Crap Shooters; Luck Be A Lady - Sky & Crap Shooters; Sue Me - Nathan & Adelaide; Sit Down, You're Rockin' The Boat - Nicely-Nicely & Ensemble; Follow The Fold - Mission meeting Group; Marry The Man Today - Adeliade & Sarah; Guys & Dolls - Ensemble

Synopsis: Setting - Damon Runyon's New York, the city that never sleeps. Sergeant Sarah Brown of the Save a Soul Mission, tries to make a difference amidst the depravity of the streets. Adelaide, the showgirl, is desperate for a white picket fence and roses round the door. Nathan Detroit tries to find yet another new location for his floating dice game, one short step ahead of the law. The highest roller of them all is Sky Masterson, who would bet on anything that would turn him a profit.

Nathan Detroit can use the Biltmore Garage if he can come up with a thousand dollars - and quickly. He bets Sky Masterson cannot persuade Sergeant Sarah Brown to fly with him to Havana. Sky uses his charm to convince Sarah that he is a reformed sinner, and that he will deliver a dozen sinners to her Mission if she will have dinner with him at his favourite restaurant. She agrees, not knowing that the restaurant is in Cuba.

Adelaide hasn't given up hope that Nathan has given up his shady lifestyle, and that their fourteen-year long engagement will soon end in wedding bells. During Sky and Sarah's absence Nathan organizes his game in the Save a Soul Mission itself. To convince the local policeman that the gathering is legitimate, Nathan is forced to announce that he and Adelaide are eloping that evening. As Sky and Sarah return from Havana, the crap game is raided, and Sarah believes she has been used.

Nathan cannot elope and run the crap game, so he lets Adelaide run once more. Sarah's uncle Arvide realizes that she has fallen in love with Sky, but refuses to have anything to do with him. Arvide insists that Sky fulfill his promise to deliver twelve sinners to the Mission. At the crap game, Nathan offers to pay up on his bet about Sarah and Havana, but Sky denies that he took her there. Sky rolls the dice to win the souls of the crapshooters, and insists that they keep their promise to attend the prayer meeting.

Adelaide forgives Nathan on condition that they elope, but Nathan has a prior engagement at the prayer meeting! There, the gamblers confess to their previous sins, and Sarah's mission is saved from closure. All ends happily as Nathan and Adelaide marry at the Mission now run by Sergeant Sarah and Brother Sky Masterson.

Guys and Dolls music and lyrics are by Frank Loesser; Previews - April 12; Opens - May 11 Closes - October 12; Festival Theatre

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