Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010

Gamblers and Hustlers for the Holidays

Off The Wall's GUYS & DOLLS celebrates the musical's 60th Anniversary

By Russ Bickerstaff
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In addition to being the day before Thanksgiving, it’s also the 60th anniversary of the first ever performance of Guys & Dolls. It was the first of some 1,200 performances in the popular musical’s original run. Having been produced countless times in the U.S. and the U.K. since then, the show makes its latest Milwaukee appearance in the form of a production being staged at the cozy space of the Off The Wall Theatre in just a couple of weeks.

Director Dale Gutzman and Set Designer David Roper will have some serious challenges ahead trying to turn the 60-seat theatre into Times Square. A big part of this is going to have to be filling the space with the early to mid 20th century gamblers, hustlers and gangsters that populate the world of the musical—something Gutzman has had considerable success with in the past, most recently in a very ambitious production of Around The World In 80 Days.  

The cast includes many of the Off The Wall regulars and a few more including, most notably, Karl Miller in the role of gambler Nathan Detroit and Parker Christian as master gambler Sky Masterson.

It’s nice to see shows like this, the Boulevard Theatre’s Savannah Disputation, the current Milwaukee Chamber and Skylight Opera shows to offset the massive amount of more traditional holiday fare that tends to dominate stages this time of year. A classic, upbeat, energetic Broadway musical is a nice addition to December’s theatre outlook.

Off The Wall Theatre’s Guys & Dolls runs December 15th- 31st. Call 414-327-3552 for tickets.

 

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