Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls” is considered one of the quintessentially American musicals.
The Tony Award-winning musical opened Nov. 24, 1950. Since then, it has been revived countless times on Broadway and has become a favorite for high schools and community theaters across the country.
As the classic battle of the sexes, “Guys and Dolls” kicks off the Portland Center Stage’s 2008-2009 season. Directed by Chris Coleman, the new production runs at the Gerding Theater at the Armory in Portland through Nov. 9.
Composer Loesser grew up in a musical family, surrounded by music. He wrote his first song at the age of 6. He taught himself harmonica and piano, according to the Portland Center Stage’s resource guide.
After working at a newspaper, Loesser became interested in word play and began writing songs, sketches and radio scripts.
He teamed up with young producers Cy Feuer and Ernest Martin to create “Guys and Dolls.” Based on Damon Runyon’s gritty tales of the 1930s New York City underworld, the musical quickly became a theatrical landmark, according to the guide.
The score features popular hits including “Luck be a Lady,” “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” and “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat.” Loesser is also recognized for the musicals “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “Hans Christian Anderson.”
“Guys and Dolls” centers around the romantic clash between Sky Masterson, a high-rolling gambler, and Miss Sarah Brown, a sergeant at the Save-a-Soul Mission. Other memorable characters include Nathan Detroit, Miss Adelaide and Nicely-Nicely Johnson.
The play runs 2 hours and 40 minutes including intermission.
Ticket prices range from $18.50 to $73.50, depending on seat location and day of performance. To purchase tickets and for more information, contact 503-445-3700 or visit www .pcs.org.