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GTA goes back to the '30s in 'Guys and Dolls' musical

GuysDollsCostume.jpg
Costume designer Fred Lloyd goes over some last-minute costume before the Gainesville Theatre Alliance production of "Guys and Dolls" opens Nov. 12. A special preview peformance is set for Nov. 11.

The Gainesville Theatre Alliance (GTA) will transform the Hosch Theatre into underground New York City teaming with gangsters and ladies from Nov. 12-23, as the classic musical "Guys and Dolls" takes the stage.

GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration between the University of North Georgia (UNG), Brenau University and theatre professionals from the community. Students also have the opportunity to work with professionals from around the country, like Barbara Hartwig, guest director and choreographer for "Guys and Dolls."

Hartwig has worked on previous GTA productions, including "Guys and Dolls" in 1994, and has performed on Broadway, at the White House and in the movie "Annie." She praised the students as the show's biggest asset.

"[They are] an amazingly dedicated and talented group of young artists who have risen to the challenges of intricate choreography, difficult harmonies, stage combat and creating mature and bold characters in a time period that is foreign to them," she said.

This unique production of "Guys and Dolls" will be set in the story's original time period.

"The success of 'Guys and Dolls' must also be credited to the colorful characters that Damon Runyon wrote about in the 1930s," Hartwig said.  "Because of the influence of Runyon's characters, I have set the show in 1939 rather than the traditional 1950s staging."

In the show, Nathan Detroit, the organizer of the oldest permanent floating crap game, bets Sky Masterson that he can't make the next girl he sees fall in love with him. The bet is on, though the next girl turns out to be the pious and beautiful Sarah Brown of the Save-a-Soul Mission. Meanwhile, Adelaide, Detroit's fiancé of 14 years and the main attraction at the Hot Box nightclub, just wants to get married. "Guys and Dolls" is a Tony Award winner for best musical and Pulitzer Prize winner for drama.

A preview performance of "Guys and Dolls" will be held on Nov. 11, and there will be a free, catered reception following the Nov. 12 opening performance.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. at Brenau's Hosch Theatre, 429 Academy St., Gainesville, GA 30501; matinees on Nov. 17 and 23 begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-12 for adults and seniors and $7-8 for students, depending on seat location. Select your own seats online at www.gainesvilletheatrealliance.org or by calling the box office at 678-717-3624, Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Theater majors from UNG and Brenau take courses together and collaborate on GTA productions. GTA combines challenging course work with a quality production program and has received the American Council for Education Award for Academic Excellence, and was also recognized as an American College Theatre Finalist.

While "Guys and Dolls" is the final GTA show of 2013, the season continues with three more productions in 2014:

  • "Chicago," which has won six Tony Awards, a Grammy and other awards, is one of two productions planned for the GTA's February Theatre Festival. "Chicago" will be in the Hosch Theatre. In addition to the free stage tour set for Jan. 28, UNG and Brenau faculty, staff and students can get free advance tickets to select shows; free tickets are available two weeks before opening night. The play is rated PG-15.
  • Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie," one of the most frequently studied and staged plays around the world, will run throughout February at the Ed Cabell Theatre on UNG's Gainesville Campus. A free stage tour is set for Jan. 30. UNG and Brenau faculty, staff and students can get free advance tickets to select shows; free tickets are available two weeks before opening night. The play is rated PG.
  • GTA will wrap up the 2013-14 season in April with "Sense & Sensibility," adapted from Jane Austen's classic novel. The production will be in the Ed Cabell Theatre on UNG's Gainesville Campus; a free stage tour is scheduled for March 25. UNG and Brenau faculty, staff and students can get free advance tickets to select shows; free tickets are available two weeks before opening night. The play is rated G.  

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