Directed by: Diana LeblancEXTENDED BY POPULAR DEMAND UNTIL OCTOBER 31ST, 2012!
A Segal Centre Production
Music & lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Jo Swerling & Abe Burrows
Based on a story & characters of Damon Runyon
Choreography by Jim White
Musical Direction by Nick Burgess
Performances in English. French supertitles (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).
A riveting musical tale of sin, love and redemption set in city that never sleeps. The biggest gamblers are in town and Nathan Detroit needs cash to continue his infamous floating craps game. On the other end of the moral compass, Sarah Brown and the Save-a-Soul Mission are determined to rid the city of its sinners. Hounded by cops and a nagging girlfriend desperate for marriage, Detroit is determined to get what he wants in this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning classic American musical.
“The greatest of all American musicals!” – TIME MAGAZINE
Guys And Dolls is presented through special arrangements with Music Theatre International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI: 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-541-4684, Fax: 212-397-4684 www.MTIShows.com
Do not miss this new edition of CJAD Sunday-@-The Segal!
Sunday September 30th, 2012. Admission is FREE.
The talk takes place at 11:00am in the Segal Theatre.
Associate Professor, Director - Opera McGill
Patrick Hansen, director of opera studies at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, is a vocal coach, stage director, conductor, and acting teacher. Currently he is also the associate director for the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center. Formerly the director of musical studies for the Young American Artist Program at Glimmerglass Opera as well as the director of artistic administration for Florida Grand Opera, Mr. Hansen’s former students and young artists can now be seen in all of the major operatic houses of the world including The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, L’Opera Montreal, Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Covent Garden, and La Scala.
Having conducted with Opera Festival of New Jersey, Memphis Opera, Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Ash Lawn Festival, and Shreveport Opera, Mr. Hansen is now a stage director. His most recent productions show a broad range of repertoire: Cosi fan tutte, Alcina, Albert Herring, La bohème, Riders to the Sea, Dido and Aeneas, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Die Zauberflöte, and Suor Angelica. This season at Opera McGill he will direct new productions of Lully’s Thésée, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites. This summer he returns to Ash Lawn Festival to direct Camelot.
Formerly the director of opera and musical theatre for Ithaca College, Mr. Hansen has been the music director for numerous musicals including Parade, A Little Night Music, Little Shop of Horrors, Seussical the Musical, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. His former students from Ithaca can now be seen in various national tours, including Lion King and Rent, on Broadway in Wicked, Grey Gardens, South Pacific, A Tale of Two Cities, and Hairspray, and on television including guest spots on 30 Rock, NCIS and House.
Mr. Hansen has been on the music staffs of The Juilliard Opera Center, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Pittsburgh Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Tulsa Opera, Nashville Opera, and Opera Memphis.
Other credits include being the assistant editor of G. Schirmer’s Operatic Anthology and being the pianist on a number of recordings with the Canadian Brass for their Brass Methods series published by Hal Leonard.
Try openly referring to a woman as a 'doll' today, un-ironically. At the very least, you'd probably get torn apart verbally. At worst, a hospital visit might be in order. The world of Guys and Dolls, however, just isn't bound by the same kind of politically-correct restraints as our present day society. A throwback to a truly bygone era, the Segal Centre's production of Damon Runyon's classic tale of immorality in the Big Apple offers a gloriously stylized glimpse of fast-talking hoods and flashy dames, cranking the nostalgia meter up to 11.
Beyond the surface of slick choreography, catchy show tunes and light-hearted sexism (which really runs both ways), however, is a universal story of romance which breaks the battle of the sexes down to its most bare essentials. And, in this production at least, this is as much to the credit of the original story, lyrics and score as much as it is to the knock-out performances of this massive ensemble cast.
In the iconic roles of Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit (the two principal 'guys') are, respectively, Scott Wentworth and Frank Moore. The man behind the most notorious floating craps game in New York, Detroit now finds himself getting squeezed on all sides with both Lt. Brannigan (Glen Bowser) and Detroit's long-time and long-suffering fiancée, Miss Adelaide (Susan Henley), giving him sufficient reason to shut down the operation for good. It's all happening at the worst possible time because some of the biggest gamblers are heading into town and they're hungry for a game — perhaps none more so than Chicago's Big Jule (Massimo).
