Marriotts Ridge’s Guys and Dolls: No Crapshoot
The audience loved Marriotts Ridge High School’s production of Guys and Dolls more than a bushel and a peck. Receiving a standing ovation, Marriotts Ridge students put on a celebrated production of one of Broadway’s most iconic musicals.
Marriottsville was transformed into 1940s New York City, a time when “guys were guys” and “dolls were dolls.” Based on Damon Runyon’s short story, “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown,” Loesser and Burrows’ Guys and Dolls is laced with archetypal “Runyoneque” characters that embody the spirit of the city. Nathan Detroit (Brian Gilbert), the organizer of the “oldest established permanent floating crap-game in New York,” places a bet with Sky Masterson (Stephen Henderson), a suave Broadway gambler. Nathan hopes to win enough money to marry Hot Box Club entertainer Miss Adelaide (Elysse Camacho), to whom he has been engaged for 14 years. Sky takes on the bet to romance the virtuous Sarah Brown (Kayleigh Decker), Sergeant of the city’s “Save a Soul” Mission. Anchored by memorable songs such as “Bushel and a Peck” and “Luck Be A Lady,” Guys and Dolls has become a cornerstone of classic Broadway.
The actors truly captured the essence of New York, speaking in authentic accents. The opening number, “Runyonland,” set the scene for the rest of the show, portraying the urgency of “the city that never sleeps.” Most notably, the entire cast displayed strong vocal talent, impressing the audience with their pleasing harmonies throughout the show.
Camacho was a standout as Miss Adelaide. She captured the frustration of a lovesick woman longing for her husband to change, and her endearing accent and strong mezzo-soprano voice captivated the audience. The romantic tension between Camacho and Gilbert was palpable, and the dramatic irony of their relationship brought the audience laughter. As Sarah Brown, Decker possessed a powerful soprano voice that suited her pious character, and she remained professional throughout the show despite some microphone difficulties.
An excellent ensemble and supporting cast rounded out the show. Cooper Farrell, Brady Richards, and Daniel Smeriglio provided comedic relief as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, Benny Southstreet, and Rusty Charlie, Gilbert’s crapshooting sidekicks. Their soaring vocals and tight harmonies, along with their realistic New York accents, kept the audience intrigued. Matt Fischer, as Sarah’s grandfather Arbide Abernathy, showcased his rich bass voice during the moving “More I Cannot Wish You,” one of the show’s more tender moments. An energetic ensemble, marked by the charming Hot Box Girls, cunning crapshooters, and the faithful Mission Band, ensured that there was never a dull moment.
In lieu of a traditional backdrop, a unique, abstract design of colorful shapes represented the city buildings of New York. The lighting, designed by student Elizabeth Stewart, featured flashing lights and projected images that changed from scene to scene to represent the place and time of day. Painted panels were quickly moved on and off-stage to represent the inside of the mission, the landscape in Cuba, and even the inside of a sewer. In one humorous scene, two phone cords stretched across the stage as two characters, standing back-to-back, carried on a phone conversation, and one of the characters was left holding both phones. The unique period costumes and wigs looked authentic onstage.
While the lead characters were certainly the “stars” of the show, the ensemble and the supporting characters shone brightly as their effortless harmonies and vocal performances captivated the audience. Marriotts Ridge’s production of Guys and Dolls was no crapshoot. It was obvious that much time and skill went into this production.
Mariotts Ridge rolls the dice and comes up a Winner
Pssst, hey buddy--Ya looking for a bet that’s a sure thing? Well I got ya’ horse right here: Marriotts Ridge takes you back to a romanticized post-World War II New York in the Broadway classic, “Guys and Dolls.”
