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March 28, 2013

VAPA presents "Guys and Dolls" at ULM April 18-21

The University of Louisiana at Monroe School of Visual and Performing Arts announces its rendition of the celebrated musical "Guys and Dolls" in ULM's Brown Theatre.

One showing will be given every day from April 18-21. Each evening's performance will begin at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday's showing at 2 p.m.

Set in the secret casinos of New York City and the night clubs of Havana, Cuba, "Guys and Dolls" follows a group of gamblers and a group of missionaries, focusing on the stories of unexpected love and reform that result when a bet forces members from each group to meet.

Robin Stephens, ULM director and choreographer for the show, said, "'Guys and Dolls' is a bright, smart, enchanting musical comedy… I love this story not only for the interesting and inventive storyline, but for the infectious music and lyrics and dancing sequences."

She continued, "'Guys and Dolls' is a show for all times, funny and endearing – it appeals to all ages."

Based on short stories by Damon Runyon, "Guys and Dolls" premiered on Broadway in 1950 to an intensely positive reception, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical.

Songs such as "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" have since invaded popular culture, earning references in countless television shows, movies, and cartoons.

In 1955, MGM distributed a film adaptation starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and Jean Simmons.

Since its initial run, several theatre companies have staged revivals both in London and on Broadway.

Eddie Fountain of Tallulah will play Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the ULM production.

He said, "Participating in this production has been one of the happiest moments of my life… It is a blessing to work with such talented people. This is my first musical, and I've been very nervous, but they made this boy from the country feel special."

The cast includes:

Understudies include Harry Wardlaw as Nathan Detroit, Shelby Wright as Miss Adelaide, and Liz Neuberger as General Matilda B. Cartwright.

Dancers include Stormie Jones, Ashley Boykin, Dacey Shirley, Melissa Shelling, Abby Herman of Monroe, Belle Alexander, Shanet McCarter, Nicole Feng-Yi Tang of Chiayi City, Taiwan, Rino Nicholas, Henry Wardlaw, and Cody Jackson.

Dr. Derle Long is the show's producer.

The ULM production will also benefit from the musical direction of Deborah Chandler and Julian Jones, with Alison Tugwell acting as stage manager.

Stevie Burnside will be the technical director, Ronnie Bruce will be the master carpenter, and Wes Smith will be the lighting designer. Tina Mullone will also aid Robin Stephens with the choreography.

Tickets for the show are $15 general admission. Student tickets are free with ULM identification.

Call 318-342-1414 for more information or visit

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