What Audiences Should Know
Guys & Dolls
Recommended for ages 12 and up. As a courtesy to our guests, children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.
Approximate Running Time
Act I: 65 minutes.
Intermission: 15 minutes.
Act II: 55 minutes.
There is very mild use of obscene or offensive language – see the list below for details.
H*ll: spoken 3 times
Cr*ps: numerous (always in reference to the dice game)
This musical contains some physical violence and gun-play. Sarah punches Sky at the end of a scene in the first act. In Havana, a fight breaks out between Sarah, Sky, and a couple of Cuban dancers, which results in Sarah smashing a bottle of wine on a Cuban man's head. In the sewer during the second act, Big Jule is able to keep the gambling going by threatening everyone with a revolver. Sky punches Big Jule later in the scene.
As the title of the show would suggest, there are many jokes, innuendos, and euphemisms regarding love, marriage, and sex. Some of this material is based on Nathan and Adelaide, whose engagement of 14 years leads to tension between the two, ultimately ending in elopement, and, to keep Adelaide honest with her mother, there are references to how they will need to have 5-6 children to make her lies plausible. Adelaide is also employed at a nightclub called The Hot Box, where she works with several other sexy dancing girls. The rest of the sexual material comes from the relationship between Sky and Sarah, in which several scenes of playful banter and kisses are exchanged. All ends well for both couples at the end of the show.
This show was written and is set in the 1940's-1950's, and so there are attitudes and societal norms in the script which can be viewed from a modern perspective as misogynistic. The title song "Guys and Dolls" is a discussion between two gamblers, Benny and Nicely, in which they argue that whenever a guy behaves in a foolish way, it must be "because of some doll", rather than finding the men at fault for their own behavior. "Marry the Man Today", sung by Sarah and Adelaide near the end of the show, reinforces the notion that it is better for a woman to find a husband and alter him later, rather than be single (and therefore miserable) and wait around for someone better.
Drinkings, Drugs, and Smoking
The only instance of drinking onstage occurs when Sky and Sarah are in Havana. Sky and Sarah share a drink served in a coconut called the dulce de leche. Only after they consume and enjoy a half-dozen of these drinks does Sky tell her that dulce de leche contains Bacardi. Wine is also present at this Cuban establishment, a bottle of which is later smashed on a Cuban man's head.
Gambling, normally considered a vice, is central to the plot, as many of the characters are gamblers, including Nathan and Sky. They have a game of craps that floats to different locations in order to evade the police. Though it is not seen onstage, they use the Mission while Sarah is away in Cuba, and eventually the game is shown in the sewers of New York during the second act.
Families Can Talk About...
Guys and Dolls provides a good opportunity to speak with young people about love, marriage, romantic complications, and vices, and whether attitudes towards these subjects have changed or stayed the same.