Forced to find a location for the game in a pinch, Detroit must rustle up some quick cash to pay off the owner of a garage for the use of his back room. To raise the cash, Detroit makes a 'sure bet' with Masterson that he can't persuade Sarah Brown (Tracy Michailidis) of the local Christian mission to accompany him to Havana on a date. Mad-cap shenanigans ensue.
Every character, both primary and secondary, gets their moment to shine in the production. As Nicely-Nicely Johnson (one of Detroit's minions), local stand-up Mike Paterson makes his return to the Segal stage, showing off his acting and singing chops, particularly in the “You're Rockin' the Boat” number in the play's second act, but also alongside stage vet Marcel Jeannin (in the role of fellow Detroit minion Benny) in the “Guys and Dolls” number. While fellow stand-up Massimo doesn't get a number of his own, he exudes true menace as 'Big Jule,' reminding all that beyond the singing and dancing, these 'guys' are in fact still criminals.
The two and a half hours of this intricately-crafted musical is all tied together under the expert direction of Diana Leblanc, the choreography of Jim White and musical direction of Nick Burgess who, along with the entirety of the cast and crew, deserve kudos for bringing the true feel of Broadway to the Segal.
Guys and Dolls runs until Oct. 31. For more information, visit www.segalcentre.org
The iconic American musical Guys and Dolls, with its vivid portraits of gangsters in spiffy suits who call the shots in the Big Apple, strikes a special chord in a city rocked daily by Charbonneau Commission revelations about corruption in Quebec. If Lino Zambito had a casting agent he might have ended up with a starring role (say, Big Jule) in this rollicking tale. He has been singing like a bird on the witness stand.
No wonder holdover dates (three) for the Segal Centre production were announced at its official opening on Thursday night.
Guys and Dolls, based on short stories by Damon Runyon, is simply one of the best musicals ever written, with vividly drawn characters, a compelling story about illicit gambling in N.Y.C. in the late 1940s, haunting melodies and lyrics (by Frank Loesser) that embed themselves in the ear. It swept the Tony Awards when it premiered on Broadway in 1950. Its catchy tunes were huge pop music hits at a time when Broadway musicals were a direct path to radio air play. For those of us who imbibed songs like Luck Be a Lady, and A Bushel and a Peck with mother’s milk, nostalgia is part of the attraction.
The last time Montreal had a full-scale professional English production of Guys and Dolls was at Centaur Theatre back in 1987.
Although director Diana Leblanc has had little experience with large-scale musicals, she has delivered many imaginative, memorable moments within an uneven but enjoyable production. With the help of choreographer Jim White, set and costume designer Michael Egan, and an orchestra led by Nick Burgess, she has turned the Havana club scene into a showstopper.
This sexy romp leads into the highly romantic I’ve Never Been in Love Before, delivered beautifully by Tracy Michailidis, as the mission girl Sarah gone wild. She is the standout singer of the show, hitting pop opera heights. But this song is a duet, shared with Scott Wentworth, as Sky Masterson, who has a less flamboyant singing voice. He has played the role twice before, at the Stratford Festival, most recently in 2004, so he has mastered the territory. But in addition to the mismatched vocals, Michailidis looks young enough to be his daughter. Wentworth’s innate gravitas (so well suited to Shakespeare’s tragedies) adds to this paternal quality, which makes their romance a tough sell.
Our interest shifts to the second couple, Nathan Detroit (Frank Moore) and Miss Adelaide (Susan Henley). Here again, there’s an age and vocal gap with Henley, somewhat younger and of stronger voice. But Moore lays on the charm in Sue Me, and Henley seems credibly in love as she belts and sniffs her way through Adelaide’s Lament, in the appropriate dialect, stealing the show.
And there’s scene larceny throughout by the likes of Mike Paterson, who plays an adorable Nicely-Nicely. He leads the rousing Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat, with goofy panache. Massimo is a terrific Big Jule, whose enthusiasm for shooting craps knows no limits. Jane Gilchrist turns in a lovely cameo as the stern mission general with a heart of mush. And so on, in this strong song and dance ensemble made up mostly of those whose acting is their ace card.
Guys and Dolls, with music by Frank Loesser, book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, continues at the Segal Centre until Oct. 31. Call 514-739-7944 or visit www.segalcentre.org
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