Classic gambling musical takes the stage in Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Classic gambling musical takes the stage in Carson City

by Sam Bauman
Appeal Staff Writer
The leads react before a sign for the show. They are, from left, Kirk Gardner, Catherine Cook, Katelyn Pennebaker and Leoney J. Berg.
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The Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company will mark its 75th production with the Tony Award-winning “Guys and Dolls” playing weekends, Nov. 3-18, at the Carson City Community Center.

For some of us this show brings back a special memory. I helped direct and acted in a version of the musical staged by the U.S. Air Force during the 1950s. It had a full orchestra, a good cast and was a lot of fun.

I always regretted that we had to cut one song, “More I Could Not Wish You” from our version. Sure hope that this production includes this touching ballad.

“G&D” weaves comedy, romance and dance routines, including the show-stoppers, “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” and “Luck Be a Lady.” There’s a three-voice piece called “Fugue for Tinhorns” that is a marvel of wit and complexity.

“G&D” is about gamblers and the dolls who itch to tame them. Author Damon Runyon wrote the original story about a colorful Times Square in the 1940s, with its legion of missionaries, showgirls, gangsters and cops. In the musical adaptation of the story, wise guy Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra in the classic 1955 movie) is looking for a home for his floating craps game, despite the protests of Adelaide, his fiancée of 14 years. He bets high-roller Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando in the movie) that he can’t lure Sarah Brown, a missionary, to travel to Cuba with him. Masterson plots to win the bet and ends up losing his heart.

Written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, the script is based on “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and other stories by Runyon. Music and lyrics were written by Frank Loesser.

The show was first produced on Broadway in 1950, running for more than 1,200 performances. It has been revived there many times. The show earned 17 Tony awards including Best Musical, and the 1956 movie captured several Golden Globe awards.

The WNMTC production stars Katelyn Pennebaker as Sarah Brown, Leoney Berg as Sky Masterson, Kirk Gardner as Nathan Detroit, and Catherine Cook as Adelaide. Adam Whitney and Thomas Fisk co-star as Nicely Nicely Johnson and Benny Southstreet.

Stephanie Arrigotti will produce and direct and Gina Kaskie-Davis will choreograph.

“Guys and Dolls” will run at the Carson City Community Center at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. There is also a matinee at 2 p.m. Nov. 17. Tickets are $18 for general admission, $16 for students and seniors and $14 for children 17 and under.

Call 445-4249 and enjoy one of the funniest, most charming musicals of our times.

• Sam Bauman is a Nevada Appeal Staff Writer. Contact Bauman at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.

If you go

What: “Guys and Dolls”

Who: Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company

Where: Carson City Community Center

When: Weekends Nov. 3-18. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. matinees on Nov. 4, 11, 17, 18

Cost: $18 general, $16 students and seniors, $14 children 17 and younger

Call: 445-4249