PEQUOT LAKES — Pequot Lakes Community Theatre is ready to premiere its production of the classic musical “Guys and Dolls.”
After two months of rehearsals, the cast of 25 will be performing the famed Broadway show on Nov. 9-11 and Nov. 16-18 at the Pequot Lakes High School Theater. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and over and $8 for youth 18 and under. Tickets can be reserved by calling 218-568-9200 and will be available at the door starting one hour before each performance. More information can be found at the Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts website www.glapa.info.
The hilarious book of “Guys and Dolls,” by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, is based on stories and characters created by Damon Runyon, an author and newspaper columnist of the 30s and 40s. Runyon created his own version of the Broadway that he loved, peopled by the hustlers, con artists and “beautiful babes” who have a special charm and talk in the distinctive language that has come to be called “Runyonese.” The bright, brassy musical score by Frank Loesser, which includes such musical theatre standards as “Luck Be a Lady,” “A Bushel and a Peck,” “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” and the gospel-tinged “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” turns the Runyon vernacular into great show music.
The story of “Guys and Dolls,” subtitled “A Musical Fable of Broadway,” follows two romantic couples: The beautiful nightclub performer Miss Adelaide, played by Wendy DeGeest of Brainerd and her fiancé of 14 years, the crap-game operator Nathan Detroit, played by Gary Hirsch of Pequot Lakes; and the Mission doll Sarah Brown played by Jenny Kiffmeyer of Baxter, who gets involved with the high-rolling gambler Sky Masterson played by Dave Endicott of Pequot Lakes. They are surrounded by colorful gamblers, nightclub dancers, police officers and other denizens of this picturesque world, as the action moves from the heart of Times Square, to Havana, Cuba and even into the sewers of New York City.
“‘Guys and Dolls’ is on anybody’s list of the 10 greatest musicals of all time,” director Michael Sander, Pine River, said in a press release. “But many of our cast members, especially the younger ones, had never even heard of the show. The rehearsal process has introduced them to a whole new world of great show music and inspired storytelling and I’m sure audiences will have as much fun seeing the show as the cast will have performing it.”
Other members of the cast include Eddie Binda, Gary Binda and Isaiah Moengen, all of Crosslake; Julie Bonfig, Merrifield; Savannah Cole and Kevin Yaeger, both of Brainerd; Kate Davis, Mercedes Engren, Matt Hansen, Peter Herzog, Anthony Ly, Gabe McBryde and Heather Pearson, all of Pequot Lakes; Emma Fitch and Marjorie Harris, both of Breezy Point; Ben Gordon, Trevor Kile and Cheyenne Syvertson, both of Pine River; Kim Huether and Mark Oehrlein, both of Baxter; and Stephanie White, Nisswa. The production staff includes stage manager Kim Utesch, Pine River; technical director Nick Syvertson-Hagestuen, Pine River; vocal director Renee Anderson, Pequot Lakes; choreographers DeGeest, Brainerd, and Amy Borash, Baxter; accompaniment technician Deb Binda, Crosslake; set designer Tim Leagjeld, Pequot Lakes; and costumer Sharon Hartley, Baxter.