Fri, 04/11/2022 – 10:12 am | From: Mike Lopinto
The Southern Opera and Musical Theater Company at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) presents the “perfect musical”, guys and dollsfrom November 10 to 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mannoni Performing Arts Center.
This is the first full-scale musical on the MPAC stage in three years. Tickets are on sale at southernmisstickets.com, 601.266.5418 or 800.844.8425.
“It’s a wonderful, enjoyable way to step back onto the MPAC stage in glorious fashion,” director Mike Lopinto said. “This cast has really pulled out all the stops for a great night of singing, dancing and comedy that’s going to be the perfect night out.”
The brassy and immortal score by Frank Loesser is animated by Dr. Michael Miles, musical director, with members of the Symphony Orchestra.
Located in the mythical city of Damon Runyon in New York, guys and dolls is a funny romantic comedy. Player Nathan Detroit tries to raise the money to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities blow on his neck. Meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years. Nathan turns to fellow player Sky Masterson for the dough, and Sky ends up chasing Straits missionary Sarah Brown as a result.
The creative team looked for ways to express the excitement of returning to acting. Lopinto’s fellow Hub City Players Tammy Mansfield suggested a graphic novel look for the costumes, and a light bulb moment sent Lopinto on a set and lighting design assignment. This iconic Broadway fable is given new life, in bold colors and a pop art twist from a graphic novel.
A pair of giant dice greet the audience as they enter and represent life – constantly spinning. The vivid but two-dimensional worlds of New York and Havana are juxtaposed with the colorless but full of depth world of the mission. Likewise, the costumes, hair and makeup “follow the fold” and reinforce this stark difference. The collision of these two worlds is central to the plot.
One of the greatest musicals of all time, guys and dolls ran for 1,200 performances when it opened on Broadway in 1950. It received nearly unanimous positive reviews from critics and won a host of awards, including Tony Awards, Drama Desks and Oliviers.