Don’t Miss Lost Baggage Musical Theatre’s latest Production at Arts Court

Inspired by Damon Runyon’s short stories from the 1920s and 1930s, the musical Guys and Dolls features music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and is based on a book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. It garnered four Tony Awards in 1951, a fifth in 1991 and remains a beloved Broadway classic.

The good people at Lost Baggage Musical Theatre are staging a rendition of this show at Arts Court Theatre through Sunday, April 28th.

I have a strong appreciation for theatre, which is magnified when it comes to local theatre. There is something wonderful about seeing your ‘neighbours’ who have dedicated so much time in the months leading up to showtime to rehearsing and preparing to bring their show to a live audience.

The story opens with gambler Nathan Detroit (Fenton Ho), who is trying to set up a craps game while the police (Matt Easterbrook) are hot on his heels. Nathan is a nice guy trying to be a good man to his fiancé of 14 years, Adelaide (Nicole Rumble). Yes, 14 years!

Nathan reaches out to Sky Masterson (Peter Graves), another gambler, for help securing the money needed to set up the game. Sky has some distractions of his own, including Sarah Brown (Rebecca Russell), a missionary who doesn’t seem like the type of woman Sky would be interested in.

As someone unfamiliar with Guys and Dolls, I enjoyed this production. From a set perspective, it’s very minimal. The characters and costumes do a great job of letting the audience know where they are at any given moment.

I caught the production on opening night, and as such, there were some minor audio issues, but I shrugged that off as ‘working out the kinks.’

What didn’t need to be worked out were the performances. Nicole Rumble was hilarious as Miss Adelaide and delivered some of the funniest lines in the show. Fento Ho’s Nathan Detroit worked well opposite her, and you could feel his inner tension navigating trying to be a good man to Adelaide but also being drawn into the ‘crap game life.’

Peter Graves is well-cast in the role of Sky Masterson. Whether it was his booming voice or overall presence in his scenes, he effortlessly took over the stage. Rebecca Russell was great as Sarah Brown. Her powerful voice was a big hit with the opening night audience, and I am confident it will continue throughout the other shows.

The supporting cast was very strong. Whether it was the one-liners from the gentlemen at the craps games or the hot box dancer and their fun choreography, this show has a lot to offer.

Intangibles like the Arts Court audience, who demonstrated a level of enthusiasm you don’t usually see in this city, make a show like Guys and Dolls a must-see. Whether the audience was family members or local theatre fans, it didn’t matter. Lost Baggage Musical Theatre delivered an entertaining and strong performance.

Ottawa is finally getting some nice weather, but Guys and Dolls is only showing this weekend, so do yourself a favour and head to Arts Court to check out an extremely enjoyable show.

Click here to get your tickets, or visit for more information.