NAPERVILLE, IL – BrightSide Theatre, Naperville’s only professional theatre performing in the historic downtown district, wraps up their 6th Season – A Season of Classic Broadway Shows – with the American classic Broadway musical Guys and Dolls. Guys and Dolls performs at the Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Street in Naperville June 9-25, 2017. Tickets are on sale now at www.brightsidetheatre.com, or by phone at 630-447-TIXS (8497). The press performance is Friday, June 9 at 8pm.
A talented ensemble of actors from the Chicagoland Area make up the Cast of Guys and Dolls:
Andrew Taylor Swanson (Downers Grove); James OBerg (Oswego); Ryan Bennett (Morris), Dennis Schnell (Wood Dale); Matt Gibson (Lombard); Barry R. Norton (Arlington Heights); Mark Dedowicz (Westchester); Neal Goldman (Willow Springs); Christine Ronna (Wilmington); Andrew Buel (Montgomery); Melissa Crabtree and Becca Duff (Oak Park); Michelle Bolliger (Bartlett); Josh Durham (Darien); Michael Weiss (Palatine) and Laura Sportiello, Jillian Weingart, Jeff Wright, Rachel Meloan and Sierra Schnack (Chicago).
Celebrating Broadway’s classic golden era, this American classic has been called “the perfect musical comedy” ranking it among one of the greatest works in theatre history. Set in the glorious Damon Runyon’s comic book world bustling with gamblers, gangsters, and sassy showgirls of 1940s Times Square New York City, Nathan Detroit runs the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York. There are well-heeled shooters everywhere, but it’s no dice unless they have a place to gamble – and that takes dough. Nathan’s got a bet that high roller Sky Masterson can’t land a date with a straight-laced Save a Soul Mission doll. Love is never a sure thing as Nathan learns that his fiancée Miss Adelaide will walk out if she doesn’t walk down the aisle soon. What’s a poor guy to do?
Title: GUYS AND DOLLS
Music and Lyrics: Frank Loesser
Book: Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling
Director: Jeffrey Cass
Musical Director: Sarah Giordano
Choreographer: Jeni Donahue
Cast: Ryan Bennett (Sky Masterson), Laura Sportiello (Sarah Brown), Dennis Schnell (Nathan Detroit), Jillian Weingart (Miss Adelaide), Matt Gibson (Nicely-Nicely Johnson), Jeff Wright (Benny Southstreet), Andrew Taylor Swanson (Rusty Charlie), Barry R. Norton (Harry the Horse), Josh Durham (Angie the Ox), Mark Dedowicz (Big Jule), Michael Weiss (Society Max), Christine Ronna (General Matilda), James OBerg (Arvide Abernathy), Andrew Buel (Scranton Slim), Rachel Meloan (Martha/Mitzi), Neal Goldman (Lt. Brannigan), Becca Duff (Mimi), Melissa Crabtree (Allison) and Michelle Bolliger (Ferguson), Sierra Schnack (Agatha/Vernon)
Location: Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College,
31 S. Ellsworth Street, Naperville. IL 60540
Dates: June 9-25, 2017
Curtain Times: Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm
Tickets: $27 Discounts: Students/Seniors $24. Groups 10+ /$20. Tickets are on sale now at www.brightsidetheatre.com, by phone 630-447-TIXS (8497) or the night of the performance at the box office at the Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College.
