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Guys and Dolls
by Stromy on March 24, 2007

It's all about gangsters and gambling and love. These are topics that have been a constant to society since the beginning of history.

Today I got to go to the Country Dinner Playhouse to see their production of "Guys and Dolls". It's a play about hoodlums of days gone by and their life changing shenanigans. It's been a long time since I've been to the Country Dinner Playhouse and while the setting remained the same, the faces clearly changed. The only one that I recognized was Paul Dwyer, the show's director. He used to be an actor at the Country Dinner Playhouse, but I guess he did his time and is now ready to direct. Paul did a great job and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. "Guys and Dolls" follows the misadventures of a small time crook, Nathan Detroit, and a big time gambler, Sky Masterson. Nathan runs the oldest floating craps game in New York, attracting gamblers and mobsters to play. In exchange for creating a safe gambling opportunity, Nathan takes a cut on the money being gambled. The problem is that the cops are on to him and no one wants to host the hot craps game anymore because the cops are always lurking around. Nathan does find a place he can use, but the owner wants $1000 as compensation for taking the risk. Nathan then plots to make a bet with the greatest gambler of them all, Sky Masterson, to make the $1000 he needs to hold the game. The bet ends up being that Sky can not take Sarah Brown, the head of Save a Soul Mission, to Havana, Cuba for dinner. To make Nathan's life more complicated, his fiancée of 14 years, Miss Adelaide, a singer and dancer at what's implied to be a burlesque club, has been lying to her mother that she and Nathan have been married for 12 years and have children. She now wants to make this a reality and Nathan is trapped between his obligations to the gamblers, his problems with the police and Adelaide's determination. Sky, too, runs into problems. He learns that the Mission is about to be closed because Sarah has not been able to make progress with the "sinners" in town and the resources being used for the Mission need to be moved to where they will be better used. In order to win his bet with Nathan, Sky promises Sarah the delivery of twelve genuine sinners and ends up in his own conflict of trying to win the bet, deliver the promised sinners and the realization that he is falling in love with Sarah. Nathan and Sky interact only at the start and the end of the play with the rest of the story following one or the other of them, all set against the same backdrop. It's a virtual comedy of errors as the two men try to accomplish their goals. It should go without saying that "Guys and Dolls" comes with a happy ending where all things wrong are set right and the main sinners experience reform. The play is based on a short story, The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown, by Damon Runyon, and was made into a movie in 1955 starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Vivian Blaine and Jean Simmons.

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