Æ Preview – Bohemian Guys take their Dolls up to Morningside

March 1, 2011 | By | Reply More

Guys and Dolls opens at the Church Hill Theatre Friday

Eddie McDowell as Sky Masterson, Mary O'Gorman as Sarah Brown, Malcolm J Burnett as Nathan Detroit and Mary Clare as Miss Adelaide. Photo © Colin Hattersley Photography

By Thom Dibdin
Edinburgh’s Bohemians Lyric Opera Company are to stage their 2011 production at the Church Hill Theatre, moving up the hill from their usual venue at the King’s. Guys and Dolls will play for nine performances in the smaller auditorium, from Friday 4 to Saturday 12 March, with matinees on both Saturdays.

Taking its cue from the risqué yarns of Damon Runyon, Guys and Dolls is set in the seedy nether world of 1940s New York, where compulsive gambler Nathan Detroit is desperate to find money to pay for his floating Craps game. Premiering on Broadway in 1950 and London’s West End three years later, the stage musical has been something of a watertight hit ever since.

“We always aim to do shows that appeal to everyone and are incredibly enjoyable to perform as well as watch” says Alison McKay, Vice-Chair for the Bohemians. “Guys and Dolls is fun and many people will be familiar with the film and songs, but not everyone will have seen the show on stage.”

With music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, Guys and Dolls is packed with recognisable hits. The show-stopping Sit Down – You’re Rockin’ the Boat led by underworld character Nicely-Nicely Johnson is just the start of a song list that includes A Bushell and A Peck, Luck Be A Lady and Sue Me.

Mary Clare as Miss Adelaide, the leading dancer of the Hot Box night club. Photo © Colin Hattersley Photography

Nathan Detroit’s ruse is to bet the rather more successful gambler Sky Masterson a thousand dollars that Sky won’t be able to seduce the leading light of the Save A Soul Mission, Sarah Brown. Of course the opposites have a certain attraction for each other, ensuring that the whole production revolves around two romances: Sky and Sarah’s, matches Nathan’s 14 year-long on-off affair with Miss Adelaide, the leading dancer of the Hot Box night club.

A film version of the stage musical was released in 1955, with Marlon Brando taking the role of Sky Masterson – Gene Kelly had been a contender but Brando was the bigger box-office draw – and Frank Sinatra as Nathan. Both were cast very much against musical type and the crooning Sinatra ended falling out with composer Loesser. Jean Simmons played Sarah and Vivian Blaine Miss Adelaide: roles which were allegedly first earmarked for Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly; Monroe missing out because director Joseph Mankiewicz had not had an exactly happy experience with her while filming All About Eve.

For the Bohemians, Malcolm J. Burnett is playing the role of Nathan Detroit and Mary Clare is Miss Adelaide with Eddie McDowell as Sky Masterson and Mary O’Gorman as Sarah Brown. Direction comes from Colin Cairncross, choreography from Janice Bruce while musical direction is by Simon Hanson and James McCutcheon.

“We have a really strong cast and production team,” says Alison McKay. “We can guarantee a really good night out for all – and we would strongly encourage you to come and hum along with the songs you know!”

GUYS AND DOLLS
Church Hill Theatre, Edinburgh
Fri 4/Sat 5, and Tue 8 – Sat 12 March 2011
7.30pm (Sat 5, Sat 12, 2.30pm and 7.30pm)
Tickets £14 (£12 mats, Fri 4, Tue 8 ) from the Bookings Manager on 07751 282 710

ENDS

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