“I think it’s going to reach the audience,” said Maggie Beam. “There’s a scene and a character for everybody out there.”
The Broadway classic “Guys and Dolls,” which won five Tony Awards in 1951, including Best Musical, is an opposites-attract love story set in a world of gamblers and dancing girls.
Save-a-Soul missionary Sarah is “out to save the sinners,” explains CAST Director Kim Dobbs. “And she falls in love with a sinner.”
That sinner — the perpetually lucky, smooth-talking Sky Masterson — is played by newcomer Wesley Franks.
“He’s a gambler, he’s a swooner, he’s just a man’s man,” says Franks. “Whatever a man wants to be, that’s Sky Masterson.”
After a friend bets him $1,000 that he can’t make good-girl Sarah run off to Cuba with him, Masterson heads to the Save-a-Soul mission under the guise of seeking salvation, while really trying to sweep her off her feet.
Beam, who plays Sarah, describes her as “a prude and a half.” The CAST veteran says she is not at all similar to her “very straight-laced” character, but she’s enjoying the challenge.
“Theater is about being able to delve into something that you’re not used to doing every day, and having fun with it,” she said. “And that’s why I love my character so much.”
Playing the part of long-suffering cabaret dancer Adelaide is a dream come true for Rae Cauthen.
“She’s just the epitome of everything female,” Cauthen said. “Adelaide is like every woman — she knows what she wants, and it’s hard to get. But she’s still fighting that fight.”
But Maurice Winsell, who plays Adelaide’s commitment-phobic fiancé, is quick to defend his character saying Detroit is “just like everybody else, just trying to make it.” Detroit’s gambling ways are all he’s ever known, Winsell explains. “It’s just second nature.”
One thing cast members agree on is that “Guys and Dolls” will open the CAST season with a bang.
“I think this is one of the most fun shows we’ve done in the past couple of seasons,” said Beam.
Franks favorite part is “definitely the music,” he says. “It’s got that old-timey, swingy, Frank Sinatra feel. It’s the perfect musical.”
Cauthen says she is excited to hear laughter from the audience but she also wants the show’s message to hit home.
“Life is really short so love hard, live hard. Go for what you want,” she said. “And don’t take anything too seriously.”
Kara Coleman is the editor of The Chanticleer and a senior in communications at Jacksonville State University.