TUTS' GUYS AND DOLLS Opens Today With Powell, Mahowald & Cody
Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) presents the cast selected to lead the TUTS season opener of two-time Tony Award-winning best musical Guys and Dolls, opening today through October 9 at Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (800 Bagby, between Walker and Rusk).
Made popular by the film starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, Guys and Dolls follows a group of gamblers, gangsters and gals in the seedy, after-hours underworld of the city that never sleeps. Featuring all new scenery and filled with hits like "Luck Be A Lady" and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," this show is one the whole family will enjoy - you can bet on it!
Susan Powell, a TUTS veteran and former Miss America, plays Save-a-Soul Mission's ultimate "good girl" Sarah Brown. Chasing after Brown's affection is Sky Masterson, performed by Joseph Mahowald. Audiences will remember Mahowald most recently from 2010's 9 to 5 as Franklin Hart, Jr. He has also appeared in Broadway's Jekyll & Hyde and Les Misérables.
Acting in the role of loveable chronic gambler Nathan Detroit is Matt Merchant whose regional credits include the title role in Bye Bye Birdie as well as Beauty and the Beast and Carousel. Starring opposite Merchant is longtime Broadway professional Jen Cody as Miss Adelaide, Detroit's fiancée for 14 years and lead entertainer at the Hot Box. Cody last appeared at TUTS as Bonnie Latour in Anything Goes and lists Cats and Beauty and the Beast among her Broadway credits.
Cameron James, who toured nationally with The Color Purple and portrays Nicely-Nicely Johnson, and Ven Daniel, who toured nationally with Legally Blonde and appears as Benny Southstreet, will form the duo who helps Detroit in his gambling deals. Adding to the line-up, Brian Barry acts the part of hot-headed hooligan Big Jule. Barry returns to TUTS after appearing in 2008's Hello, Dolly! Spencer Moses, who appeared in the 2009 Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls, plays Harry The Horse.
Arvide Abernathy, Sarah Brown's grandfather who works for the Save-a-Soul Mission, is played by Kevin Cooney. Cooney has appeared in several TUTS shows, including recent shows White Christmas and The Sound Of Music. General Cartwright, also from the Save-a-Soul mission, is performed by Lisa Landa. Landa most recently appeared in TUTS' Humphreys School of Musical Theatre's teen summer conservatory production of Vote! A New Musical.
Rounding out the lead roles is Michael Tapley, who acts as both Lt. Brannigan and Joey Biltmore. Tapley's credits include the title role in The Who's Tommy on Broadway, on national tour and in Germany.
Completing the cast are William James Daniels, Kurt Domoney, Matthew C. Donnell, Taurean Everett, Tony Guerrero, Brittany Halen, Mark Jackson, Jupinko, Alissa LaVergne, Ashley Lee, Nathan Madden, Brad Madison, Theresa Nelson, Eric S. Robertson, Michelle Smith, Steven Sofia, Eric Stretch, Jay Tribble, Kristin Warren, Erin Wasmund, Steven Wenslawski and Paige Wheat.
Guys and Dolls is based on "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood Pressure," two short stories by Damon Runyon, and also borrows characters and plot elements from his other stories. The production features the music and lyrics of Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows.