Members of the original cast, creative team and producing team of Guys and Dolls, along with family and friends of those involved with the 1950 musical comedy, will gather Nov. 27 at the Museum of the City of New York to celebrate the opening of a new exhibit there, "Guys and Dolls: The Fabled Musical of Broadway."
Original star Isabel Barnett, formerly Isabel Bigley, who was Miss Sarah Brown in the tuner, will be among guests at the private opening of the exhibit, which had a public opening Nov. 24. The exhibit continues to June 10, 2001. The show, drawn from stories and characters created by New York scribe Damon Runyon, opened Nov. 25, 1950.
Also on hand for the reception (which was moved from Nov. 24 to Nov. 27 to avoid a conflict with the Thanksgiving weekend) will be members of the family of late composer Frank Loesser. His widow, Jo Sullivan Loesser, and daughter Emily Loesser are expected to attend.
The composer-lyricist got some of his biggest hits out of Guys and Dolls, which is considered one of the best-crafted musical comedies of the 20th century. The score includes "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," the title number and more.
Producer Cy Feuer, 90, will mingle with guests, as will costume designer Alvin Colt. Colt's costumes will be displayed in front of enlargements of Jo Mielziner scenic designs. The show had a libretto by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling and was directed by George S. Kaufman. Feuer and Ernie Martin produced. Michael Kidd choreographed.
Using the museum's theatre collection, the exhibition offers a visual history of the show's creation and puts the musical in historical context, offering related media such as paintings and photos of the 1920s New York that Runyon was writing about in his short stories and newspaper columns. "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown," which makes up the central love story in the musical, was published in Collier's in 1933.
The musical ran 1,200 performances and enjoyed a smash revival in 1992. Both shows also sent out touring companies.
"Guys and Dolls: The Fabled Musical of Broadway" is supported by Jo Sullivan Loesser, James and Debbie Burrows, Isabel Bigley Barnett and Frank Music Corp.
The Museum of the City of New York is at 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103 Street in Manhattan. Suggestion admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, students and children. For more information, call (212) 534-1672 or visit the website at www.mcny.org.
Guys and Dolls originally starred Robert Alda as woman-shy gambler Sky Masterson, Sam Levene as marriage-shy Nathan Detroit, Vivian Blaine as nightclub performer Adelaide (Nathan's longtime fiancee) and Bigley as the Save-a-Soul Mission "doll" who tempts Sky. A film version starred Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Blaine and Jean Simmons.
— By Kenneth Jones