Guys and Dolls

Set in 1950’s New York, Guys & Dolls follows a host of Damon Runyon’s colorful and sometimes eccentric characters in a humorous and touching story based around the bright lights and shady corners of Times Square. It is “a musical fable of Broadway.” The characters are vividly drawn, sometimes wise, often funny, with their own idiosyncratic ‘Runyan’ language and wise cracks. The whole show is varnished with a gloss of light-hearted charm and well-meaning.

Location and Dates

September 29 – October 1 and October 5-8, 2017

The Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Avenue

Audition Information

Auditions:  At The Cary Arts Center, 101 Dry Avenue
Monday and Tuesday, August 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. (Paperwork: 6:30, Orientation: 7:00)

Saturday, August 12 (scheduled throughout the day from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

Download an audition form and conflict calendar from the Cary Players web site.  (  Bring these completed forms and a recent photo.  (Either a snapshot or headshot.)

Prepare 16 bars of a show tune that highlights the best features of your voice. Bring the sheet music for the accompanist to play. Sorry, no karaoke tracks!  The production team needs to know how well you sing with live music, because the show will feature a live band.

After a brief orientation at 7 p.m., you will do a physical warm-up and learn a simple choreography combination. Dress in clothing that you can move comfortably in.

CALLBACKS: Reading from the script, vocalizing, and singing snippets from the score.

Audition Form

Conflict Calendar


In the twilight world of gangsters and their molls, Nathan Detroit is losing his grip on the institution of the floating ‘crap game’ (his dice gambling scheme that switches venue to avoid detection by the local police). He is desperate to find the money to pay for the only location that he can currently get his hands on. To seal the deal and quell the tempers of the gangsters who are gathering in town and keen to ‘shoot crap,’ he bets his buddy, Sky Masterson, a thousand dollars that Sky will not be able to take a local Salvation Army girl, Sarah Brown, on a date to Havana.

Meanwhile Nathan, engaged for 14 years to cabaret artist Miss Adelaide, is struggling to keep her demands for marriage at bay, while she continues to battle with the symptoms of an incessant psychosomatic cold that plagues her all the time she is waiting to go down the aisle.

Sarah isn’t taken in by Sky’s obvious charm and brushes off his advances until it becomes clear that her struggling Salvation Army mission will be closed by General Cartwright, if it doesn’t prove itself to be more successful in attracting the local population of ‘sinners.’ Because Sky has promised her that one dozen of his comrades will show up at a forthcoming prayer meeting, she is convinced to travel with him to Cuba where, under the influence of alcohol, her defenses slip and they realize that they are falling in love.

After returning to New York, Sarah discovers that, unbeknown to Sky, Nathan and his buddies have been using the empty mission as a site for the crap game. Sarah feels duped, and Adelaide is furious that Nathan can’t give their relationship priority over his gambling habits. At a crap game held in the sewers of New York, Sky bets all the members of the floating crap game that if he wins his roll of the dice, they must join him at the mission to repent their sins. After winning his bet, and after Sarah and Adelaide plot to reform their respective lovers after marriage, the mission is saved by a successful prayer meeting led by Nicely’s gospel-like confession. The couples tie the knot in a joyous double wedding.

Age ranges: The playing ages are a rough guide. When casting roles, we consider the relative ages of performers cast in those roles that require the audience to believe in particular relationships (for example, romantic partnerships, couples, family relationships, and work roles). Therefore, your suitability for casting might depend on the ‘playing age’ of the person you are being cast opposite.

Sky Masterson: Male. Baritone B to Eb. Playing age: 26 – 38.
Charismatic, cool, and charming. Sky is a suave, intelligent, and confident gangster who naturally commands others’ respect and attention. Handsome, with buckets of stage presence and sex appeal, he is familiar with attracting the attention of the ladies, but finds himself falling in love with the one woman who brushes off his advances. He surprises himself by discarding his spontaneous, freewheeling lifestyle for a conventional romance. Some dance/movement ability would be useful (though not essential) for the crap-shooting sequence.