Strolling the bustling streets of New York, we find Nathan Detroit, noted gambler and fourteen year fiancé to vivacious entertainer Miss Adelaide. When he finds himself desperate and in need of 1,000 dollars to finance his floating crap-game, he makes a wager with fellow sinner Sky Masterson, saying that Sky can’t take Sergeant Sarah Brown, prim and proper leader of the local Save a Soul Mission, down to Havana. Sky takes up the bet and an unlikely romance of saint and sinner ensues. The show is based on of the short stories of renowned writer Damon Runyon. Memorable songs such as “Sit Down, Your Rocking the Boat” and “Luck Be a Lady” as well as snappy dialogue have made the show a beloved Broadway sensation.
Now, “go ahead and sue me,” but on occasion at plays I find myself leafing through the program. But no counting the songs left ‘til intermission with this show. Zippy scenes and exciting musical numbers kept the audience engaged and smiling.
And the leads! Stephen Henderson, aces his role as a suave and confident Sky Masterson. Outwitting guys here and smoothly manipulating dolls there, he roams the stage with ease. The role of the devout mission worker Sarah Brown was played by the beautiful Kayleigh Decker, who impressed the audience with her skilled, almost operatic voice and soaring high notes. And don’t underestimate Elysse Camacho, who played the hilarious Hot Box entertainer, Miss Adelaide. Behind Adelaide’s squeaky, nasal New Yawk accent lies a beautiful and powerful voice that took the audience by surprise during her sneezing lament. She and her shifty fiancé Nathan Detroit, played by a jumpy Brian Gilbert, made an adorable comedic couple.
The leads were surrounded by a charming ensemble cast of giggling dancers, slick gamblers, earnest missionaries and more. Their voices added depth to several scenes, particularly during the enthusiastic musical numbers at the Hot Box and in the rousing “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat” mission scene. Each cast member was alive and engaged in their roles every moment.
Adding to this quality production is a solid and beautifully-lit set. The main set piece was a striking abstract backdrop symbolizing the classic skyline and neon-lit signs of New York. With the help of the stage and lighting crews, scenes fluidly moved from plain city street to green and lively Cuban dance club to darkened sewer to simple mission. I would also mention the vibrantly colored costumes worn in the show, including the sharp dress of the gamblers to the cute and colorful outfits of the Hot Box girls which greatly added to the various scenes.
The show was clever and enjoyable. An energetic and well-rehearsed cast succeeded in doing this great show justice. The entire production went, as gambler Nicely Nicely would say, nicely-nicely.
I Can’t Sit Down, and I Won’t Stop Rocking my Chair to Guy and Dolls
Hey there! I’ve got an offer you can’t refuse. If you are a fan of wisecracking gangsters, zippy songs, and an array of fun set designs, then let the odds be with you all the way through Marriotts Ridge’s Guys and Dolls.
Set on the streets of New York in the 1950 in a time where “guys were guys” and “dolls were dolls”, a group of gangsters, notorious for their crap shoot games, are holding Nathan Detroit (Brian Gilbert) responsible for holding the next game. In order to come up with the $1,000 necessary to hold the games, Nathan makes a life-turning bet with the infamous Sky Masterson (Stephen Henderson), who bets on anything. He bets that if he can’t win the heart of the beautiful and virtuous Sarah Brown (Kayleigh Decker), a bold missionary that’s part of the Save-A-Soul Mission dedicated to cure the sins of the scum in New York. At the same time, Nathan must hide his involvement in the crap shoots from his 14 year fiancé, Miss Adelaide (Elysse Camacho) of the Hot Box nightclub, who all this time has written fantastical stories to her mother about their loving marriage and five children. Originally a short story by Damon Runyon, Guys and Dolls was quickly popularized when it hit Broadway armed with its spot-on comedy and popular songs such as “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat”.
This is a remarkable production from Marriots Ridge. Their effort contributed to keep everything that worked from the Broadway show while adding in their own charm and style. There’s not a thing to complain about the show. All of the parts integrate together so smoothly and create a cohesive, massive entertainment for all to enjoy.
