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‘Guys and Dolls’ is a good bet

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By Sara Miller

“Guys and Dolls” opened in New York City in 1950. The show, which tells the story of two very different types of love, through song and dance, has been popular ever since. The Evergreen Chorale staged successful productions in 1982 and 1997, and is now more excited than ever to present a three-weekend run of this award-winning Broadway show.

Ron Welch, a longtime Chorale member, appeared as Nathan Detroit in the 1997 production, and Welch is now behind the curtain, directing a new cast of 34 actors.

“I’ve always loved the show, and I was excited to have the opportunity to direct such a talented cast.” Welch says. “The show tells the story of how different types of people fall in love. It also has such great music and humor and really lets us show a slice of old-time New York City.”

Welch created small vignettes of New York life that take place during the show’s overture, “Ruyonland.” The stage is filled with tourists, actors, a drunk, a blind man, a bag lady and more. The stories and scenes play out with no dialogue — all the while set to music. Whether the characters are mission dolls or gamblers, each plays a role telling the story of clashing cultures brought together by love in the city that never sleeps.

The show opens with Nathan Detroit (Robert Dickert) running the oldest established craps game in New York. Detroit is under pressure to find a place to hold a game at the last second, and the only available place requires a thousand-dollar deposit. Detroit thinks he can get the grand he needs from gambler Sky Masterson (Brian Sides), betting him that he can’t talk Sister Sarah Brown at the Save a Soul Mission (Leah Hamilton) into going to dinner with him — in Cuba. While Masterson is trying to win his bet, Detroit has his own woman problems. He’s trying to run his crap game without his longtime girlfriend, Adelaide (Magen Glatther), finding out, all the while trying to distract her from her goal of getting married — after 14 years of engagement.

When all is said and done, these two hard-worn gamblers find that the key to luck is not in the right roll or the best con, but in finding true love. Sky Masterson sums it up perfectly in the show’s most recognizable song, “Luck Be a Lady,” made famous by Frank Sinatra.

The Chorale’s production is filled with laughs, gags, songs, dance and, most importantly, a lot of heart.

“This show has been a labor of love from the beginning,” says Welch. “We started working on it back at the end of July. I’m so lucky to be working with a phenomenal group of people — both the cast and crew are amazing.”

'Guys and Dolls'

Presented by the Evergreen Chorale Feb. 19 through March 7.

Friday and Saturday Shows at 7:30 p.m., Sunday Shows at 2 p.m. at Center/Stage, 27608 Fireweed Drive in Evergreen

Tickets: adults, $19; seniors (65-plus) and students, $17; children (11 and under), $10.

To reserve tickets, call 303-674-4002 or visit www.evergreenchorale.org.