Is Guys and Dolls Next for Miramax?

News   Is Guys and Dolls Next for Miramax? Now that the film of "Chicago" seems on its way to be a major success — it won three Golden Globes Jan. 19 including Best Musical or Comedy — Miramax is looking toward other stage-to-screen musical projects.

Liz Smith reports that the film company headed by Harvey Weinstein is interested in bringing Damon Runyon's mythical group of saints and sinners to the screen. The gossip maven writes, "It drifts down to me from a Vin Diesel insider that the bicep-laden movie star and Miramax are talking now of bringing the epic 'Guys and Dolls' to the big screen. Estate rights are being negotiated." Smith also explains that Miramax plans to reset the classic musical comedy in modern times. Capturing the gritty, streetwise spirit of New York, Guys and Dolls features a score by Frank Loesser and a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows that was based on Damon Runyon's story and characters. The classic Loesser score includes such tunes as "If I Were a Bell," "I've Never Been in Love Before," "My Time of Day," "I'll Know," "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat," "A Bushel and a Peck," "Luck Be a Lady" and the title tune.

The original Broadway production of Guys and Dolls opened at the 46th Street Theatre in Nov. 1950, running 1,200 performances before closing Nov. 28, 1953. Among the premiere cast were Robert Alda as Sky Masterson, Isabel Bigley as Sarah Brown, Sam Levene as Nathan Detroit and Vivian Blaine as Miss Adelaide. Blaine re-created her role for the 1955 film, which also starred Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson, Jean Simmons as Sarah Brown and Frank Sinatra as Nathan Detroit.

The most recent Broadway revival was mounted at the Martin Beck Theatre in March 1992. Directed by Jerry Zaks, the Tony-winning production cast Peter Gallagher as Sky, Josie de Guzman as Sarah Brown, Nathan Lane as Nathan Detroit and Faith Prince as Miss Adelaide. Prince won a Tony for her performance in the musical, which ran 1,143 performances.