Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday August 14th 2018


Guys & Dolls

BY Barry Shuck

There are several types of live plays, including comedies, musicals, dramas and suspense who-dunits. The most celebrated of all these are the musicals because of the tremendous response and overflowing crowds.

Pensacola State College (PSC) is offering one of the most cherished musicals of all time with the romantic comedy sensation “Guys and Dolls,” featuring the music and lyrics of Frank Loesser.

Every summer, PSC leaves a spot on their theatre calendar for a show whose cast is strictly high school students. This summer, the Pensacola area has the privilege of witnessing “Guys and Dolls” live on stage in its entire splendor.

“Love makes the world go around, and that’s what this play is about: love, love, love,” said Rodney Whatley, PSC’s Director of Theatre. “Boy meets girl, they fall in love, they fight and then realize they can’t live without each other–with great singing and dancing in between.”

The original production landed on Broadway in 1950 and subsequently ran for 1,200 performances. Throughout the years, the musical has won numerous honors including 19 Tony Awards. Several famous actors and singers have performed in the show, including Frank Sinatra, Nathan Lane, Marlon Brando, Patrick Swayze, Ewan McGregor and Pensacola’s own Ashley Brown.

The stage for this story is centered in New York City. The main character, Nathan Detroit, is a destitute, two-bit gambler. In an effort to change his financial situation, he attempts to set up a crap game after hearing that a lot of high rollers are in town. Detroit needs $1,000 to secure a location for his illegal game and tries to borrow the funds from renowned gambler Sky Masterson. Instead, Detroit bets that he can provide a female who will not accompany Masterson on a trip to Cuba after the gambler brags that every woman desires him.

The woman chosen just happens to be mission worker Sarah Brown, played by Claney Outzen. Brown’s life’s ambition is to stop sin and corruption–especially gambling. Meanwhile, Detroit’s fiancé of 14 years, nightclub singer Miss Adelaide, is pressuring him for a marriage commitment.

“She plays by her own rules,” explained Haylee Grace, cast as Miss Adelaide. “Being a performer and the envy of other dolls in town is not enough for her. She wants to be married, and nothing is going to get in the way of her dream.”

Sarah does indeed go to Cuba with Masterson, and sparks begin to fly between the two. Upon their arrival back in New York, the mission where Brown works has been the site of Detroit’s gambling operation while she was gone. Brown accuses Masterson of setting up the whole scheme via her absence, to which Masterson asks, “What the hell kind of doll are you?” Her answer is, “I’m a Mission
doll,” and then informs him they are no good for each other.

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