Guys and Dolls



  • A musical by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows with songs by FrankLoesser. The show opened on Broadway in 1950 and won the Tony awardfor Best Musical; three years later it enjoyed further success atthe London Coliseum. Among its many revivals was a 1976 version withan all-Black cast and a famous London production by Richard Eyre(1982; revived 1996) that has been credited with saving the National Theatre.In 1955 it was made into a film starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, andJean Simmons. The critic Kenneth Tynan once described Guys and Dollsas the greatest work of American drama after Miller's Death of a Salesman.

    The plot, based on stories by Damon Runyon, involves the attemptsof Sister Sarah, a Salvation Army officer, to convert New York's gangstersto Christianity. Two apparent lost causes are Nathan Detroit and SkyMasterson. Nathan bets Sky he cannot lure Sarah away on a romantictrip to Havana. Sky accepts the challenge and offers Sarah "adozen genuine sinners" if she agrees to come. Fearful that hermission may be forced to close, she accepts, not realizing that the12 sinners are really seeking a place to hold a crap game. Goodnessprevails, however, when the gang renounce their wicked ways at themission, Sky joins the Salvation Army and marries Sarah, and Nathanweds his fiancée of 14 years.

    Loesser's songs include 'Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat','Luck be a Lady', and 'I've Never Been in Love Before'.