Arts & Culture
2:03 pm
Tue June 27, 2006

THE 2006 ECU/LOESSIN SUMMER THEATRE SEASON OPENS WITH A SURE BET

Set in Damon Runyon's mythical New York City, this funny and romantic comedy soars with the spirit of Broadway as it introduces us to a cast of vivid characters including: Sarah Brown, the upright but uptight "mission doll," out to reform the evildoers of Times Square; Sky Masterson, the slick, high-rolling gambler; Adelaide, the chronically ill nightclub performer; Nathan Detroit, her devoted fianc?, desperate as always to find a spot for his infamous floating crap game.

Greenville, NC - June 2006 –

Sky Masterson wagers that he can make the next ?doll? he sees fall in love. When it?s the neighborhood do-gooder Sarah Brown, the stage is set in this romantic musical comedy. Guys and Dolls returns to the McGinnis stage on the ECU campus, June 27-July 1. Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 2pm and 8pm.

Frequently called ?the perfect musical? or at least the "South Pacific of crapshooters, Guys and Dolls is based upon "The Idyll Of Miss Sarah Brown", a short story by Damon Runyon. It also borrows characters and plot elements from other stories by him, and many of the characters were based on real people in Runyon's hometown, Pueblo, Colorado.

This oddball romantic comedy is based around the activities of New York petty criminals and professional gamblers. Nathan Detroit makes a living by running ?The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York? despite constant encouragement to "go straight" by Miss Adelaide, a nightclub singer to whom he has been engaged for fourteen years.

When a surge of "high-rollers" comes to town, Nathan is pressured to find a place to hold his floating craps game. Due to strong police activity, he's able to only find one spot, the Biltmore garage. The owner's requirement however, is a $1000 deposit for security.

Trying to obtain the money, Nathan comes across Sky Masterson, a gambler willing to bet on virtually anything. Nathan proposes a bet which seems impossible to lose - take Sarah Brown, a straight-walking sister at the Save a Soul Mission, to dinner... in Havana, Cuba.

Surprisingly, Sky manages to get Sarah to agree to the date, putting Nathan in even worse condition. Over the course of their date, Sky manages to break down Sarah's social barriers, and they begin to fall for each other.

Returning to New York, and to their regular lives, Sarah and Sky face the reality of trying to justify their love while retaining their opposing lifestyles. Everything works out in the end, thanks to the machinations of Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling's hilarious, fast-paced book and Frank Loesser's bright, brassy, immortal score, which takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, Cuba, and even into the sewers of New York City.

From this eccentric story line comes some of the most memorable popular and show tunes that include: ?A Bushel and a Peck", "Luck Be a Lady", and "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat".

Sports columnist and short-story writer Damon Runyon was the poet laureate of the desperate occupants of Times Square, and his characters seemed perfectly suited to this colorful musical comedy. Songwriter Frank Loesser and author Abe Burrows shared something else besides their devotion to the works of Runyon: they were all native New Yorkers and understood Runyon's urban environment perfectly.

The cast features New York veteran actors Jessica Kostival as Sarah Brown and Gerritt VanderMeer as Sky Masterson

Tickets are available online at www.ECUARTS.com or by phone at 252-328-6829 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS.