Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama Presents
PITTSBURGH — Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama presents the iconic, beloved musical, “Guys and Dolls,” Nov. 29–Dec. 8 at its Philip Chosky Theater. The musical will be guest directed by Steve Cosson, founding artistic director of The Civilians, a New York-based theater company specializing in documentary cabaret.
guysanddolls“In this special year, which marks the 75th anniversary of publication of Damon Runyon’s stories, it is wonderful for the School of Drama to be creating a production helmed by a rising New York theatre director who also collects and dramatizes quintessentially New York stories,” said Elizabeth Bradley, head of the School of Drama.
Runyon’s short story “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” was the inspiration for “Guys and Dolls.” In the musical, Miss Sarah Brown is a missionary, determined to save sinners from the evils of gambling. She gets caught up in a bet between Sky Masterson, an itinerant gambler, and Nathan Detroit, who runs a floating illegal craps game. While Sky falls in love with Sarah, Nathan’s patient fiancée Adelaide, engaged for 14 years, complains as she suffers from a psychosomatic cold that rears its head whenever Nathan refuses to take the plunge and marry her. While the characters all face difficult obstacles on their journeys, they remain steadfastly comic - much to the audience’s delight.
In the documentary “Heart and Soul: The Life and Music of Frank Loesser,” Emily Loesser, daughter of composer Frank Loesser, said that “[Guys and Dolls] is known as the perfect musical.” Although time passes and society changes, her assessment continues to be accurate. “Guys and Dolls” first opened on Nov. 24, 1950, and its original run, which lasted 1,201 performances, won a Tony Award for Best Musical in 1951. Since then, the story of Detroit and Adelaide, Masterson and Brown, as well as the underground gambling dens of old New York has captivated audiences of all ages.
In 2004, Cosson came to Carnegie Mellon as a guest director to lead the production of Caryl Churchill’s “Serious Money.” That same year Cosson received an OBIE Award from the Village Voice honoring excellence in off-Broadway theater. Cosson’s currently running Off Broadway hit “Gone Missing” is a contemporary music theatre exploration of 21st century New Yorkers. He received his master’s degree in fine arts from the University of California at San Diego and was a Fulbright Scholar at Colombia University.
“Runyon’s indelible comic characters in the mid 20th century are wonderful vehicles for the talents of our gifted students,” Bradley said.
Show times are 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday. Tickets are $24–$27. Discounts are available for seniors and students. For additional information about the upcoming season or ticket purchases, contact the School of Drama box office at 412-268-2407 between noon and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information on the School of Drama or the College of Fine Arts, visit www.cmu.edu/cfa or contact Eric Sloss at 412-268-5765 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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