The Santa Monica Civic Light Opera’s 2005-06 season will be “all singing, all dancing, all musicals” produced by the Santa Monica High School theatre program and its professional/alumni/student partner, the Santa Monica Civic Light Opera.
After last season’s presentation of seven plays and musicals, SMCLO artistic director, Dr. Frank Ford, who’s now in his 21st year at Samohi, decided that an “all musical” season was in order. It will feature three book musicals and one revue: Guys and Dolls, Annie, the revue, Showstoppers, presented by Samohi’s musical theatre workshop class, and a musical to be named.
“Musicals are a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit,” Ford said. “Trying times like these do not call for despair. We need something to look forward to: Four fabulous musicals… a year of joy! Samohi theatre and the SMCLO doing what they do best.”
Guys and Dolls, which has been called the perfect Broadway musical, is kicking off the new season.
Ford is directing the high school drama department production, which has a cast of 30, and will be staged in Samohi’s 200-seat Humanities Center Theater.
SMCLO’s managing director, Brett Fisher (Samohi ’95) has overseen the entire production and is the show’s producer. He also conducts the 10-piece orchestra, along with music director Brett Ryback.
Based on characters from The Idyll of Sarah Brown by Damon Runyon, it focuses on gamblers Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit, who runs “the oldest, established, permanent floating crap game in New York,” his long-suffering fiancée showgirl Adelaide, and Sergeant Sarah Brown, who runs a mission for lost souls on Broadway.
Abe Burrows, a Broadway legend, and father of legendary TV sitcom director James Burrows, masterminded the show. He directed, and wrote the book with Jo Swerling, Legendary composer / lyricist.
Frank Loesser’s songs include “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” “A Bushel and a Peck,” “Luck Be a Lady,” “Fugue for Tinhorns,” “Marry the Man Today,” and the title song.
The original 1950 New York production ran for 1,200 performances. The 1955 movie version featured Marlon Brando as Masterson, Frank Sinatra as Detroit, Vivian Blaine as Adelaide and Jean Simmons as Sarah.
Guys and Dolls is regularly revived on the stage. A London production last year starred Ewen McGregor as Masterson, and Peter Gallagher (now on the “O.C.”) starred in the most recent Broadway revival.
In the Samohi production, some of the lead roles have been double-cast to give more of samohi’s theatre students an opportunity to perform.
The cast features Anthony Alvarez as Nathan Detroit, Mike James as Sky Masterson, Louisa Levy and Hana Schmittdiel as Sarah Brown, and Morgan Mills and Alex Pucci as Adelaide.
Guys and Dolls will be performed on November 18 and 19 and December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17.Tickets are available by phone through the SMCLO production office at (310) 458-5939. Single tickets are available online at www.smclo.org.