Sarah Brown: Female. Soprano to High A. Playing age: 18 – 35.
Conventional, respectable, and principled, Sarah is initially a little too buttoned-up for her own good. She has a genuine passion for her calling and compassion for her ‘fold,’ but gives Sky an initial frosty response. The actress playing this role must be able to play convincingly drunk, when, under the influence of alcohol, she allows her straight-laced persona to slip and falls exuberantly and madly in love. She goes on a journey of reconciling her feelings with her beliefs, and changing some of her prejudices so that her head can follow her heart.

Nathan Detroit: Male. Baritone to High F. Playing age: 35 – 50.
Organizer of the floating crap game. With a tendency towards neuroticism, Nathan is a lovable rogue who is always struggling to stay one step ahead of the pack and looking for the big break that he never seems to get. Funny, frustrated, but romantic, his heart is torn between the camaraderie of his gambling circle and the woman he loves.

Adelaide: Female. Mezzo to A. Playing age: 30 – 40.
Lead performer at the ‘Hot Box,’ a somewhat tacky and dodgy cabaret joint. Strong comic actress required with dancing ability and ability to carry off a skimpy showgirl costume. She spends the whole show with the symptoms of a cold, acting through sneezes and congestion. She adores Nathan, but is driven crazy by his antics with the gambling ring and having been engaged to him for 15 years.

Nicely Nicely Johnson: Male. Tenor to high B flat. Playing age: 30 – 50.
Best pal to Nathan Detroit. With a voracious appetite and boundless enthusiasm, Nicely is ‘nice’ by nature and name. Comic, cheerful, and likeable, he delivers hilarious one-liners and a big, Broadway showstopper (Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat) with equal aplomb.

Benny Southstreet: Male. Baritone. Playing age: 25 – 55.
Nicely’s pal with whom he sings the duet Guys & Dolls and trio Fugue for Tinhorns. Upbeat, sometimes nervy, he is more of a novice in the gangster business and further down the pecking order.

Harry the Horse: Male. Playing age: 25-55.
Tough. Harry came into money by collecting the reward on his father (!). Sidekick and mouthpiece to Big Jule, so, though a pleasant rogue, he is more on the ball and can be a cool customer who can stand his ground when necessary. Sings with ensemble, but not alone.

Big Jule: Male. Speaking role. Playing age: 35+.
Powerful, intimidating, high-status gangster from out of town, whose reputation precedes him. A man of few words but much clout. There is comedy in his straight-talking bluntness. Usually played by an actor of large height and stature to match his name, but can be played a diminutive actor as an ironic and comic gesture.

Arvide Abernathy: Male. Baritone. Playing age: 50+.
Sarah’s grandfather and significant member of the Salvation Army mission. Wise, warm, and caring. Sings a solo song.

Rusty Charlie: Male. Baritone. Playing age: 20s and above.
Sings the trio Fugue for Tinhorns with Nicely & Benny.

Lt. Brannigan: Male. Playing age: 35+.
Member of the local police force, wise to the gangsters’ exploits, and trying to keep them in order. Commands respect from Nathan and the guys. Sings with ensemble, but not alone.

General Matilda B. Cartwright: Female. Mezzo. Playing age: 40 – 65.
Regional representative of the Salvation Army. Powerful, matronly, no-nonsense, with a formidable presence and, it transpires, a sense of humor.

Hot Box Girls: Female. Playing age: 16 – 35
We are looking for eight females to form this chorus of performers who back-up Adelaide in her night-club act. Strong dancing, singing, and character performance required. They perform two numbers with Adelaide. One number involves taking off garments to reveal a showgirl outfit. They will double in other aspects of the female ensemble.

Ensemble: The characters of Times Square, gangsters, and their molls, Salvation Army personnel, and other cameos make up the ensemble.  We are looking for strong performers who can create individual, well-drawn characters. Featured male and female dancers will be used in the Havana Sequence and male dancers for the Crapshooters Dance. Cameo roles (including Joey Biltmore, Agatha, Angie the Ox, Liver Lips Louie, Waiter, and so on) will be cast from the ensemble.

The production with be directed and choreographed by Nancy Rich, with music direction by Darylene Hecht.   Production coordinators for the show are Debra Grannan and Jenny Robson.  If you are interested in volunteering for a backstage opportunity or being part of the production team please send an email to