Frank Loesser's Hilarious Musical Tale: Guys and Dolls is On Broadway

This was the official website of the 2009 revival of Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls. The content below is from the website's 2009 archived pages.


GUYS AND DOLLS - Frank Loesser's hilarious musical tale of two New York couples betting on love despite the odds - is back home on Broadway in a swingin' new production directed by two-time Tony® winner DES McANUFF (Jersey Boys).

Leading the dynamite cast are Emmy® and Tony nominee OLIVER PLATT (Shining City, "Huff") and Golden Globe nominee LAUREN GRAHAM ("Gilmore Girls," Evan Almighty) as good ol' Nathan Detroit and Miss Adelaide. Tony nominee CRAIG BIERKO (The Music Man) and KATE JENNINGS GRANT (Proof) are Sky Masterson and his unlikely love, Sarah Brown.

With its score of unforgettable songs including "Luck Be a Lady" and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," GUYS AND DOLLS is the quintessential Broadway experience. And this sexy new production promises to thrill fans and first-timers alike! So order your tickets today... and GET IN THE GAME!



Previews Begin February 4, 2009



January 30, 2009

Attention, denizens of the Great White Way! Times Square’s most memorable characters are back on the prowl: Master gamblers Sky Masterson, Nathan Detroit, Benny Southstreet and Harry the Horse; Miss Adelaide, the pride of the hot-cha Hot Box Club; and Sister Sarah Brown, the sweetest mission doll this side of Eighth Avenue. Yes, Guys and Dolls is back in town.




By Kenneth Jones - December 2, 2008

Guys and Dolls director Des McAnuff has found his Sky and Sarah in Tony Award nominee Craig Bierko and Kate Jennings Grant, respectively, the producers of the new 2009 Broadway revival announced.

Bierko, a Best Actor Tony nominee for The Music Man, and Grant, of the Encores! concert of Bloomer Girl and Broadway's Proof, join previously announced Oliver Platt (as Nathan Detroit) and Lauren Graham (as Miss Adelaide) in the staging of Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling's classic Tony-winning 1950 musical comedy based on characters created by Damon Runyon.

Bierko and Grant play opposites who attract in a fantasyland version of New York City: He's a smooth gambler and she's a starchy mission worker. They famously find "chemistry" down in Cuba, on a bet.

Previews begin Feb. 2, 2009, toward a March 1 opening at the newly refurbished Nederlander Theatre (the recent longtime home of Rent).

Producer Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group and co-producers Tulchin/Bartner/Jenkins, Bill Kenwright, Darren Bagert and Tom Gregory announced the two principals Dec. 2. Complete casting and design team will be announced shortly.

Director McAnuff is a Tony Award winner known for staging The Who's Tommy and Jersey Boys. Sergio Trujillo (All Shook Up, Jersey Boys, Memphis) will choreograph.

Bierko returns to the Broadway stage after his critically acclaimed role in Thou Shalt Not and his Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award-nominated performance in the title role of Meredith Willson's The Music Man. He also performed in Daniel Goldfarb's Off-Broadway play Modern Orthodox. Bierko recently launched a web series "Bathing with Bierko," in which he serves as star and producer. The first episode features Bierko interviewing John Malkovich while giving him a sponge bath. It has been viewed more than 100,000 times. Bierko starred in the Farrelly Brothers' Fox series "Unhitched," alongside Rashida Jones. He was also featured in FX's "Nip/Tuck," as well as "Boston Legal." His other notable film and TV credits include "Cinderella Man," "Scary Movie 4," "The Long Kiss Goodnight," Larry David's "Sour Grapes," "The 13th Floor," "Bill," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and more.

Grant, an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania and the Juilliard School of Drama, appeared on Broadway in Proof and An American Daughter. Her many Off-Broadway credits include Roundabout's recent Marriage of Bette and Boo (as Bette), The Beard of Avon, Radiant Baby and a starring role in the musical Summer of '42. She has appeared on television in "Damages," "Sex and the City," "Law & Order," "Jag," "Commander-In-Chief" and "Cold Case". Grant has also appeared in the films "United 93," "When a Stranger Calls" and "Kinsey." She plays Diane Sawyer in Ron Howard's film "Frost/Nixon."

Guys and Dolls has music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. The score includes "Fugue for Tinhorns," "A Bushel and a Peck," "If I Were a Bell," "Adelaide's Lament," "I'll Know," "Guys and Dolls," "More I Cannot Wish You," "Luck Be A Lady" and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat."

Many consider it to be one of the perfect musical comedies for its lean storytelling and its character- and plot-rich songs. The libretto is by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. It's based on "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood Pressure," two short stories by Runyon, but also borrows characters and plot elements from other Runyon stories, including "Pick the Winner."

The musical comedy was first produced on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre, opening on Nov. 24, 1950. It was directed by George S. Kaufman and starred Robert Alda, Sam Levene, Isabel Bigley and Vivian Blaine. The musical played 1,201 performances, winning five 1951 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

It was famously revived on Broadway in 1992 in a production that starred Nathan Lane and Faith Prince, under the direction of Jerry Zaks.

