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Cast bursting with talent as Fox Chapel presents 'Guys and Dolls'

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Herald
Fox Chapel orchestra conductor Marie Cooper rehearses for the upcoming musical. Jan Pakler | for The Herald
The Herald
Fox Chapel students Dan Krackhardt, Henry Tram and Sam Schanwald rehearse scene from 'Fugue of Ten Horns' singing about betting on a horse race in upcoming musical 'Guys and Dolls.' Jan Pakler | for The Herald
The Herald
Fox Chapel student Simon Schaitkin plays lead role of gambler Nathan Detroit. Jan Pakler | for The Herald
The Herald
Shay Guntrie-Belajac plays the role of missionary Sarah Brown with her mission band playing on the streets of NYC during highs school musical 'Guys and Dolls.' Jan Pakler | for The Herald

There is enough talent in this year's Fox Chapel Area High School spring musical that director Craig Cannon said he could have double cast it.

“Guys and Dolls,” the Tony-Award winning musical that ran for an epic 1,200 performances on Broadway, will hit the stage March 14 to 17, at the high school along Field Club Road.

The curtain rises at 7 p.m. the first three nights and then for a 2 p.m. matinee on the final day.

Tickets cost $13 and will be sold at the door if available. Visit web.fcasd.edu/tickets to reserve tickets in advance.

“As unglamorous as this may sound, one of the reasons we chose it is because we have such a great number of supremely talented boys,” said Cannon, in his 34th show at the high school. “This is not always the case, not just at Fox Chapel Area, but at any high school.”

Cannon said the decision of which students landed the bigger roles was tough.

“There just happens to be a large number of boys who have the whole package. They can sing, dance and act,” he said.

“Guys and Dolls” was written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows and features the music and lyrics of Frank Loesser.

Some of the most recognizable songs include “A Bushel and a Peck,” and “Luck Be a Lady,” which quickly conjure up notions of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack in Las Vegas.

Set in 1950s New York City, the show follows gamblers, hustlers and those who want to leave the glamorous life, which includes tangles with the law, and instead look for domestic bliss.

Cannon said he thinks it is one of the quintessential American musicals, with a string of hit song and broad box-office appeal.

Hannah Pauley, 16, has long loved performing for family and friends. That's why she initially decided to audition for the high school musical, for which she landed the role of Miss Adelaide, a showgirl who wants nothing more than to marry her fiancé, Nathan Detroit.

“The spring musical is such a unique experience,” said Pauley, a junior. “You learn how to work with others, think on your toes, solve problems and express yourself.”

Pauley said the experience lasts much longer than the weekend of the production.

“You create an irreplaceable bond. Not only are you with them every second of every day, but everyone is working toward (a similar goal),” she said.

With rehearsals running two months prior to show time, students in the cast, crew and orchestra sacrifice much of their free time after school and on weekends.

Pauley said it can be a struggle.

“We manage our rigorous schedule with school work, sports and other activities,” she said. “Each person is so supportive of one another and it is well worth it in the end.

“You are surrounded by people that you love, which creates such a wonderful environment.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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