Students become some very 'un-Lake Oswego types' in classic musical

Lake Oswego High School’s stage will be taken over by some very “un-Lake Oswego types” as students transform into New York City gamblers and chorus girls for the fall musical “Guys and Dolls,” opening tonight at 7 p.m. by: REVIEW PHOTOS: VERN UYETAKE - Appearing in the production of Guys and Dolls are, from left, Marjin Burger as Sky Masterson, Anna Ketterling as Sarah Brown, Celeste Spangler as Miss Adelaide and Nick LeSage as Nathan Detroit.

“I chose ‘Guys and Dolls’ because it was time to do a really classical musical here at LOHS,” said drama instructor Bob McGranahan. “This show has great music, a fun and engaging story and really wonderful characters. The script is spare of words but rich in character and that makes it fun for me to direct and for the actors to play.

“It has been great fun watching the actors learn about their characters and the little ‘aha’ moments that they have discovered along the way.”

“Guys and Dolls” is a musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows.

The play opens with three small-time gamblers, Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Steve Rathje), Benny Southstreet (Drew Cohen) and Rusty Charlie (Thomas Curran), arguing over which horse will win a big race. The band members of the Save-a-Soul Mission, led by the pious and beautiful Sergeant Sarah Brown (Anna Ketterling), call for sinners to repent. Gambler kingpin Nathan Detroit (Nick LeSage) runs an illegal floating craps game. Due to local policeman Lt. Brannigan’s (Andrew Lester) strong-armed police activity, Detroit has found only one likely spot to hold the game: the Biltmore Hotel garage. However, the owner requires a $1,000 security deposit and Detroit is broke, but hopes to get the $1,000 by betting against Sky Masterson (Marjin Burger), a gambler willing to bet on virtually anything. Detroit proposes a bet that he believes he can’t lose: Masterson must take a “doll” — a woman — of Detroit’s choice to dinner in Havana, Cuba. Masterson agrees and Detroit chooses Sarah Brown.

Masterson agrees to the bet, goes to mission claiming he wants to be saved and offers Brown a deal: He will bring a dozen “genuine sinners” if she accompanies him to Havana the next night. She rebukes him and off he goes to watch his fiance of 14 years, Miss Adelaide (Celeste Spangler), perform her nightclub act.

What follows is madcap chaos, which leads to a happy ending for all.

“My character, Nathan Detroit, runs the craps game,” said LaSage. “But the heat is on and the whole play is spent with him trying to keep his love life and livelihood intact. It’s not as clean cut a play as the LO stereotype. We hope the audience has a fun evening, time to relax and get transported to another world.”

“The songs are great,” said Spangler, who plays nightclub singer Miss Adelaide. “My favorite is ‘Adelaide’s Lament.’”

“I think the audience will be very entertained,” said Ketterling, who plays Sarah Brown. “I think they will see characteristics and traits in themselves in the characters onstage.”

“Those of us ‘of a certain age’ will love this show because we grew up with it,” said McGranahan. “But I believe this timeless tale of love overcoming our human failings will reach even the younger audience members.”

McGranahan has called upon his professional colleagues to assist with the show including Cole Blume and Dave Matthys, choral director and instrumental music director at LOHS, and Sherry Ostendorf for choreography. Signe Lusk, Greg Tamblyn, Demetri Pavlatos, Harvey Goodling and Lisa Zandy also lent their professional assistance.

The production runs Thursdays Nov. 8 and 15 with 7 p.m. shows and Saturdays Nov. 10 and 17 with 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. shows.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and $5 for children 5 and younger. Tickets can be purchased online at

Lake Oswego High School is located at 2501 Country Club Road in Lake Oswego.

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