Idaho State University School of Performing Arts to perform classic play “Guys and Dolls”

POCATELLO – Students at Idaho State University will combine their talents in both music and theatre for the production of “Guys and Dolls” beginning Feb. 26 in the Beverly B. Bistline Theatre in the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center.

“Guys & Dolls” will only have five performances on Feb. 26 and 27, March 3, 4 and 5.

The musical is based on Damon Runyon’s stories, and features close to 30 students from ISU’s School of Performing Arts. The play is directed by Vanessa Ballam, assistant professor of theatre and head of acting at ISU, with the musical direction of Kathleen Lane, professor of music.

Student actors getting ready for "Guys and Dolls" performance. Photomontage by Julie Hillebrant

Student actors getting ready for “Guys and Dolls” performance. Photomontage by Julie Hillebrant

“The story jumps off the pages of Damon Runyon’s book and that is what we have tried to mirror in our production. We want ‘Guys and Dolls’ to jump off of the stage for the audience,” Ballam said.

Set in Runyon’s mythical New York City, “Guys and Dolls” is an oddball romantic comedy. Gambler Nathan Detroit, played by student Jack Johnson, tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, nightclub performer Adelaide (Talia Lenker), laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years. Nathan turns to fellow gambler Sky Masterson (Shaun Stubblefield) for the dough, but Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown (Marissa Walker) instead. “Guys and Dolls” takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, Cuba, and even into the sewers of New York City, but eventually everyone ends up right where they belong.

Student actors getting ready for "Guys and Dolls" performance. Photomontage by Julie Hillebrant

Student actors getting ready for “Guys and Dolls” performance. Photomontage by Julie Hillebrant

“This is one of the greatest American musicals ever written,” Ballam said. “The characters are so vibrant and larger than life, which comes directly from the writing of Damon Runyon. The very words that Runyon wrote in his stories, many of them are the exact phrases you will hear in ‘Guys and Dolls.’”

Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for faculty and staff, $10 for children and $7 for ISU students. Doors will open at 7 p.m. with the performance beginning at 7:30 p.m. For more information, please go to: www.isu.edu/sopa/current-season.shtml.

To purchase tickets, go to http://isu.edu/tickets/ and click the ISU Theatre and Dance link.