Kim Dobbs, director of CAST’s season-opening Guys and Dolls, is probably feeling lucky.
“We’re all working well together,” Dobbs says of her cast. “They’re willing to help one another, they’re willing to help me, and they are all about doing it well. And so am I.”
Guys and Dolls is a musical comedy/drama that follows two love stories, set in a world of gamblers and dancing girls. “It is the story of Sarah, from the Save-a-Soul mission,” Dobbs explains. “She’s out to save the sinners, and she falls in love with a sinner.”
That “sinner” is the always lucky, smooth-talking Sky Masterson, portrayed by Wesley Franks. “He’s a gambler, he’s a swooner, he’s just a man’s man,” says Franks. “Whatever a man wants to be, that’s Sky Masterson.”
Masterson meets Sarah Brown through a bet.
Maggie Beam, who plays Sarah, describes her character as “a prude and a half. She’s very straight-laced.” Beam adds that she and her character are not very similar, which has allowed her to immerse herself in acting for this show. “I feel like it’s a challenge, and I love a good challenge,” she says. “Theater is about being able to delve into something that you’re not used to doing every day, and having fun with it. And that’s why I love my character so much.”
For Rae Cauthen, playing the part of Miss Adelaide in the show is a dream come true. “I’ve always wanted to play Adelaide, because
she’s just the epitome of everything female,” Cauthen says. “Adelaide is like every woman: she knows what she wants, and it’s hard to get. But she’s still fighting that fight.”
Adelaide, a Hot Box dancer, has been engaged for 14 years to the love of her life, Nathan Detroit. However, she has led her mother to believe that she and Detroit have been married for the past 12 years.
Maurice Winsell, who plays Detroit, describes his character as, “This guy who’s just like everybody else, just trying to make it. But he’s only known one way. He’s been running crap games since he was a juvenile. It’s just second nature.”
“I think this is one of the most fun shows we’ve done in the past couple of seasons,” Beam says. “I think it’s going to reach the audience. There’s a scene and a character for everybody out there.”
While Franks agrees that the characters are one of the show’s strongest elements, his favorite part is “definitely the music. It’s got that old-timey, swingy, Frank Sinatra feel. It’s the perfect musical.”
For Winsell, the musical element was a welcome change from the acting he’s used to. “It’s been a while since I’ve played a role that required me to sing,” he said. “Going back into that world, it’s been different. But it’s been great. The people involved with this production are amazing, and so talented.”
“I want the audience to laugh, and to take from the show the realization that life is really short, so love hard,” Cauthen says. “Live hard. Go for what you want. And don’t take anything too seriously.”
Dates for the performances, which will be at the McClellan Theater, are Sept. 12-22. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $15 each, and may be purchased online at castalabama.com, or by calling 256-820-CAST.