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Atlantic Light Theatre up for ‘Guys and Dolls’ challenge

Dana Parsons (left) and Krystin Pellerin rehearse a scene from Atlantic Light Theatre’s production of “Guys and Dolls,” which opens Thursday night at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre and runs until Saturday.
Dana Parsons (left) and Krystin Pellerin rehearse a scene from Atlantic Light Theatre’s production of “Guys and Dolls,” which opens Thursday night at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre and runs until Saturday. - Submitted

Krystin Pellerin, Justin Nurse, Dana Parsons and Peter Halley to star in the musical comedy, opening in St. John’s Thursday

Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra: there are big shoes to fill when it comes to putting off a production of “Guys and Dolls,” but if anyone can do it, it’s Atlantic Light.

The local theatre company, headed by Jacinta Mackey Graham and Doug Vaughan, is known for taking on the biggest Broadway shows, bringing them to life on a local stage and successfully selling out. “Guys and Dolls” is on track to continue that tradition when it opens at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre Thursday evening.

A story of gambling and romance set in New York City and Havana, Cuba, the show has got the big, glittering musical numbers, including “Luck Be A Lady,” “A Bushel and a Peck” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

It’s also got the credentials: premiering on Broadway in 1950, “Guys and Dolls” won the Tony Award for Best Musical that year, and has since seen several revivals, as well as a 1955 Hollywood film starring Brando, Sinatra and Simmons.

Atlantic Light’s version also has a worthy cast: “Republic of Doyle” actress Krystin Pellerin, home from Toronto; singer/songwriter/radio host Dana Parsons, who’s a regular in the theatre company’s productions; “Jesus Christ Superstar” alumnus Justin Nurse; Spirit of Newfoundland’s Peter Halley; and more, performing under Mackey Graham’s direction.

Along with the cast, the production will star a pit orchestra led by Vaughan, who is the music director.

“A dazzling, high-energy musical filled with hilarious scenes and fabulous characters” is how Atlantic Light describes the show.
Since debuting with “Les Misérables,” Atlantic Light has produced versions of Broadway shows such as “Spamalot,” “Sister Act” and “Billy Elliot,” and last fall produced a sold-out run of “A Call to Arms.” The latter was an original musical by Petrina Bromley based on the true story of Lieut. Stephen Norris of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

The theatre company released an extra block of tickets for “Guys and Dolls,” which is almost sold out, on Tuesday. They’re available at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre box office, by calling 729-3900 and online at www.artsandculturecentre.com.


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