LOWELL – Greater Lowell Music Theatre (GLMT)
founders Jack Neary, Leon Grande and Phyllis George will stage an all-time favorite, Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls,” on Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13 at Durgin Hall on UMass Lowell’s South Campus.
A company of 50 singers, dancers, actors and musicians will bring songs like “Luck Be A Lady,” “If I Were A Bell” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” to life on the Durgin stage. In addition to UMass Lowell graduates Neary and Grande, the production features two current students and 13 alumni in the orchestra and cast. Nationally known singer/actress Mara Bonde will play Sarah Brown, the Mission Doll swept off her feet by the dashing Sky Masterson (Newburyport’s Rob Carroll.)
“Guys and Dolls” will be GLMT’s third production in partnership with the UMass Lowell Center for Arts and Ideas. Last August, the company drew more than 700 people to a concert version of Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” to Durgin Hall, which is located at 35 Wilder St. In March, GLMT brought “The Melody Cavalcade,” a live-on-stage radio show, to the university’s Fisher Recital Hall. Audiences reacted enthusiastically to both shows and GLMT has plans to expand its season of productions to three per year beginning in November 2013.
“UMass Lowell encourages creativity and entrepreneurship, whether in the development of new medical devices or a start-up musical theater,” said Paul Marion, the university’s executive director of community relations and co-director of the Center for Arts and Ideas. “We are enthusiastic about these vibrant productions that feature the best in regional talent and showcase our alumni and students. The assembled talent is extraordinary. The audiences are uplifted. Greater Lowell Music Theatre is making an essential place for itself in the local creative industry.”
“The Greater Lowell area will benefit greatly by having an affordable professional musical theater in its backyard, and with the help of UMass Lowell, we look forward to continuing to offer just that,” said Donna White, the theater’s newly appointed managing director.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring a high level of musical theater to the Greater Lowell area. We have a wonderful creative team and have attracted some terrific professional Boston singers, dancers and actors, as well as the highest level of local talent,” said Music Director and Co-Founder Leon Grande of Dracut. “‘Guys and Dolls’ provides us with a tremendous opportunity to deliver a brilliant comic script along with some of the best music ever written for the stage to the Greater Lowell audience.”
Neary, a Lowell-born playwright whose work has been produced internationally, has had a long career as a stage director, actor and theater administrator.
“We at GLMT have been delighted with the support and encouragement we’ve received from Paul Marion and his staff at UMass Lowell,” Neary said. “A venture as challenging as ours cannot succeed without the kind of structural integrity Paul and his staff provide. We look forward to a continued relationship with UMass Lowell.”
“It's hard to determine who enjoys the GLMT’s productions more, the audience or the cast. In any case, the producers choose from among the list of Broadway’s greatest musicals and everyone has a rollicking good time,” said Dick Flavin, Boston television legend and multiple Emmy Award winner who has appeared in both GLMT shows to date.
Tickets for “Guys and Dolls” are $25 for the general public and $15 for senior citizens and students, and are available on the Greater Lowell Music Theatre website, www.glmt.org
. The box office phone number is 978-319-8867. GLMT, still in its “startup” phase, continues to seek donations and sponsorships. Please call the box office number or visit the website to contribute or advertise.