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More Covid: Good Company’s ‘Guys and Dolls’ postponed to Jan. 20

Good Company Players

The Omicron surge continues to disrupt the local performing arts scene. Good Company Players, which last week had to postpone the opening of “Months on End” at the 2nd Space Theatre because of too many positive Covid-19 tests among cast members, is moving back the opening date of “Guys and Dolls” at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater as well.

“Guys and Dolls” was supposed to open Thursday, Jan. 13. It will now open Jan. 20.

“Crossed fingers don’t ward off positive tests,” said managing director Dan Pessano.

The “Guys and Dolls” cast had four members test positive as of Wednesday, but it’s possible that some who had also been in the previous musical, “Elf,” may have been exposed in that setting.

“We are watching the exposure period and waiting on test results and can’t find enough rapid tests to feel good about at least confirming the difference between a cold and Covid,” Pessano said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, “Months on End” was still planning to make its rescheduled Thursday opening.

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The latest Covid-19 rush is having a tremendous impact on actors’ psyches. Last week, in response to the “Months” postponement, director Julie Lucido wrote on Facebook: “When we are all brought up the show goes on, no matter what, these times are really messing with our core beings.”

Her cast and crew was pushing through the challenges, but it takes a toll, she continued. “It is so hard to make it happen in this time — my cast is so special pushing through the challenges of this week — my understudies are super heroes — the costume shop — the entire company at Good Company Players fighting to make shows happen and navigate while keeping the arts alive and staying in business.”

Indeed, the theater world is famed for its determination to proceed despite illness or injury. Cancellations on Broadway (until Covid-19) are exceedingly rare. The same applies to Good Company Players, which in its 49-year history has almost never canceled a show. There are legendary tales of GCP actors continuing to perform after breaking bones, or contracting walking pneumonia, or running off stage to throw up between scenes. There is a willingness to “play hurt” that is ingrained in the culture and hard to overcome. That is the most painful part of the situation, Pessano said.


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But Covid has upended some of those sacred rituals. And there’s no escaping the virus, it seems, even if it is a less lethal variant.

“We are such a close group physically and emotionally that we share the exposure,” Pessano said.

Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

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