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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

SJU Theatre Company performs classic romantic comedy musical 

Hot Box Dancers Heavenly Perez ’24 and Juliet Gentilucci ’24 getting ready for a performance of “Guys and Dolls.” PHOTO COURTESY OF SJU THEATRE COMPANY

The SJU Theatre Company will perform its spring musical “Guys and Dolls” this week in Bluett Theatre on the Hawk Hill campus. 

 Featuring music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and a book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling, “Guys and Dolls” is a comedic romance set in Manhattan, New York. Composed in 1950, the musical follows the experiences of Nathan Detroit, a notorious swindler played by Jeff Russell ’24. Nathan makes a bet that Sky Masterson, played by Giacomo Badalamenti ’24, can’t take a woman of his choice to Havana, Cuba. 

The show is directed by Renee Dobson, M.F.A., associate professor of theater and artistic director of Bluett. Dobson said “Guys and Dolls,” written during the golden age of musical theatre, is a more traditional musical, reminiscent of old Broadway shows.  

“It really summarizes and highlights a very different time than we have today,” Dobson said. “I find the show to be charming in a way that it’s almost like a Valentine to old-fashioned New York and Broadway.”

One of the musical’s notable aspects, Dobson said, is its comedic scenes, specifically those between the lead characters, Nathan and Adelaide, played by Caroline Patterson ’23.

“I think it’s great to have the students work on creating that comedy and creating the character relationships,” Dobson said. 

Patterson, who has been involved with the SJU Theatre Company since she was a first-year student, describes her character as “lighthearted.” The show itself, Patterson said, is a lot of fun.  

“There’s not much of a deeper meaning,” Patterson said. “My character Adelaide just wants to get married, and I’m trying to convince my fiancé. And then there’s another couple in the show. They actually fall in love.  So there’s two different kinds of love stories going on.” 

Dan Keegan ’24, managing director of the show, who oversees the production, said the musical will appeal to various audiences with its wide array of scenes. 

“There’s huge dance numbers for those who are interested in that,” Keegan said. “There’s really funny jokes for those who are just into comedy, and also a classic love story for the month of February, for those interested in Valentine’s Day stuff.”

While “Guys and Dolls” may be a classic musical, Keegan said it is exactly what a modern audience needs.

“I really think putting on a good story for people to just be taken away for two hours is something really important and needed, especially in the times that we’re living in,” said Keegan. “Two hours can really change someone’s day.”

“Guys and Dolls” runs Feb. 16, 17 and 18 at 8 p.m and Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased via email and Venmo 24 hours in advance, or at the door by cash or check only.

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Hannah Pajtis
Hannah Pajtis, News Editor
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