The characters are the high point of the entire show. Each character brought a unique quality and trait for all to admire. Nathan Detroit was a slick, on the beat gangster who’s primary goal is to roll his dice, much to the contrary of his fiancé, Miss Adeline, who wants him to quit the crap games as they’ve “taken a toll on her health”. Sky Masterson is a scruffy, knucklehead who will do anything to win a bet, even it means “relieving his sins” to win over the love of Sarah Brown, the steel-hearted missionary who wants nothing to o with it. Both of the romances feel real in their unique ways. You can feel the tension rising between Sarah and Sky reaching its peak during “I’ve Never Been in Love Before.” Kayleigh’s soaring, opera like voice rivets through the entire audience during her songs. Although a few microphone problems occur during her songs, her voice can be felt and be loved by every person in the audience. All singers maintained a fantastic and authentic New York style accent which great helped the show keep its realism and authenticity.
In some musicals, I can feel as if the ensemble feels out of place and redundant. Those thoughts immediately swept away during the opening number. Each ensemble character brings a fresh personality and character to the show. The gangsters are slick, the Hot Box girls are peppy and alluring, and the mission board members show dedication and passion. They brought fantastic harmonies and vocals to the show that greatly benefitted the musical numbers.
The set designs are a landmark for high school productions. The sight of New York City is just as evoking and memorable as the city itself thanks to a marvelous lighting job and set design. Throughout the course of the musical, the setting shifts to more personified locations. From the exciting Havana of Cuba to the cruddy sewers of New York as well as the colorful Hot Box nightclub, the set is always a sight to be seen in the show.
There is no crap to be found in this shoot. With a stellar cast, an enriching assortment of songs, and marvelous sets, Marriotts Ridge’s Guys and Dolls proves that perfection can’t be found as simply as a roll of a dice. It must be worked for and made through sheer will and determination. This cast has shown that and brought it all to one of the most enjoyable shows of the year.
Marriott's Ridge's Guys and Dolls: Luck was a Lady Tonight!
As World War II comes to an end, the hustling, bustling night-lit streets of New York City are alive and enthralling. The short story “The Idyll of Sarah Brown” by Damon Runyon was transformed into the renowned musical Guys and Dolls. The tale absorbs its audience in the underground world of an illegal crap game and the improbable passion between two complete opposites, a missionary soldier of God and a superficial city slicker interested in outrageous gambling. With the witty dialogue and book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling and the compelling music/lyrics by Frank Loesser, this musical grabs the attention of audiences everywhere.
Our main “Guys”, Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson, are revealed as the most distinguished gamblers in New York and aren’t afraid of having fun in their bets. The story unfolds into a wager between the two men that Sky has to woo a woman into falling in love with him and venture to Havana, Cuba with her; which brings us to our leading lady, Sarah Brown. Unlike the usual troublemaking riff-raff, Sarah Brown is an upstanding single woman of her time in charge of cleansing the city of its sinners. When she runs into Sky Masterson, however, she can’t resist his charm and confidence and unexpectedly falls for him. For our other gentleman, Nathan has found problems of his own with his fiancé of 14 years, Miss Adelaide. She throws him under the bus when she announces that her mother believes they’ve been married for 12 years with 5 kids under their belt, when it’s been quite the opposite. Nathan must go through the decision whether to be loyal to his gambling night life or be wed to Miss Adelaide and make his loving girlfriend his priority.
Speaking of Miss Adelaide, Elysse Camacho performed flawlessly. Her character and accent was very well molded into the average New Yorker of the 50’s. Also her desire to be married greatly reflected the standard American dream of most women in that time. For Kayleigh Decker playing Sarah Brown, her acting was phenomenal, her chemistry with Sky Masterson was convincing, and her transformation of character was prominent. However, her choice of vocal presentation was a bit overpowering for her character; for example, some of the songs she sang could have been sung more tenderly and sweetly such as when she laments about finding love.
Nicely-Nicely Johnson played by Cooper Farrell had to be the ultimate ham of the show. Every time he walked on stage he would noticeably have a food item of some sort in his possession. He was exemplary when Nicely nonchalantly strolled across stage carrying a burger, zucchini, and candy, when he should’ve been more concerned with Nathan’s problems with Adelaide as opposed to being concerned with food; then one of Nathan’s cronies took the liberty of setting him straight by beating him with his various pieces of food.
