‘Guys and Dolls’ still great entertainment
The cast of “Guys and Dolls” presented by the North Shore Theater of Wilmette.| Photo by Brian Markham
‘Guys and Dolls’
North Shore Theater of Wilmette at the Community Recreation Center, 3000 Glenview Road, Wilmette
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; April 13-29
$15; $14 for students and seniors
See www.wilmettepark.org or call (847) 256-9686
Sometimes a classic musical with silly plot lines makes for a perfect evening.
That’s the theory of Frank Roberts, director of the upcoming production of “Guys and Dolls” for the North Shore Theater of Wilmette, a program of the Wilmette Park District, that opens April 13.
“There’s nothing mind- shattering about it,” Roberts said about the musical. “You don’t have to think a lot to enjoy the show. You come out, be entertained, hum a few great songs, go out feeling good.”
“Guys and Dolls” will run through April 29 in the auditorium of the Community Recreation Center at 3000 Glenview Road in Wilmette.
The show is about a gambler who takes on a challenge to try to convince of an uptight female missionary to have dinner with him in Havana, Cuba. There are also plots involving a floating crap game that needs a safe home, along with the “Guys” who run it, and the plight of a nightclub entertainer who wants to marry her sweetheart of 14 years.
“It’s a lot of convoluted comedy,” Roberts said.
The guys expend a lot of energy trying to avoid cops and the women who want to marry and/or reform them, which leads to a great deal of finagling and counter-finagling.
“It’s just really delightful and hopefully you leave the theater with a smile on your face,” added producer Julie Orbach, who lives in Skokie.
The show is a classic of the golden age of Broadway with its cast of vivid characters and great Frank Loesser tunes, including “A Bushell and a Peck” and “Luck, be a Lady.”
Roberts noted that the show will appeal to everybody. Older audiences know the musical, while younger audiences “can
appreciate the theatricality of it and the bright colors and the fun story line,” he said.
Roberts has directed “Guys and Dolls” four times, he said. “I find something new in it every time I direct it, a new little characterization or something that we can grab on to. A new little bit of staging.”
However, Roberts says he’s a traditionalist when it comes to directing classical musicals. “If it’s good enough for Broadway it’s good enough for Wilmette,” is his belief.
People always enjoy the show, so he must be right.
“It’s really just a very heartwarming show,” Roberts said. “It’s fun. There’s a lot of laughs. A lot of great musical numbers.”