Friday, November 24, 2000

November 24, 1950: Guys and Dolls opened on Broadway

Originally posted August 11, 2008. Last updated September 4, 2018.

Guys and Dolls (cast/soundtrack)

Frank Loesser (composers)

Opened on Broadway: November 24, 1950

Cast Album Recorded: December 3, 1950

Cast Album Released: January 8, 1951

Soundtrack Released: November 3, 1955


Sales (in millions):
US: --
UK: --
IFPI: --
World (estimated): --


Peak:
US: 1 1-C
UK: --
Canada: --
Australia: --

C cast album
S soundtrack

Quotable: --


Genre: show tunes


Album Tracks – Cast Album:

  1. Runyonland Music/ Fugue for Tinhorns/ Follow the Fold
  2. The Oldest Established
  3. I’ll Know
  4. A Bushel and a Peck
  5. Adelaide’s Lament
  6. Guys and Dolls
  7. If I Were a Bell
  8. My Time of Day
  9. I’ve Never Been in Love Before
  10. Take Back Your Mink
  11. More I Cannot Wish You
  12. Luck Be a Lady
  13. Sue Me
  14. Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat
  15. Reprise: Guys and Dolls

Album Tracks – Cast Album:

  1. Overture (JACK BLACKTON)
  2. Fugue for Tinhorns (STUBBY KAYE / FRANK SINATRA)
  3. Follow the Fold (JEAN SIMMONS)
  4. The Oldest Established Floating Crap Game in New York (STUBBY KAYE / JOHNNY SILVER / FRANK SINATRA)
  5. I’ll Know (MARLON BRANDO / JEAN SIMMONS)
  6. Pet Me Poppa (VIVIAN BLAINE)
  7. Adelaide’s Lament (VIVIAN BLAINE)
  8. Guys and Dolls (STUBBY KAYE / JOHNNY SILVER / FRANK SINATRA)
  9. Adelaide (FRANK SINATRA)
  10. If I Were a Bell (MARLON BRANDO / JEAN SIMMONS)
  11. A Woman in Love (MARLON BRANDO / JEAN SIMMONS)
  12. Take Back Your Mink (VIVIAN BLAINE)
  13. Luck Be a Lady (MARLON BRANDO)
  14. Sue Me (VIVIAN BLAINE / FRANK SINATRA)
  15. Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat (STUBBY KAYE)
  16. Guys and Dolls Finale (JACK BLACKTON)

Singles/Hit Songs *:

A Bushel and a Peck
- Perry Como/Betty Hutton (1950) #3
- Margaret Whiting/Jimmy Wakely (1950) #6
- Doris Day (1950) #16
- Andrews Sisters (1950) #22
- Johnny Desmond (1950) #29

If I Were a Bell
- Frankie Laine (1950) #30

Luck Be a Lady
- Frank Sinatra (1965) --

* In the pre-rock era, it was common for multiple versions of Broadway songs to chart instead of the originals from the show itself. By 1964, musicals didn’t dominate the charts, but it was still more likely for a cover of a Broadway tune to chart than for the original.

Review:

Guys and Dolls, based on the stories of Damon Runyon about New York gamblers, became a stunning success upon its Broadway opening in 1950. While Abe Burrows’ libretto was much praised, the show's main asset is Frank Loesser’s songs, which are unfailingly tuneful and which accurately represent the vernacular of Runyon’s characters, from Fugue for Tinhorns, a trio song full of horse racing slang, to Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat, a revival meeting pastiche in which a gambler claims to have found salvation. Luck Be a Lady, a gambler’s ode to good fortune, became a standard.” WR

“Winning as these are, love songs such as I’ll Know and I’ve Never Been in Love Before are equally affecting. And that isn’t even to mention the songs that became contemporary hits, If I Were a Bell and A Bushel and a Peck.” WR

The show premiered on Broadway on November 24, 1950 and ran for 1200 performances. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical. It was selected as the winner of the 1951 Pulitzer Prize, but got vetoed because Abe Burrows had problems with the House Un-American Activities Committee. WK-C WR

The 1955 film adaptation starred Blaine along with Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, and Jean Simmons. Five songs from the stage musical were omitted from the movie and Loesser wrote three new songs for the film: Pet Me Poppa, Your Eyes Are the Eyes of a Woman in Love, and Adelaide. The last was written specifically with Sinatra in mind. WK-S


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