A major shout-out is deserved to the techs of Marriotts Ridge High School. Their scene changes were executed precisely and swiftly with no hesitation; particularly when they had to rotate their two big set pieces for the Havana club scene, the sewer scene, and inside the missionary scenes. Also, what made the show even more authentic was the fact that most of the girl ensemble wore a short, curly wig mirroring the style of the 1950’s which created the true illusion that theatre tries to produce.
Under the brilliant direction of Sally Livingston at MRHS, their theatre was filled front to back with sentimental faces and cheery laughter generated from exceptional actors. Guys and Dolls performed by this school is a triumph of happily-ever-after love stories combined with racy, jazzy tunes to invite the ears and eyes of theatre lovers ubiquitously.
Review by Becky Lamich
Call it sad, call it funny… but there’s nothing better than Marriotts Ridge’s performance of Guys and Dolls! With impressive leads and a strong ensemble, this theatre troupe blew the audience away. Luck has certainly been a lady to Marriott’s Ridge to have so many talented members.
Guys and Dolls is a fun musical based on stories by Damon Runyon. It takes place during a time when “guys were guys, and dolls were dolls”. It focuses on the lovable gangster-like characters of New York City, like Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit. Nathan is having enough trouble trying to set up a secret crap game without fiance of fourteen years, Adelaide, finding out. Sky Masterson is a betting man, and when he accepts the challenge of taking the conservative Sarah Brown away on a trip, hilarity and a bit of chemistry ensues.
The audience was thoroughly captivated by the constant choreography and upbeat attitude of the entire cast. It’s clear that a lot of work went into this show and that every bit of it was worth it.
The leads lead this production to success. Brian Gilbert as Nathan Detroit had everyone rooting for him as he escaped the clutches of the police one more time or put of his marriage one day longer. The audience laughed as he dealt with his less competent followers and scary gangsters with guns in his delightfully awkward manner. Elysse Camacho sparkled and had all eyes on her as she played Miss Adelaide. Her accent was spot on and consistent throughout the whole show and her vocals never faltered. Everyone fell in love with the secretly sensitive gambler Sky Masterson, probably because he was portrayed by the talented Stephen Henderson. And last but not least, the conservative church-goer Sarah Brown. Kayleigh Decker played her perfectly and earned her spot as a star in the show. Her professional, operatic voice blew everyone away.
The supporting cast was just as much fun to watch. Every dance number was met with applause as they stepped together in spot on choreography. Characters like the hot box girls and the other gangsters kept the show alive and the 1950’s illusion going and entertained the audience. Even the waiter got a few laughs!
The costumes in this show were one of the best parts. It was a gangster rainbow up on stage as each male got his own individual shirt, suit, and tie. And everyone loved their charming off center fedoras. The ladies looked 1950’s through and through from their skirts to their curled hair. The hot box girls, whether it was farm frocks or ball gowns, were always matching. Sarah Brown couldn’t have been more conservative than in a navy blue blazer and skirt. Kudos to the costume designer for a seamless and believable look!
It certainly is an interesting show when you mix gangsters, dancers, missionaries, cabanas, and dice games together but Marriotts Ridge pulled it off flawlessly. The audience fell in love each and every character and prayed for a happy ending for all of the love struck couples. Everyone was on their feet long before the leads began taking their bows. Don’t miss these 61 amazing vocalists and spot on dancers because they will dance their way right into your heart.
Guys and Dolls
What do a high rolling, law breaking gambler and an uptight missionary have in common? Well…nothing. But somehow these two people end up on a twisted journey towards falling in love, as seen in Marriotts Ridge High School’s production of Guys and Dolls.
Guys and Dolls is a musical that focuses on the life of gamblers in New York City during the 1940’s-50’s. Nathan Detroit has been running a floating crap game in order to avoid being caught by the police. On this particular night, some of the most well-known and highest rollers are in town, including the Infamous Sky Masterson. In order to try and win some extra money, Nathan bets Sky $1000 that he cannot convince the local missionary leader, Ms. Sarah Brown, to go to Havana with him. What results from this bet is a crazy love story that causes everyone to question their life’s priorities.
