QUESTION: Five years after Guys and Dolls originally appeared on Broadway in 1950 it became a popular film starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Vivian Blaine and Jean Simmons. Which of these four stars was the only actor to perform in the original Broadway line-up?
A) Frank Sinatra
B) Marlon Brando
C) Vivian Blaine
D) Jean Simmons
Last Friday, the American Treasure Tour blog acknowledged the wonderful watercolor painting of Kiss Me Kate - one of many pieces created by the artist John Savidge to celebrate the most popular musicals to ever play on Broadway. As we mentioned, Kiss Me Kate won the first Tony Award presented for Best Musical. That was in 1949. Guys and Dolls won the same award in 1951. It also would have won the Puliter Prize for Drama that year; unfortunately, there was an anti-Communist hysteria overwhelming the nation at that time, and one of the writers, Abe Burrows, was under investigation by the House Un-American Activities Commission (HUAAC). The Drama Prize was not awarded at all that year due to the controversy.
The play provides a delightful story of city dwellers who may not have the best of intentions at the beginning of the performance, but reveal themselves to be morally upright and genuine citizens by its end. Gangsters and gamblers, dancers and mission workers all work together to improve their little corner of the big urban jungle. The most famous song to emerge from Frank Loesser's music is unquestionably "Luck Be A Lady," popularized by Frank Sinatra after his movie performance alongside Marlon Brando, Vivian Blaine and Jean Simmons in 1955. At the time, Brando was the most popular actor in Hollywood and MGM was desperate to get him in the film. Meanwhile, Sinatra was desperate to get the roll of Sky in the film. Word is that the two actors did not get along very well, but the film did do quite well. According to some reports, it was the biggest moneymaking film of 1956, and garnered four Academy Award nominations.
ANSWER: Vivian Blaine