Classic Frank Loesser musical presented over two weekends
One of the all-time classics of American musical theatre is on its way to Kirkwood Community College. Frank Loesser’s Guys & Dolls will be presented in Ballantyne Auditorium for the second of two weekends, Friday-Sunday, Nov. 6-8.
Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m, with Sunday matinees at 2:30. The production is directed by Rick D. Anderson, with musical direction by Ray Salucka. Set design and lighting are by Doug Anderson, with costume design by Annee Noah and choreography by Lisa Pettit.
The Kirkwood production will have some staging elements that might have their own luck-filled history. The college was able to acquire a number of costumes used in the hugely successful Guys & Dolls Broadway revival of 1992-93. Director Anderson calls the bevy of wardrobe offerings “a fun added inspiration” for the students in the musical.
“This is a wonderful addition to the show, having these costumes in our production. That 1992 run on Broadway starred top-billed actors, including Nathan Lane and Faith Prince. Our costume crew is adjusting and fitting, plus our costume designer Annee Noah will finish the cast’s other wardrobe pieces. Our students can imagine the applause and spirit of the show as they add their own voices and acting to the story,” Anderson said.
In addition to the notable wardrobe history, director Anderson says the show will take on the “mythic qualities” of the Big Apple that Damon Runyon’s stories inspired in the original production.
“The characters and story line just soar with that bigger-than-life feeling New York can give you,” Anderson observed. “That was the intent I read into the first production, and that is the spirit our show reflects in the sets, the lighting and design. The sets seem to soar over the players and the costumes have bright, intense colors and patterns. These all reflect the post-Prohibition freedoms in the air, yet there is that sense of forbidden fun as Nathan seeks a spot for his infamous floating crap game.”
The Guys & Dolls soundtrack includes many tunes that became American standards and hits in their own right: “Luck Be a Lady Tonight,” “A Bushel and a Peck,” “If I Were a Bell,” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”
“A show this rich in story and memorable songs doesn’t come along every day. We know people will leave the humming the tunes,” Anderson added.
Tickets for Kirkwood Community College’s production of Guys & Dolls are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students with current ID. Kirkwood students, faculty and staff are admitted free. Tickets are available by calling (319) 398-7662.