Stephen Henderson played the part of Sky Masterson with incredible accuracy and commitment. Henderson had a beautiful singing voice that was partnered with acting choices that portrayed the character with a charming sort of integrity. Nathan Detroit was played by Brian Gilbert. Gilbert gave the character energy and enthusiasm that made even the characters biggest faults come off as endearing. This was especially evident in the charismatic number “Sue Me” in which Detroit begs for his fiancé Adelaide (played by Elysse Camacho). Camacho made her character both quirky and entertaining. This characterization was matched with an impressively strong singing voice that exhibited the versatility of Camacho’s talent, as she was able to switch between the show belting numbers to the softer, more insecure moments.
The crazy dynamic duo of Benny Southstreet and Nicely-Nicely Johnson was played by Brady Richards and Cooper Farrell. Both of these actors played well off of each other, and added more fun elements to the story line. Every time these boys came on stage, they showed full character commitment combined with impressive vocal ability and well-rehearsed dance moves, making the entire production more exciting and enjoyable.
The ensemble as a whole obviously worked extremely hard on the show. The dance numbers were in synch, and the cast showed great energy. In the opening number “Runyonland”, the audience was shown a day on the streets of New York. The character choices of each member were so strong, that each person on stage seemed to have a story, whether or not they were a named character.
The set of the show was versatile and colorful. The abstract view of the city skyline was able to serve as a backdrop for scenes on the street, and simple additions to the set allowed it to quickly change from the street, to the missionary, to the sewers, to a restaurant in Havana. This creative set design minimized downtime between scene changes and allowed the show to run smoothly.
Overall, Marriotts Ridge’s production of Guys and Dolls was definitely worth seeing. The show was full of energy, character, and an overwhelming amount of talent that ensured any audience member to leave impressed at the abilities high school students possess to deliver a truly remarkable show.
Guys and Dolls- MHS
“Amazing!” is what you will say when you see the musical Guys and Dolls at Marriotts Ridge High School as it captivated the minds of the audience with its magnificent acting as well as an interesting storyline. Guys and Dolls was performed by none other than Brian Gilbert, Elysse Camacho, Stephen Henderson, Kayleigh Decker, and dozens of other talented performers and musicians.
Guys and Dolls centers around the city of New York around the 1950s, where the scraps game is taking hold of all of the gamblers there. The story is centered on Nathan Detroit, a gambler, and his fiancée Miss Adelaide, to whom he has been engaged for fourteen years. However, the story shifts to a bet between Detroit and a slick Broadway gambler named Sky Masterson to see whether Sky Masterson can take Miss Sarah Brown, an urban missionary, on a date away to Havana, Cuba for one grand.
The production itself was very enchanting, with all of the actors and actresses complementing each other very well. The play flowed very smoothly, with no awkward pauses whatsoever. The accents were spot on, and the costumes were interestingly similar to the time period, but with a personal touch that symbolized their own character. However, what stood out was the harmonized singing and the outstanding choreography.
The leads of Guys and Dolls, Brian Gilbert as Nathan Detroit and Elysse Camacho as Miss Adelaide, as well as Stephen Henderson as Sky Masterson and Kayleigh Decker as Sarah Brown, had an admirable on-stage chemistry. Both pairs portrayed great body language to get their points across, as well as great reaction to what was happening around them. The connection between the characters and their heart-warming emotions being enacted were outstanding.
The supporting actors really made the show, especially a certain Miss from the mission who made a great impression with her cymbal-playing. The dancing and choreography was simply incredible, with its songs that will certainly get stuck in your head. The band was great, with absolutely no mistakes whatsoever. It really gave depth to the scene that was going on. The dancers that accompanied the main singer, whether it was Miss Adelaide, Sky, Sarah Brown, or Nathan Detroit, at a certain scene added to the grand effect of it all, leaving the audience in awe.
