Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls: Based on two short stories by David Runyon, this Tony winning musical follows gangster Sky Masterson as he tries to win the affections of religious missionary Sarah Brown. Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser.

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The Costumer is proud to provide quality and Adult and Children’s rental costumes for productions of Guys and Dolls! Group costume rentals for Guys and Dolls cover the entire ensemble, from leads like Nathan Detroit, Sky Masterson, Sarah Brown, and Miss Adelaide, to ensemble crapshooters, Mission Band Players, and Hot Box Girls. We’ll have every cast member in Runyonland strutting down Broadway dressed to the nines!

Guys and Dolls is based on two short stories by Damon Runyon, “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure,” however it also borrows characters and elements from several of Damon Runyon’s other Broadway fables such as “Pick the Winner.” The story centers around Runyon’s depictions of gangsters, gamblers, showgirls, missionaries, and other unique characters tied to New York City’s underworld of the 1920’s and 1930’s. The Tony award winning musical’s book was written by Jo Swerling and Abe Borrows, with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser.

The story of Guys and Dolls follows gambler Nathan Detroit as he desperately tries to organize an illegal floating crap game. He must find a secluded place for the game away from the prying eyes of local police officer Lt. Brannigan, so he settles on the Biltmore Garage. However, owner, Joey Biltmore, requires that Nathan pay a $1000 security deposit to host the game. Seeing as how he is broke, Nathan decides to acquire the money by making a $1000 bet with high rolling gambler, Sky Masterson. Nathan proposes an outlandish bet that he is certain he cannot lose: Sky must take a woman of Nathan’s choice to dinner in Havana, Cuba. Nathan settles on the pious and beautiful Save-A-Soul Mission member, Sergeant Sarah Brown.

As the sly Sky Masterson attempts to win the bet and the heart of Miss Sarah Brown, Nathan must reconcile with his fiancée of fourteen years and the star of the showgirls at the tantalizing Hot Box, Adelaide, who continues to pressure Nathan to quit the crap game and finally settle down and tie the knot. The story comes to a head as Sky and Sarah begin to fall for each other, the easily displeased and murderous gangster Big Jule comes to town looking for the crap game, Lt. Brannigan closes in on the crapshooters, and Nathan’s relationship with Adelaide is at stake.

From scene to scene, The Costumer will provide every actor with quality costumes accurate to the style of the time period and show, and the director’s creative vision. From the show’s opening number, “Runyonland,” the audience will be transported back in time to the era of Damon Runyon’s stories with a wide variety of era accurate costumes. From pick pockets in poor man’s garb, to gangsters in pinstripe and plaid two piece suits, bobby soxers in sweet sweaters and delightful cricle skirts, prize fighters in sporting attire prepping for the big fight, and so much more. With the help of The Costumer, the audience will be drawn into the glitz and glamour of this mystical Broadway scene.

After the opening of “Runyonland,” the scene transitions to three gambling gangster; the portly Nicely Nicely Johnson, the restless Benny Southstreet, and the crafty Rusty Charlie. The three gamblers argue over bets for horses on racing forms in the number, “Fugue for Tinhorns.” The beautiful Sergeant Sarah Brown and her grandfather, Arvide, lead their faithful missionaries down Broadway, calling for the gambling sinners and lawbreakers of Broadway to repent and “Follow the Fold.” Clad in The Costumer’s Save a Soul Mission Band uniforms, the pious missionaries offer a stark contrast to the inhabitants of Broadway’s seedy underbelly.

Nicely Nicely and Benny are soon accosted by the burly Lt. Brannigan of the New York City police department, who offers a stern reminder to the men that he is watching and clamping down on the illegal floating crap game of their employer, Nathan Detroit. Nathan soon springs onto the scene, clad in the suit and fedora of a savvy conman with a sense style, looking to salvage hope of a crap game. He has found only one spot to host the forbidden game, the Biltmore Garage; however, Joey Biltmore requires a $1000 security deposit. This poses a major obstacle, for Nathan is broke.

Benny and Nicely lift the spirits of their downtrodden boss in the number, “The Oldest Established,” thus Nathan is inspired to secure the money for the game by suckering in a big spender into a bet he cannot lose. His sights fall on Sky Masterson, a suave high roller adorned in a dark and stylish suit and fedora, who has just rolled back into town. Nathan bets Sky $1000 to take out a woman of Nathan’s choosing on a date to Havana, Cuba. Sky accepts, and Nathan chooses the passing Sergeant Sarah Brown, confident that Masterson has no hope of succeeding.

Sky visits Miss Sarah at the Mission posing as a sinner looking to repent and save his soul. He proposes to her that he will bring “one dozen genuine sinners” to the failing Mission’s next meeting if she accompanies him on a date to Havana. Sarah refuses and tells him that she plans to fall in love with a moral man, while Sky replies that he will be surprised when he falls in love, in the number “I’ll Know.” Sky kisses her and Sarah slaps him.

Meanwhile, Nathan goes to the burlesque club, The Hot Box, to watch his fiancée of 14 years, Adelaide perform her act, “A Bushel and a Peck.” Adelaide and her fellow Hot Box girls are dressed in matching farmerette gingham dresses and straw hats. After the performance, Adelaide emerges from backstage in a fashionable dressing gown, then proceeds to argue with Nathan about getting married, and is mortified to learn that he is still holding the crap game. Adelaide then consults her medical book, believe that her chronic cold is a psychosomatic symptom to her vexation with Nathan failing to marry her.

After all of this action, the first act of our story has not even concluded! This is only a small scene by scene breakdown of this incredible story and the world that The Costumer can help you create with our fabulous costumes. Request your free costume plot from The Costumer today!