Partnership puts new spin on Fresno Pacific University production of “perfect” musical comedy

Fresno Pacific University and Selma Arts Center are joining forces to present Guys and Dolls: A Musical Fable of Broadway, the FPU spring musical.

Performance times are 7:30 p.m. April 12-14 and 2:00 p.m. April 14-15, 2018, at Selma Arts Center, 1935 High St., Selma. Admission is $18 for general audiences, $15 for students and seniors and $12 for the FPU community.

Sometimes called the perfect musical comedy, Guys and Dolls ran for 1,200 performances when it opened on Broadway in 1950, received nearly unanimous positive reviews from critics and won Tony, Drama Desk and Olivier awards. Set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City, the oddball romantic comedy sees gambler Nathan Detroit trying to dodge the authorities, organize the biggest craps game in town and placate his fiancé of 14 years. Meanwhile, straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown wants to save the souls of sinners in New York.

Making this production special is the level of partnership between FPU, the Selma Arts Center and the community. Half the cast are FPU students and half are area residents, including many with significant theater experience, according to Julia Reimer, Ph.D., associate professor and theater program director at FPU. “We wanted to connect with Selma Arts Center, they’ve been doing some exciting work,” she said.

Selma Arts Center staff look forward to working with its first university show. “We’re very excited to have them here,” said Nicolette Anderson, arts center coordinator. “We hope this is a partnership and a friendship that continues.”

The Guys and Dolls script is by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling and the score is by Frank Loesser. Directing this production is Brooke Aiello, FPU instructor, and the orchestra is conducted by Erik Leung, D.M.A., FPU assistant professor of music. Shannah Estep is the vocal director, Ashley Wilkinson the choreographer and Shannon Brewington leads scenic/lighting design. The cast includes Robbie Hil as Sky Masterson, Taylor Delgado as Sarah Brown, Dylan Hardcastle as Nathan Detroit, Annelise Escobedo as Adelaide, Daniel Longoria as Nicely and Gracie Robinson as Benny Southstreet.

All seating is general. The box office opens an hour before curtain, and the house opens a half-hour before curtain. For student group rates and more information, call the FPU Theater Office at 559-453-2056 or email julia.reimer@fresno.edu.