Tigard High's stages 'Guys and Dolls'
The Tigard High School Department of Theater Arts presents Guys and Dolls, the 1940s musical set in "Runyonland" (New York City) about missionaries trying to bring redemption to gamblers and showgirls.
As the plot unfolds, hot-shot gambler Nathan Detroit needs $1,000 to fund his illegal dice game and bets the high-rolling gambler, Sky Masterson, that Sky cannot get a date with Sarah Brown, the uptight mission sergeant. The gambler and missionary fall in love, but not before a lot of chaos and plot twists play out.
I think Guys and Dolls is a great opportunity for students to play rich characters and also display their terrific abilities in musical theater, said Todd Hermanson, who is finishing his 16th year at THS teaching theater full time and directing the majority of the shows. Its just a timeless classic.
Megan Misslin, the choreographer, discussed many shows and would find issues with each one. When we finally discussed Guys and Dolls, it was an immediate agreement over doing the show.
This is the second time Hermanson has directed Guys and Dolls at THS, and he has played the role of Sky Masterson twice professionally.
Guys and Dolls really challenges some of the students ideas of performing, he said. We have stressed (that unlike) the previous two productions, (this years production offers) a more realistic style of acting (and is) more cinematic. This production is much more presentational or oriented to the audience. The students are being challenged to play much more broad characters than they are accustomed to.
As for getting all the period props and costumes, Hermanson said, I have a dynamite costumer and props person, McKenna Twedt, who is heading up that area of the production. We are very fortunate to have other schools in the area that have done the show recently and have loaned us some valuable pieces. With that said, we are still on the lookout for specific pieces.
Hermanson is on the prowl himself, noting that when he was out to breakfast recently, he came across a hat shop and snapped a few photos to send to Twedt.
This production is a little more special to Hermanson and the students because big-production musicals were not even offered for a while due to budget constraints.
When I first started at THS, we did musicals every two years but in the fall, Hermanson said. We had a break with no musicals for a few years, but when some budget issues were resolved four years ago, we picked up with spring musicals every two years.
The show involves a big cast and crew, according to Hermanson. We have a cast of 35, plus 10 more in the orchestra and probably another 30 working backstage and in the lobby, he said.
Hermanson is proud of the people working on this show and hopes the community will come and support the talented students he works with and appreciate the behind-the-scenes efforts to make this a top-notch production.
I am blessed to have terrific assistance on this production, he said. I have mentioned the choreographer and costumer, plus I have a thoroughly committed music director, Yvette Starkey.
The students really understand the significance of the show and are totally committed to making it a great show. In fact, some of the students wanted to skip their prom on the evening of May 10, so we could have a performance that night. I wasnt comfortable with that, so our final performance is a 1 p.m. matinee on May 10. I am blessed to have a great group of people to work with.
The Tigard High School Department of Theater Arts presents Guys and Dolls, written by Frank Loesser, with book and lyrics by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, May 1-10 at the Deb Fennell Auditorium, 9000 S.W. Durham Road, Tigard.
This classic musical highlights the excitement of love as well as the comedy found in the hustle and bustle of city life, and THS captures the glamour and charm of the era by bringing it to the stage.
The show is based on two short stories by Damon Runyon, The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown and Blood Pressure, plus some of his other works, written in the 1920s and 1930s about the denizens of New Yorks underworld.
The show features timeless musical numbers, including Luck Be a Lady, Adelaides Lament and the show-stopper Sit Down, Youre Rockin the Boat.
The show, which premiered on Broadway in 1950, ran for 1,200 performances, won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and has had several Broadway and London revivals in addition to a 1955 movie adaptation.
Performances are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and next week on Thursday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 10, at 1 p.m.
Tickets cost $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 503-431-5500.