The fascinating characters of New York City-gamblers, gangsters, showgirls and the like- will step onstage at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts when "Guys and Dolls" swaggers into town on June 16. Local favorite Peter Rothstein helms the production as director, leading a notable cast including "30 Rock" regular Todd Buonopane in this reimagining of Frank Loesser's iconic hit musical.
"Guys and Dolls" premiered on Broadway in 1950, where instantaneously it became a favorite among audiences and critics. "Guys and Dolls" was honored with the greatest accolades in the business, including the Tony Award for Best Musical. Now, the beloved musical is a part of history's great musical theater canon, having lived on through a number of Broadway and West End revivals. The musical title also received international acclaim for the 1955 motion picture adaptation, starring Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.
"A masterpiece, that is what 'Guys and Dolls' is," exclaims James A. Rocco, Ordway's vice president of theatrical programming and producing artistic director. "This restaging at the hands of our local friend Peter Rothstein reveals new levels of enjoyment in one of the best musical theater works ever created. It's a treat indeed."
Written by composer and lyricist Frank Loesser, with a book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling, "Guys and Dolls" is based on author Damon Runyon's stories of the New York streets. It centers on Nathan Detroit, the organizer of a local, floating craps game, as he bets another gambler, Sky Masterson that he can't make the next girl he sees fall in love with him, who happens to be the Salvation Army reformer, Miss Sarah Brown. On top of that, Detroit is having trouble with his own relationship, as his girlfriend Adelaide is interested in settling down and tying the knot.
Distinguished local director Peter Rothstein is well known for his work as the founding artistic director of Theater Latté Da and past stagings with the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis Children's Theatre and the Minnesota Opera. Rothstein has been named one of Minnesota's Artists of the Year from the Star Tribune, Theater Artist of the Year by Lavender Magazine, and Best Director by City Pages. Most recently, Rothstein was noted for his wonderful work on "Evita," by Theater Latté Da, which played to sold-out crowds on the Ordway's McKnight Theatre stage.
Starring in "Guys and Dolls" are Billie Wildrick (Miss Adelaide), Katherine Strohmaier (Sarah Brown), Daniel C. Levine (Nathan Detroit), Matt Farnsworth (Sky Masterson) and Todd Buonopane (Nicely-Nicely Johnson).
Also featured are Clayton Corzatte (Arvide Abernathy), Allen Galli (Rusty Charlie), David Drummond (Big Jule), Bradford Farwell (Harry the Horse), Jim Gall (Lieutenant Brannigan), Laura Kenny (General Cartwright), Greg McCormick Allen (Benny Southstreet), Ann McCormick Allen (Agatha), Joshua Carter (Joey Biltmore), Brittany Jamieson (Mimi) and Bob De Dea (Charlie). Rounding out the cast are David Alewine, Ross Cornell, Gabriel Corey, Sarah Davis, Bojohn Diciple, Christian Duhamel, Michael Ericson, Eric Esteb, Jonathan Paul Lee, Daniel Oakden, Dane Stokinger, Trina Mills, Kasey Nusbickel, Katie Rooney, Jessica Skerritt and Mara Solar.
Joining Rothstein in the creative team are Noah Racey (choreographer), Joel Fram (music director), Kate Sutton-Johnson (set designer), Gregory A. Poplyk (costume designer), Tom Sturge (lighting designer), Ken Travis (sound designer) and Mary Pyanowski (hair and makeup designer).
"Guys and Dolls" is a cornerstone of the American musical comedy repertoire, and this production delivers the beloved music, romance, dance and story in a spanking new adaptation.
"Guys and Dolls" is sponsored in part by Travelers Corporation. The production opened at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle just before coming to Saint Paul.
Prior to the Wednesday, June 22 public performance, the Ordway will host an Ordway Extra in the Ordway's Marzitelli Foyer at 6:30 p.m. and a post-show Talk Back. The Ordway Extra will be titled "Frank Loesser - American Master" and will touch on his life, inspirations and contributions to the theater community. To learn more about pre- and post-show events, visit ordway.org/events.
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
The Ordway is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading nonprofit performing arts centers and Saint Paul's most elegant and inviting performance space. The Ordway's Music Theater and McKnight stages attract diverse audiences with an array of productions showcasing the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance, and vocal performance. Education and community engagement are integral to the Ordway's mission, with major initiatives including the annual Flint Hills International Children's Festival and Ordway Education programs that serve more than 50,000 students annually. The Ordway also serves as authorizer for the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a professionally guided academic and artistic environment that trains aspiring pre-professional performing artists. Together with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and The Schubert Club, the Ordway is a member of the Arts Partnership and serves as the principal venue for their performances.
Performance and Ticket Information
"Guys and Dolls"
June 16 - 26
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Ordway's Music Theater
Tickets start at $36 including fees.
Ticket Office: 651.224.4222