Napa Valley College presents a three-week run of the musical “Guys and Dolls,” opening at the Performing Arts Center on March 4 and running through March 20.
“Guys and Dolls” is based on a story and characters by Damon Runyon, who wrote stories in the 1920s and 1930s about gangsters, gamblers and other characters of the New York underworld. It tells the comic tale of gamblers trying to find a place to hold their craps game. Romance is added as the suave Sky Masterson pursues the pious, beautiful Sister Sarah, of the Save-a-Soul temple. The wily Nathan Detroit bets Masterson that he can’t get Sarah to go to dinner with him in Havana. Meanwhile, Detroit has his own romantic problems with a nightclub singer.
The play was written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, with a score by Frank Loesser that includes “Luck Be a Lady” and “The Old Established.”
“Guys and Dolls” premiered on Broadway in 1950, where it ran for 1,200 performances and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. A 1955 film adaptation starred Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine.
It was selected as the winner of the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, but because of Burrows’ troubles with the House Un-American Activities Committee, the selection was vetoed and no Pulitzer for drama was awarded that year.
The Napa Valley College production stars Peter Mellencamp (Nathan Detroit), Jenny Veilleux (Miss Adelaide), Diamond Pedersen (Sarah Brown), Teddy Spencer (Sky Masterson), Jessica Romero (Nicely-Nicely Johnson), Stephanie Terrado (Benny Southstreet), Dan Monez (Arvide Abernathy), Barbara Nemko (General Cartwright) and Steve Caims (Lt. Brannigan).
Also in the production are Elisabeth Anderson, Kevin Barney, Yvonne Chester, Karen Clark, Tracey Des Combes, Jennifer Deterville, Bright Eastman, Cheryl Fiedler, David Foushee, Nick Major, Andrew Newman, Allyson Proske, Brittny Reynolds, Journey Rhorer, Mercedes Rivera, Darwin Santos, Dorothy Unsicker, Janet Viader, Lesa Ward, Angela Yee and Mary Ziegler.
Reed Martin is the director, with musical direction provided by Dr. Eve-Anne Wilkes and choreography by Pam Rogers. The creative team also includes Jennifer King (artistic director), Tim Dugan (scenic designer), Skipper Skeoch (costume designer), Theo Bridant (lighting designer), Jenn Ruygt (stage manager) and Madi Remigio (assistant stage manager).
“Guys and Dolls is one of our liveliest productions to date,” said Reed Martin. “It gives off its own excited energy and is truly a dream musical to direct. Thanks to the musical direction of Dr. Eve-Anne Wilkes and choreography of Pam Rogers, this ‘musical fable of Broadway’ will have the audience up on their feet as soon as the curtains open.”