Masquers Theater announces 2019-20 season

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  • File photo Cheri Barbre, left and Rosalee Chamberlain in last season’s Masquers production of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace.’

  • 1

    File photo Last season’s Masquers Theater production of ‘I Hate Shakespeare,’ brought the Bard to hilarious life. This year’s season promises to be just as much fun.

  • 2

    File photo Allison Pheasant and Jeremy Hansen charmed audiences in the Masquers production of ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ last season. This year’s slate kicks off with ‘Guys and Dolls.’

  • File photo Cheri Barbre, left and Rosalee Chamberlain in last season’s Masquers production of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace.’

  • 1

    File photo Last season’s Masquers Theater production of ‘I Hate Shakespeare,’ brought the Bard to hilarious life. This year’s season promises to be just as much fun.

  • 2

    File photo Allison Pheasant and Jeremy Hansen charmed audiences in the Masquers production of ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ last season. This year’s slate kicks off with ‘Guys and Dolls.’

SOAP LAKE — The story of the oldest permanent temporary crap game in New York, the guys that run it and the dolls that love them will come to the Masquers stage in October. The cast has been announced for “Guys and Dolls,” which opens Oct. 18.

Nathan Detroit (Andrew Covarrubias in the Masquers production) is the purveyor of the aforementioned temporary permanent gambling opportunity. The trouble is, the game’s normal location has been raided by the cops, and Nathan needs a new spot – quick.

But a nice quiet spot for an illegal game doesn’t come cheap. So Nathan makes a bet with his buddy Sky Masterson (Adam Zaleski), who will take pretty much any action, so long as it’s honest.

Nathan challenges Sky’s ability with the ladies, betting him he can’t take a girl of Nathan’s choosing to Havana for a date. Ah, but Nathan has an angle. He chooses Sarah Brown (Allison Pheasant), leader at the Gospel mission down the street. That will put Sky to the test.

Unfortunately for Nathan, he has romantic troubles of his own. His longtime fiancée (Jamie Cordell) is getting a little impatient – and Nathan is (gulp) falling for her.

And of course there’s the crap game. The gamblers too are getting impatient, which is bad for everybody, especially Nathan and Sky.

“Guys and Dolls” is directed by Cheri Barbre, with Joey Hernandez as the musical director.

The company also announced its plays for the 2019-20 season. The annual Christmas production opens Dec. 7. “Tracking Santa” follows the Channel 8 news crew stuck with working Christmas Eve. Every news crew has to pretend to track Santa that night – but wait, what’s that on the station’s new computer? Could that – gulp, could that really be Santa?

“You Can’t Take It With You” opens Feb. 14. The play first premiered in 1936 and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937. The play follows the fortunes of a New York family, and that fortune might take a hit, since Grandpa has never paid his taxes. In the meantime his granddaughter Alice wants to bring home her new boyfriend Tony. But how does she explain the uncle who makes fireworks in the basement or the aunt who wants to be a ballerina but can’t dance? And that’s just the beginning of the family eccentricities.

The company’s production of “Present Laughter” opens April 17. Garry Essendine is a well-known actor who’s – gasp – turning 40. He’s also planning a trip to Africa, dealing with his ex-wife and his business partners, and trying to get rid of some pesky admirers. Man, it gets complicated.

The season winds up with “Moon Over Buffalo,” opening June 5. It’s the story of a traveling acting troupe, playing at a repertory theater in Buffalo, hardly the center of the acting world. But they could be getting their big break – except the leading man has been playing around on his wife, there’s a broken engagement, somebody gets tied up, and the show doesn’t quite go on.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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