The national tour of Guys and Dolls that sprang out of the 50th anniversary staging of the musical at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, plays its final dates June 4-9 at Casa Mañana in Ft. Worth, TX.
Maurice Hines is top-billed as Nathan Detroit. He shares the stage with Alexandra Foucard as Adelaide, Brian Sutherland as Sky and Diane Sutherland as Sgt. Sarah. The Sutherlands are married in real life.
The staging began a 50-city schedule Aug. 28, 2001. DRG Records released the 50th anniversary cast recording of Guys and Dolls Nov. 6, 2001. The multicultural production of the classic 1950 musical comedy by songwriter Frank Loesser and librettists Abe Burrows & Jo Swerling is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright.
The four principals created their roles in DC for what was (and still is) billed as the 50th anniversary revival production.
Ken Roberson is choreographer. Producers are Richard Martini, Jonathan Reinis, Adam Friedson, Allen Spivak and Albert Niccolino. To purchase tickets, call Casa Mañana at (817) 332-2272 or the Bass Hall box office at (817) 212-4280. Visit Casa Mañana at casamanana.org.
Jo Sullivan Loesser, Frank Loesser's widow, saw the Arena staging and expressed her wish that the Arena cast tour the show and eventually play it in New York. "I have had the honor and the privilege to see many productions of Guys and Dolls, but this version comes the closest I have witnessed to the definitive production," Jo Loesser said in a statement. "The phenomenal company is as diverse as the high-rolling characters that enliven the vivid streets of New York."
The musical is drawn from the stories and characters of Damon Runyon, chronicler of the lost souls of New York's underbelly — gamblers, drunks, showgirls, charity workers and dreamers. The score includes "Luck Be a Lady," "I'll Know," "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," "Adelaide's Lament," "If I Were a Bell," "I've Never Been in Love Before" and more.
Hines began his career at the age of five as a dancer alongside his brother, Gregory, and, later, his father. His Broadway credits include appearances in Eubie!, Bring Back Birdie and Sophisticated Ladies. Tony Award nominated for Uptown...It's Hot!, Hines went on to direct Satchmo, Harlem Suite and become the first African-American director for Radio City Music Hall.
The Sutherlands appeared together in Indiana Repertory Theatre's spring 2001 staging of Enter the Guardsman. Diane Sutherland's former stage name was Diane Fratantoni. She appeared in the Roundabout Broadway staging of She Loves Me (and is heard on the cast album). Brian Sutherland toured in the Hal Prince revival staging of Cabaret as Cliff. He also appeared in Roundabout's 1776 and New York City Opera's 110 in the Shade.
The tour cast, somewhat changed from the DC original, includes Clent Bowers as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, Carlos Lopez (Harry the Horse), Curt M. Buckler (Big Jule), Tad Ingram (Arvide Abernathy), Michael W. Howell (Rusty Charlie), Cathy Carey (Agatha), Ryan Blanchard (Angie the Ox), Liza Shaller (Mimi), P.J. Terranova (Drunk) and Paul DePasquale (Lt. Brannigan), Debra Cardona (Gen. Cartwright) and Darin DePaul (Benny Southstreet). Cardona and DePaul are also married in their off-stage lives. The ensemble includes Tiffany Cooper, Johanna Gerry, David Kent, Jessica Rizzo, Danita Salamida, Scott Schmidt, Keith Lamelle Thomas and Gary E. Vincent.
Designers are Norbert Kolb (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Michael Gilliam (lighting).
The most recent production of Guys and Dolls to play Broadway was the 1992 Tony winning effort directed by Jerry Zaks. That show catapulted Nathan Lane and Faith Prince to their current level of stage stardom. A cast album and national tour were spawned.
There was an African-American-cast Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls starring Robert Guillaume in 1976. A cast album exists.
The original cast in 1950 included Robert Alda (Sky), Isabel Bigley (Sarah), Sam Levene (Nathan) and Vivian Blaine (Adelaide). Blaine recreated her role in the film version that starred Jean Simmons, Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra.
— By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson