Ring Theatre to present classic musical ‘Guys and Dolls’ before finals week

With finals week approaching, the gamble most Canes are taking is with their academic futures. As for the cast of “Guys and Dolls,” which opens 8 p.m. Wednesday night at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, the gamble they take is just as high, but with 100 percent more spectacular songs and incredible dance, not to mention heart-warming romance.

“Guys and Dolls” originally opened on Broadway in 1950 with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. The musical has been an American classic since the beginning, spawning several award-winning revivals and a 1955 movie adaptation featuring Marlon Brando.

“Guys and Dolls” features a story of a group of New York City gamblers and the women they love. Nathan Detroit, an organizer of much of this illegal activity, makes a bet with Sky Masterson, another gambler, for $1,000 if Sky can take the woman of Nathan’s choice to dinner in Havana, Cuba. Sky agrees, and Nathan chooses Sarah Brown, a pious and passionate evangelical whose mission is to save sinners. The wager, which has captivated the audience for 70 years, leads to twists and turns that neither man could ever have imagined.

The collaboration with guest director Michael Bush was an inspiring opportunity for the UM cast.

“It’s been a complete honor and joy to get to work with Michael,” said senior BFA acting major Samantha Dockser, who plays Sarah Brown. “He came in with such vision and clarity. Each day in rehearsal as a team we learned new things about our characters and the world of ‘Guys and Dolls.'”

The cast has been rehearsing since the end of February. They spent the first week of rehearsals learning the music and, in a slightly unusual move, did not actually do a full read-through of the script until week two. As it turned out, this early hard work paid off.

“When it ended there was a shared moment throughout the cast,” Dockser said. “Where I think we all felt ‘Wow, there is something so special here. And if we give it our all, we have the ability to put on a truly wonderful show.'”

Since then, the process has been a blur of costume fittings, dance choreography and six days a week of rehearsals in preparation for the opening performance. With a two-week run of shows ahead, the cast is thrilled and thankful to be able to share the fruits of their labor.

“I could not be more grateful to play such a wonderful role in my last UM show,” Dockser said. “I know I will never forget this experience.”

If You Go:

“Guys and Dolls”

Where: The Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, 1312 Miller Drive, Coral Gables

When: 8 p.m., April 13-23

Cost: $25 regular admission, $10 student tickets and free with Cane Card on Totally Tuesday.

For more information, call 305-284-3355 or visit http://www.as.miami.edu/ringtheatre/