About the Creative Team
Frank Loesser (Music and Lyrics) One of America’s great composer/lyricists, began his songwriting career during the Depression as a lyricist, contributing songs to Broadway revues and nightclub acts. His work with composer Irving Actman in the 1936 revue The Illustrator’s Show led to a songwriting contract in Hollywood, where he spent the next eleven years working with such composers as Burton Lane, Jule Styne, Arthur Schwartz and Hoagy Carmichael. Some of his film songs from that period include “Two Sleepy People“, “Jingle Jangle Jingle” and “I Don’t Want to Walk without You“. The first song for which Loesser wrote both words and music was “Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition“, written during his World War II service. His Hollywood work after the war included the hit songs “Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year“, “A Slow Boat to China” and the 1949 Oscar-winning song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside“. In 1948 Loesser was approached by fledgling Broadway producers Cy Feuer and Ernest Martin to write music and lyrics to George Abbott‘s libretto for an adaptation of the classic Brandon Thomas play Charley’s Aunt. The new musical, which starred Ray Bolger, was called Where’s Charley? and was a hit. This led to Loesser’s next show, the hugely influential and successful Guys and Dolls in 1950, also produced by Feuer and Martin, with a script by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling. In 1956 Loesser wrote the libretto, music and lyrics for his next show, The Most Happy Fella adapted from Sidney Howard’s play, They Knew What They Wanted. This impressive score contains over 30 musical numbers and makes extensive use of operatic techniques and forms, including recitative, arias, duets, trios and choral numbers. In 1960 he provided the score and was co-librettist for Greenwillow in 1961, Loesser wrote the score for the Pulitzer Prize-winning How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. His last show, Pleasures and Places, closed in 1965 during out-of-town try-outs.
Abe Burrows (Book) After studying to be a doctor and an accountant, Abe Burrows had a career in sales before becoming a successful radio script writer and writer/performer of musical parody numbers. His first Broadway libretto was Guys and Dolls, co-written with Jo Swerling, with a score by Frank Loesser. Among the musicals for which he provided librettos are Make A Wish, Can-Can and Silk Stockings (both with scores by Cole Porter), Say, Darling, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (which he also directed; score by Frank Loesser). His non-musical plays include Cactus Flower (wrote and directed) and Forty Carats (directed).
Jo Swerling (Book): Born in Russia in 1897, Jo Swerling was a playwright, screenwriter and vaudeville sketch writer. Mr. Swerling’s long career began as a reporter and feature writer in New York and Chicago.
Jeffrey Cass (Director/Artistic Director) a Joseph Jefferson Award Nominee most recently directed Disney’s Beauty & the Beast, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Sound of Music, It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Cabaret, RENT, Company, BrightSide Theatre’s inaugural production – Run For Your Wife and also for BrightSide Theatre’s Youth Project inaugural production Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr., Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr., Disney’s Aladdin, Jr. and Legally Blonde Jr. the Musical. He holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theater Performance from Roosevelt University where he also studied lighting design and stage management. He previously served as the Producing Director for Circle Theatre where he directed The Who’s Tommy (6 Joseph Jefferson Nominations including Best Musical and Best Director) Neil LaBute’s Bash and The Distance From Here (Midwest Premier), Burning Blue (Midwest Premier), Crazy for You, Beauty and the Beast, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Urinetown, Peter Pan and New Plays Festival 2 and 3.
About the Choreographer
Jeni Donahue (Choreographer) is a freelance choreographer who earned her degree in Vocal & Dance Performance from Columbia College. She currently works with high schools, theatre companies and colleges throughout the United States.
About the Musical Director
Sarah Giordano (Musical Director) earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education from Eastern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Choral Music Education from VanderCook College of Music. Currently, Sarah is in her 15th year as a music educator. She teaches general music, directs the choirs and the musical at Jackson Middle School in Villa Park, Illinois. Sarah consistently serves as a choral clinician, adjudicator, and music director. Previous BrightSide Theatre credits include Spamalot, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr.
BrightSide Theatre (Jeffrey Cass, Artistic Director and Julie Ann Kornak, Executive Director) celebrates our 6th season as Naperville’s only professional theatre performing in the historic downtown district. BrightSide Theatre is committed to Enlighten, Educate, and Entertain through comedies and inspirational stories from across the globe. BrightSide’s shows are selected to be a unique blend of award-winners, premieres, modern works and timeless classics meant to reflect upon and inform our community. BrightSide Theatre is partially supported and funded by a generous grant from the City of Naperville. For more information on BrightSide Theatre, please visit www.brightsidetheatre.com.
This production is sponsored in part by:
Round Hill Wealth Management, Cue Camp, SECA Grant, The Dolly McCarthy Show