Ladies and Gentlemen, ‘Guys and Dolls’!

Ladies and Gentlemen, 'Guys and Dolls'!

Shreya Shankar

"Call it sad, call it funny, but it's better than even money, that the guy's only doing it for some doll!"


Photo courtesy of Fremont High School senior Emily Bockian.

Correlation of the Arts' (featuring Homestead High School, Fremont High School, and MVHS) revival of Frank Loesser's 1950s Broadway hit "Guys and Dolls" sets the scene in the grit of New York City, among three gamblers betting on race horses.

Heading the goons is the commitment phobic Nathan Detroit (MVHS senior Brian Miller), who has been engaged to his nightclub singer fiancee Miss Adelaide (Homestead High School junior Heather Steffen) for 14 years. And so it begins— Detroit must buy his fiancee a 14th engagement anniversary present, but has no money. He is also set to host a craps (dice) game, but lacks the money. In an act of desperation, Detroit goes to gambler extraordinaire Sky Masterson (Fremont High School junior Kenny Mai), who bets sky high on anything and everything. Finally, Detroit makes Masterson a bet: he challenges Masterson to take a girl of his choice to dinner in Havana. Masterson agrees, and the wily Detroit chooses Sarah Brown, the prim head of the futile Save-A-Soul mission (Homestead High School junior Alison Schaufler). Masterson makes a "deal" with Sarah— she refuses to bet— that if she goes out with him, he'll grace the Save-A-Soul mission with "a dozen genuine sinners."
Of course, after a tremendous fiasco and considerable hilarity, the unlikely couple fall in love, and Detroit willingly parts with his bachelorship to marry his lovely fiancee, free of debts.

The grungy big city backdrop coupled with the flawless lighting made for a spectacular stage. One scene in particular, where Detroit is hosting the craps game in an underground sewer, showcased brilliant light design, with a hazy background and a spackling of sickly green lights on the players. The noxious green slowly morphed into warmer yellow-orange lights as the mood of the scene changed.

Onstage, Mai's suave Sky Masterson was the undeniable standout, at once emotionally involving and rashly debonair. In the 1955 film adaptation of the tale, Masterson was played by superstar Marlon Brando— and Mai's rendition  of Masterson as a two-sided character as well as his vocal versatility made him very evenly comparable to the Brando's Masterson. Steffen's Miss Adelaide was equally impressive, shining in "Adelaide's Lament", where she mourns Detroit's inability to fully commit to her.

A dazzling, high-energy treat from start to finish, the show had a perfect combination of talent and charisma, rounding out the evening with an uplifting love story. After all, what's a guy without his doll?