“Every guy needs a doll,” said Nathan Detroit, a character in the Broadway musical, “Guys and Dolls.” The music and lyrics were written by Frank Loesser and the story is based on the combination of a few short stories written by Damon Runyon. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1950 and won the Tony Award in 1951 for Best Musical.
The curtains of Spreckels Theater in Rohnert Park opened to reveal a New York City backdrop of Broadway with flashing lights and a hurry of characters.
The opening song, “Runyonland,” depicts the hustle and bustle of New York City and introduces the characters: gamblers, showgirls and missionaries of New York.
The main character, Nathan, is introduced to the audience. Nathan runs an illegal “crap game” in New York, gambling for a living. The musical revolves around this gambling lifestyle.
Things become exciting in the number, “The Oldest Establishment,” when Nathan bets Sky Masterson, a fellow gambler, $1,000 to get Sarah Brown to fall for him. Brown is a “mission doll” and she runs the Save-a-Soul Mission in New York. Nathan thought this was an easy bet to win.
Sky tries to charm Sarah at the Save-a-Soul Mission while the two characters sing the song, “I’ll Know” about their dreams of falling in love to which Sky said, “I’ll leave mine to chance and chemistry.”
When Sarah resists him, he resorts to gambling and makes a deal with Sarah: If she goes to Havana, Cuba on a date with him, he will help her struggling business by filling the mission with 12 genuine sinners willing to change. Sarah accepts this offer.
The scene cuts from the city streets to The Hot Box Club featuring Miss Adelaide and the Hot Box Chickadees performing the number, “A Bushel and a Peck.” Miss Adelaide works for The Dolls Company as the lead performer at The Hot Box Club.
Miss Adelaide is also Nathan’s love interest in the musical as they were engaged for 14 years.
Miss Adelaide was a standout character in the musical. As the comedic relief, she was always upbeat and had a sassy and feisty attitude that made her a very likable character.
Miss Adelaide developed a chronic cold, a psychosomatic reaction from Nathan’s refusal to marry her, which she describes in the musical number, “Adelaide’s Lament.”
Nicey and Benny, two gamblers of New York that work for Nathan, declare that guys will do anything for the dolls they love in the song the musical is named after, “Guys and Dolls.”
“Love has licked them. Nathan is just another victim,” Nicey said, justifying their point about how guys are victims to their dolls. This is the message of the musical that the audience is left with.
Nathan and Miss Adelaide are to elope and Sky and Sarah find true love in each other. The guys change their gambling ways to be with the dolls they love.
Nathan was played by actor Tim Stezer, who has starred as a lead in at least four other Spreckels Theatre Company productions and has performed at many other theatrical venues in Sonoma County.
Sky Masterson was played by actor Anthony Martinez who has also performed in countless other theatrical productions as well as numerous television commercials, radio commercials and industrial films.
This production of Guys and Dolls, was offered for multiple weekend showings from Oct. 10 through 26.
This musical production was directed by Gene Abravaya and was choreographed by Michella Snider. Spreckels Theatre Company is also presenting other famous Broadway musicals this year, including the beloved “Mary Poppins.”