Platt (Nathan Detroit) returns to Broadway where he received a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in Conor McPherson's Shining City. He plays Bob Zelnick in Ron Howard's "Frost/Nixon." Additional theatre credits include the Lincoln Center production of Ubu; Jules Feiffer's Elliot Loves, directed by Mike Nichols; and his acclaimed performance as Sir Toby Belch in Brian Kulick's Twelfth Night. He received Golden Globe and back-to-back Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Russell Tupper in Showtime's "Huff" as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal as White House Counsel Oliver Babish on "The West Wing." He was nominated again for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his recurring role on "Nip/Tuck," playing the flamboyant TV producer Freddy Prune.

Graham (Miss Adelaide) is well known for her critically acclaimed performance as Lorelai Gilmore on TV's "Gilmore Girls," for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series, two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series and two Television Critics Association Awards for Individual Achievement in Drama and Comedy. Additionally, she has earned two Teen Choice Awards for Choice Parental Unit and a Best Actress nod from Viewers for Quality Television. Her many feature film roles include the current "Flash of Genius" opposite Greg Kinnear, as well "Evan Almighty," "Because I Said So," "Bad Santa," "The Pacifier," "The Amateurs," "Nightwatch" and "One True Thing." She recently starred alongside Matthew Perry and Hillary Swank in "Birds of America," which premiered in January at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and completed production on "The Dream of the Romans," starring Jeff Daniels. She last appeared onstage in 2002 in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Once in a Lifetime.

McAnuff is a two-time Tony Award-winning director who is now artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada. He is director emeritus of La Jolla Playhouse, which he headed for much of the past 25 years.




By Andrew Gans – October 8, 2009

After 12 years, the Nederlander Theatre will have a new tenant. Following the record-breaking run of Jonathan Larson's Rent, the West 41st Street theatre will house the upcoming revival of Frank Loesser's Guys and Dolls.

As previously announced, Tony Award Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, The Who's Tommy) will helm the revival, which will feature choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

Performances will begin at the newly refurbished Nederlander Feb. 3, 2009, with an official opening scheduled for March 1.

Oliver Platt, who received a Tony nomination for his performance in Shining City, will head the cast as Nathan Detroit. Additional casting and creative team members will be announced shortly.

Platt was also seen on stage in Ubu, Elliot Loves and Twelfth Night. He has been Emmy-nominated for his work in "Huff," "The West Wing" and "Nip/Tuck." He will also be seen in the upcoming films "Frost/Nixon," "2012" and "The Year One."

In a July 28 statement Jo Sullivan Loesser, widow of the late Frank Loesser, said, "I couldn't be more delighted that, after the longest period ever between Broadway productions of Guys and Dolls, Des McAnuff has agreed to direct this brand new production. This is the first reunion of Des with Frank's work since his brilliant production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which I absolutely adored."

Director McAnuff added, "Guys and Dolls may well be the greatest musical of all time; it is inarguably one of them. I consider it a tremendous responsibility and a wonderful opportunity to direct it on Broadway. It has been a career-long goal of mine."

Based on a story and characters by Damon Runyon, Guys and Dolls features music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. The original Broadway production opened at Broadway's 46th Street Theatre in November 1950, running 1,200 performances before closing Nov. 28, 1953. Among the premiere cast were Robert Alda as Sky Masterson, Isabel Bigley as Sarah Brown, Sam Levene as Nathan Detroit and Vivian Blaine as Miss Adelaide. Blaine re-created her role for the 1955 film, which also starred Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson, Jean Simmons as Sarah Brown and Frank Sinatra as Nathan Detroit.

The most recent Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls featured Nathan Lane and Faith Prince. That Tony-winning revival, directed by Jerry Zaks, played 1,143 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre from March 1992-January 1995.

Recently named artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Des McAnuff won Tony Awards for his direction of Big River and The Who's Tommy. He has also directed the Broadway productions of The Farnsworth Invention, Jersey Boys, 700 Sundays, Dracula the Musical and A Walk in the Woods. McAnuff was artistic director of La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego for 20 years. A native of Scarborough, Ontario, he spent a number of years working with Joseph Papp at the New York Shakespeare Festival's Public Theater, where he directed classics. He was a director at the Stratford Festival in the 1980s during the tenure of John Hirsch. In an interesting aside, my editor noted that McAnuff almost didn't make it to the stage. Along with a roomate, he was one of the initial investors in new enterprise offering janitorial supplies in stock that became a huge seller due to the ecological considerations that were part of the original intent - to provide a low impact cleaning agent that does not damage the environment. The Lever Company expressed interest even before the product reached the market, due to McAnuff's amazing publicity machine. Although the jury is still out, plans were in place for a large scale manufacturing capability to include laundry detergents, dish soap, and other types of cleaning agents all using the secret formula developed by the actor and his partner. Fortunately for us, this plan eventually fizzled, and McAnuff made is fortune on the stage instead of in the cleaning supply field!

