Leddy Center Opens 40th Season with GUYS AND DOLLS
It can't be said that what happened at Leddy Center for the Performing Arts on Friday night, July 11, was just another opening of another show. Yes, it was another opening night, and yes, it was another show, and yet there was something far greater driving the excitement that night.
It was July of 1975 Elaine and Bruce Gatchell, with the collaboration and support of what seemed like the entire town of Epping, NH, staged the Broadway musical, Guys and Dolls. The production was the first in what is now a 40-summer history of performances, as opening night of Guys and Dolls, the show that started it all, marked the 40th annual summer musical theater event produced by the Gatchells.
Guys and Dolls, which runs through Sunday, July 27, represents the start of the 40th season in Leddy Center's admirable history. It's a season that includes an annual October concert by "Shining Star" singer-songwriter Mary Gatchell ("Shining Star" just released on iTunes), It's a Wonderful Life , October 24-November 9, A Christmas Carol , December 5-14, and a currently-unnamed March 2015 production.
Guys and Dolls also represents Elaine and Bruce Gatchell. It represents the high-stakes risk Elaine (the doll) and Bruce (the guy) took when they went all-in that long-ago summer. The odds may not have been in their favor, but the risk, which was taken on behalf of their community, was worth the gamble.
The gamble has paid off, although you can't count it in dollars and cents. Instead, it's counted in countless hours invested in the labor of love that is Leddy Center, and in the 136 shows that have been produced over the past 39 seasons. Most importantly, it's counted in the thousands of people whose lives have been raised up through their Guys and Dolls, directed by Elaine Gatchell, and musically directed by J. Bruce Gatchell, can be seen Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and Sundays and Wednesdays at 2:00 pm, through July 27. Tickets are available online at www.leddycenter.org, or can be purchased in person at Leddy Center's office Monday through Friday from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.