MAQUOKETA — “Guys and Dolls,” the Tony Award-winning musical comedy featuring one of the great musical scores in the history of American theater, comes to the Ohnward Fine Arts Center in Maquoketa, July 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 21, at 2 p.m.
Set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City, this oddball romantic comedy — considered by many to be the perfect musical comedy — soars with the spirit of Broadway as it introduces us to a cast of vivid characters who have become legends in the canon: Sarah Brown, the upright but uptight “mission doll,” out to reform the evildoers of Time Square; Sky Masterson, the slick, high-rolling gambler who woos her on a bet and ends up falling in love; Adelaide, the chronically ill nightclub performer whose condition is brought on by the fact she’s been engaged to the same man for 14 years; and Nathan Detroit, her devoted fiancé, desperate as always to find a spot for his infamous floating crap game.
Hailed by critics as “the perfect musical,” the show balances comedy, romance, and breathtaking dance routines, including the show-stoppers, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and “Luck Be a Lady.”
“Guys and Dolls” is about gambling men and the women who long to tame them. Damon Runyon sets his story in a colorful Times Square in the 1940s, populated by missionaries, showgirls, gangsters and cops. As the show begins, Nathan Detroit is desperately trying to find a place for his floating craps game, despite the protests of Adelaide, his fiancée of 14 years, who wants him to quit gambling and marry her. In an effort to fund his latest game, he bets high roller Sky Masterson that he can’t lure Sarah Brown, a beautiful missionary, to travel to Cuba with him. Bets turn to romance as Masterson plots to win the bet, and ends up losing his heart.
Written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, the script is based on “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and other stories by Runyon. Music and lyrics were written by Frank Loesser, and the show was first produced on Broadway in 1950, running for more than 1,200 performances. It has been revived numerous times, most recently in 1992. A film version was released in 1955, starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine. The show earned 17 Tony awards, including Best Musical, and the 1956 movie captured several Golden Globe awards.
Playing the roles are in Guys and Dolls are Joel Hagen as Nathan Detroit, Adrienne D’Agostini as Miss Adelaide, Jake Tebbe as Sky Masterson and Kim (Lyon) Hayward as Sarah Brown. Also playing roles are Jake Hopson as Benny Southstreet and Tate Huckstadt as Rusty Charlie.
David Mannig plays Arvide Abernathy, Keisha Schroeder as Agatha, Sarah Hobbs as Alvina, and Sue Samburg as Martha. Katilin Luett will play the role of General Matilda B Cartwight. Gamblers include Greg Geir as Nicely Nicely Johnson, Levi Burzlaff as Harry the Horse, Richard Hall as Big Jule and Matt Hotvedt, Ron Delagardelle, Colton Fey, Callan Geir and Jack Rolling. Andrew Long plays the role of Lt. Brannigan.
The Hot Box gals include Audrey Owens, Dawn Hall, Elizabeth McClimon, Amelia Hinch, Nicole Atkins, Veronica Goldyn, Maddie Geier, Kelly Newell and Emma Manning.
The show is directed by Pamela Crawford, who is assisted by Mary Gilmore and Dan Pinion. Conducting the rehearsal orchestra is Jay Kahn. Laura Osterhaus is the shows choreographer
Why Guys and Dolls? This is 150th anniversary of the Citaldel (Salvation Army Church building) now renovated and housed in Horseshoe Park! Guys and Dolls is one of three musicals in which the “Salvation Army” plays significant role in the plot. Maquoketa is the town where the Salvation Army first established itself west of the Mississippi River.
Show dates and times are: July 19, and 20 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 21, at 2 p.m. Tickets in advance are $15 and students $10; tickets at the door are $18 for adults and $12 for students.
Tickets can also be purchased at The Ohnward Fine Arts Center by calling (563) 652-9815 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.
They also are available at Osterhaus Pharmacy and the Maquoketa State Bank Main Office. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.ohnwardfineartscenter.com.