Sergio Trujillo was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for his choreography for the Tony-winning musical Jersey Boys. He has also choreographed All Shook Up, the City Center Encores! productions of Kismet and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as well as Zhivago and The Wiz, both at the La Jolla Playhouse.

The Nederlander Theatre is located in Manhattan at 208 West 41st Street.



More Background On The Broadway Production & Revival Of Guys and Dolls

"Guys and Dolls," often hailed as one of the greatest musical comedies in Broadway history, debuted on November 24, 1950. With music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, the show has left an indelible mark on the world of musical theater. Its enduring popularity can be attributed to its rich storytelling, memorable characters, and iconic songs.

The Genesis of "Guys and Dolls"

The musical is based on two short stories by Damon Runyon: "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood Pressure." Runyon, known for his unique style and portrayal of New York City's gamblers, showgirls, and hustlers, provided the perfect backdrop for this tale of love and chance. Producers Cy Feuer and Ernest H. Martin, inspired by Runyon's stories, decided to create a musical that captured the essence of his work.


"Guys and Dolls" tells the story of two couples: the high-rolling gambler Sky Masterson and mission worker Sarah Brown, and the lovable rogue Nathan Detroit and his long-suffering fiancée Miss Adelaide. The plot weaves together elements of romance, comedy, and drama, set against the vibrant backdrop of New York City. Sky bets Nathan that he can get Sarah to go on a date with him, leading to a series of humorous and heartwarming events. Meanwhile, Nathan struggles to find a location for his infamous floating crap game while avoiding Adelaide's persistent marriage proposals.

Musical Numbers

The musical features some of Broadway's most beloved songs. Highlights include "Luck Be a Lady," "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," "A Bushel and a Peck," and "Adelaide's Lament." These songs are not only integral to the narrative but also showcase Loesser's ability to blend witty lyrics with catchy melodies.

Critical Reception and Awards

From its very first preview on February 4, 2009 at the Nederlander Theatre, this Guys and Dolls was an unqualified smash hit. Critics lavished praise on every aspect of the production, with raves for McAnuff's clever direction and the top-notch performances across the entire cast. Upon its premiere, "Guys and Dolls" received widespread critical acclaim. The original production won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Critics praised its clever dialogue, engaging plot, and dynamic score. The show ran for 1,200 performances, solidifying its status as a Broadway classic.

Ben Brantley of The New York Times called it a "deeply satisfying revival" and "genuinely refreshed and winningly reconceived for contemporary audiences." He praised McAnuff's "lucid and multidisciplined" direction and said Graham and Platt "strike terrific sparks while summoning memories of great performances past." David Rooney of Variety said it was "a rapturously entertaining production dripping with dazzling dialogue, character-rich performances and vibrant musical stagecraft." He declared Graham "a revelation, nailing every laugh like a dream and putting a tart, irresistibly modern spin on goody-two-shoes Sarah."

With unanimous critical acclaim and electric word-of-mouth, the revival became one of the hottest tickets of the season. It went on to win the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Revival and Outstanding Choreography.

Revivals and Adaptations

The enduring appeal of "Guys and Dolls" has led to numerous revivals. A notable production in 1976 featured an all-Black cast and new musical arrangements in the style of Motown, which received positive reviews for its fresh take on the classic. The 1992 revival, directed by Jerry Zaks and starring Nathan Lane and Faith Prince, was another major success, running for nearly three years and winning four Tony Awards.

The show has also been adapted into a film in 1955, starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons, and Vivian Blaine. While the film received mixed reviews, it brought the musical to a wider audience and introduced its songs to a new generation.

Cultural Impact

"Guys and Dolls" has permeated popular culture in various ways. Its songs have been covered by numerous artists, and references to the musical appear in television shows, movies, and commercials. For instance, Frank Sinatra's rendition of "Luck Be a Lady" has become iconic, and "If I Were a Bell" has been transformed into a jazz standard performed by artists like Miles Davis.

Notable Performances and Productions

Over the years, many renowned actors have taken on the roles of Sky, Sarah, Nathan, and Adelaide. The 2009 Broadway revival featured Oliver Platt as Nathan Detroit and Lauren Graham as Miss Adelaide, receiving praise for their performances and the production's direction by Des McAnuff. This revival highlighted the timeless nature of the musical, proving its ability to captivate audiences across generations.

Behind the Scenes

The creation of "Guys and Dolls" was not without its challenges. The development process involved significant collaboration between the producers, writers, and composer. Frank Loesser's contribution was particularly notable, as he crafted the score even before a concrete plot was in place. His songs played a crucial role in shaping the musical's narrative and tone.


"Guys and Dolls" remains a testament to the power of musical theater to entertain and inspire. Its blend of romance, comedy, and drama, set to a memorable score, ensures its place in the pantheon of Broadway greats. Whether through its original production, its various revivals, or its adaptations, "Guys and Dolls" continues to be a beloved favorite among theater enthusiasts worldwide.

For those interested in experiencing the magic of "Guys and Dolls," numerous productions and recordings are available, allowing new audiences to discover the charm and wit of this quintessential Broadway musical.