‘Guys and Dolls’ coming to Pine-Richland stage
“Guys and Dolls” isn’t the easiest musical for high school students to tackle, which is why producer Kathy Morrissey said it wasn’t initially a title they were considering for this year’s show.
“We always hold auditions first to see who comes out and what kind of dynamic there is with the people we’re casting, then we pick a show based around everybody that we have,” Morrissey said. “(Guys and Dolls) was not even on our radar, but the boys that we had, we knew that they’d be able to pull it off because it’s a really hard show between the dialect and the dancing.”
Pine-Richland students will perform the musical comedy beginning March 8.
The cast features 56 students, 26 student orchestra members and 35 crew members. The musical first opened on Broadway in 1950, won a Tony Award and later spawned a movie starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine.
Senior Tyler Hepner is playing Sky Masterson, the role which Brando portrayed in the film. Sky is a notorious high-rolling gambler who finds an unlikely love match with a missionary named Sarah Brown. The role has been a fun challenge for Hepner.
“Sky is so cool, and he’s so in control of himself emotionally and physically, and, whenever he’s in a room, everyone knows he’s in a room,” Hepner said. “He has a presence about him that’s so fun to play. (Filling that presence) is the coolest part, but it’s also the hardest part.”
Junior Meghan Wilson plays Sarah, and she’s also enjoying learning her character and the progression she goes through as the musical goes on.
“The show is so interesting for my character because she’s a missionary,” Wilson said. “She starts kind of reserved and not liking Sky, so it’s a really interesting jump from her character at the beginning toward the end, especially with the music. Her songs toward the beginning are softer and higher, and then she goes to Havana and it gets loud and brassy. It’s really fun. And everyone in the cast is so amazing and has made it such a great experience.”
Senior Seamus Daniello plays Nathan Detroit, who is searching for a place to host his crap game while avoiding the authorities, and his long-suffering fiancee, Adelaide, is played by senior Amara Busa. Nathan makes a $1,000 bet with Sky that he won’t get Sarah to agree to come to Havana with him in order to finance his game.
The show features a number of well-known musical numbers, including “Luck Be a Lady Tonight,” made famous by Sinatra as Nathan Detroit in the movie version, “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” and “A Bushel and a Peck.”
“It’s so funny, and it’s very unique in the way it’s structured,” Morrissey said. “It’s a lot of little vignettes that fit together, and there’s so many unique places. It’s in the sewers, it’s in Times Square, it’s in Havana, which is a place that is so foreign to these kids. So Havana is very exotic to all of them. And it’s a lot of different styles because we have the Havana and the salsa dancing, then the stylized New York dancing.”