high school's fall production, "Guys and Dolls" runs this Thursday through Sunday in the Southwell Auditorium on the CCHS campus. Curtain times for the first three performances is 7:30 p.m.; the Sunday performance begins at 2:30 p.m.
The lead roles of this well-known romantic comedy are played by seniors Matt Deboodt as Nathan Detroit; Chelsea Callan as Adelaide; Justin Radabaugh as Sky Masterson; and Jessica Rau as Sarah Brown.
Supporting roles are played by junior Roy Hillman as Nicely Johnson; senior Sean Williams as Big Jule; sophomores James Connolly as Rustie Charlie and Logan Hall as Harry the Horse; and junior Andrew Claflin as Arvide Abernathy.
Adelaide, a night club entertainer and Nathan's fianc‚e, is backed up in her two song and dance numbers by "The Hot Box Girls": Senior Meridith Lundy, Juniors Lexie Grove, Sara Wee, Heather York, and Kelsey Claudson; Sophomore Whitney Welch; and freshmen Amy Loper, Stephanie Younger, and Kaci Jacobs. The determined police lieutenant Brannigan is played by sophomore Wyatt Brewster. Benny Southstreet, a gambler and supporting role, is portrayed by senior Mike Whitney.
These actors are supported by an onstage chorus of "guys and dolls" numbering around two dozen. "All together, we have almost 50 people in the cast", says director Lexie Tombleson. When asked why she chose this musical, Tombleson explained, "Actually, I've put off doing this particular show, even though I like it, because it does require such a large cast to produce the desired effect onstage. However, last year I had literally dozens of students trying out for "Godspell" (last year's musical) whom I knew would still be around this year. I like to give as many opportunities as I can for interested, motivated students to develop and show their skills onstage. So I finally relented and decided this was the year for "Guys and Dolls". I was really trusting God or fate or something, because I knew Blaine Cameron would be unable to do the musical direction this year. I was more than a little relieved, and excited, when I learned that Rick Johnson, our new choir teacher, was `interested in musicals' ".
Rick Johnson in fact has considerable love for and experience with musicals, including those on Broadway. The students have eagerly listened to all he has taught them, and are very appreciative of this exceptional opportunity: To work with and learn from a professional Broadway actor and musician.
Rounding out the directing team is choreographer Claudia Callan. This is her first time to work with a CCHS musical. "She's a lifesaver", Tombleson said. "She and Cindy Jones, our pianist, have saved Rick and me from certain insanity." Tombleson and Johnson would have liked to field a live orchestra for the production. Local music teacher and musician Maureen Suydam tried to do that, but musicians seem to be very busy people in general.
"Hopefully in the future, Maureen will be able to gather adults and/or students to play for the musicals. That's the next aspect of live theatre I'd like to incorporate into our productions," Tombleson said.
Some well-known songs from "Guys and Dolls" include: "I Love You a Bushel and a Peck"; "I've Never Been in Love Before", "If I Were a Bell"; "Adelaide's Lament", and probably the best known, "Luck Be a Lady".
All the costumes for the play have been gathered from vintage clothing sources or sewn by Cheryl Marletto, Meg Claflin, and Sue Williams. Lights and sound are under the expert hand of junior Alex Bjorvik; Doris Hillman has done much of the publicity.
Senior Justin Radabaugh has not only been preparing for the role of Sky Masterson, he has designed and built the rotating set for the play. "I guess he's carrying on the tradition of Derek Davis. Derek was D'Artagnan in last fall's production of "The Three Musketeers", and he designed and built the set for that. In fact, Justin was his right-hand man," remembers Tombleson.
For those who are unfamiliar with the play, it takes place in New York City in the 40s. Nathan Detroit is trying to find a spot for his illegal crap game and remain engaged_but not married_to Adelaide. Sky Masterson, a professional gambler, comes to town and gets tricked by Nathan into betting that he can take Mission Sergeant Sarah Brown on a date--- to Havana, Cuba.
To find out who wins, who loses, and what happens along the way_well, you'll have to see to the show.