‘Guys and Dolls’ opens Wednesday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 6, 2002

The characters in Minnesota Festival Theatre’s production of &uot;Guys and Dolls&uot; are a delightful bunch of exactly that: characters. The gamblers, strippers and missionaries depicted are loosely modeled comedic parodies of their real-life counterparts.

&uot;Who wouldn’t want to live in New York with these characters?&uot; MFT director Terry Lynn Carlson quipped.

&uot;Guys and Dolls,&uot; based on a short story by Damon Runyon, opened on Broadway in 1950 and completed 1,200 subsequent shows. The singing and dancing extravaganza is set in New York in the 1950s.

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The plot revolves around two sets of lovers: Nathan Detroit and Miss Adelaide, and Sky Masterson and Sarah Brown.

Detroit (Charles Frasier) is the organizer of New York’s oldest floating craps game and his 14-year relationship with singer Adelaide (Elizabeth Desotelle) is going nowhere fast. Masterson (Paul de Cordova) is a charismatic high-roller willing to take any challenge. Detroit bets Masterson he can’t woo Salvation Army missionary Brown (Sara Rene Martin) into accompanying him to Cuba. At stake: the funds to secure a location for Detroit’s next game.

The couples are joined by Detroit’s well meaning sidekicks: Rusty Charlie (Stuart Ness), Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Steven Flaa), Benny Southstreet (Mike Postle), Hairy the Horse (John Mattson), and Big Jule (Gerrit Plantage).

Miss Adelaide’s back-up act, the Hot Box Dancers, are played by Julianne Mundale, Erin Budd, Krista Carlson, Allison Lesmeister, Susan Mountain and Juliana Peterson.

Arvide Abernathy (Marshall Hambro) and General Martha Cartwright (Sue Jorgenson) lead Brown’s Save-a-Soul mission group. Abernathy is also Brown’s uncle.

The mission’s band (Anna Sturtz, Lance Skov and Joanne Fox) and the chorus (Erin Brick, Kelli Hanson, Drew Klick, Ross Pirsig and Scotty Strom) complete the cast.

The biggest challenge this production faces is the short amount of time allotted for rehearsal, Carlson said.

With dialogue punctuated by 15 songs plus choreography, &uot;We have to be really focused and organized just to touch on everything,&uot; said Carlson.

Despite the hurdles, Carlson says he is extremely happy with the cast.

&uot;This show is so fun, with some really stereotypical characters,&uot; Carlson elaborated. &uot;At the same time all these deep relationships are being played out.&uot;

&uot;Guys and Dolls&uot; opens at the Albert Lea Civic Theatre July 10 at 7:30 p.m. with shows July 11-14; 17-20; 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee July 27 at 2 p.m. Individual tickets are $15, contact the box office at (800) 944-5260 to reserve seating.