While the back set with abstract squares wasn’t great, as it was distracting at times, special effects made up for it. The microphone wasn’t working for a lot of Sarah Brown’s singing scenes, but Kayleigh Decker’s strong voice was still heard. The costumes were outstanding, relating to the time period, and the music played by the band was truly exceptional.
Overall, the combination of the actors and actresses, along with the on-stage chemistry, made the play. The singing, acting, and dancing was completely spot on and together, even though there were some minor technical difficulties. After watching Guys and Dolls, what have I got to say? All I can say is: Marriotts Ridge, Bravo.
What is a Guy without a Doll?
We all have me those macho men who claim they do not need anyone, let alone a woman. In “Guys and Dolls”, we see how much of a difference a guy with a doll can make.
This story follows the life of some charismatic, silly, and brazen New York City gamblers and the women that are with them. We closely follow the life of Nathan Detroit (Brian Gilbert) and his vision to have one of the biggest crap games in his town. Unfortunately, his overbearing, needy, and sassy fiancée Adelaide (Elysse Camacho) does not want this game to occur. Despite her wishes, Nathan desires to have his crap game. In order for this game to work, he needs find $1000 to rent out a place, and quick! He decides to get the money the only way he knows how, by gambling. He makes a bet with fellow gambler Sky Materson (Stephen Henderson). He gives him the seemingly unattainable task of dating the most holy and pure woman in town, Sarah Brown (Kayleigh Decker). Throughout the show, we see how the schemes of guys seem to change when pretty dolls are involved.
This show had a lot of energy from the entire cast. This energy was seen in the strong choreography from the cast. Look out for the “Luck Be a Lady” number, Sky and the crapshooters demonstrate their flawless choreography. In addition, the overall atmosphere of the show really portrayed the feel of New York City.
The leads did a good job with their vocals, but equally impressive was their acting. Brian Gilbert (Nathan Detroit) and Elysse Camacho (Adelaide) had amazing chemistry and their interactions especially when arguing, reminded me of a real couple. In addition, Elysse Camacho (Adelaide) did her New York accent perfectly throughout the entire show even when she was singing! Her abilities were truly impressive.
In the opening number “Runyonland” we saw all the types of people living in that town. The ensemble did a great job of clearly showing the purpose of each character and it was interesting to see how they would act next. Lastly, The Hot Box girls were a lot of fun in “Bushel and a Peck” number.
The set was very simple which worked well for this show. Since there was so much going on with the choreography and with the costumes, the simplicity of the set was the wisest choice. I could not help but notice that each man had a different suit and I thought that was nice. It showed that each character had something special about them. “Guys and Dolls” is fun and full of energy! For all of you who love New York and a classic love story this is the perfect show for you. Go out and see Marriotts Ridge’s presentation of “Guys and Dolls”.
Travel back in time to an era when “Guys were Guys and Dolls were Dolls” in the astounding performance of Marriotts Ridge High School’s Guys and Dolls.
Guys and Dolls is based off of the short story written by David Runyon, “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown.” Runyon is famous for his sardonic characters, generally gangsters, gamblers, or actors living and making a living on Broadway, known now as “Runyonesque” characters.
Set in late 1940s New York City, Guys and Dolls revolves around two romantic storylines concerning the pursuit of urban missionary worker Sergeant Sarah Brown by rich and wild Broadway gambler Sky Masterson and that of Nathan Detroit and Miss Adelaide, who have been engaged for fourteen years. The two plots are connected by a single bet made between Masterson and Detroit. All the while, Detroit is doggedly searching for a place to hold his “oldest established permanent floating crap game.”
The show opens with an overture known as Runyonland where the actors express their characters through gestures, there is no talking, and must portray the hustle and bustle of New York City life including the tourists, famous celebrities, drunkards, and even pick-pockets. It was an excellent chance for the actors to show off their acting capabilities with only the use of their body language to communicate their meaning.
Sky Masterson (Stephen Henderson) and Nathan Detroit (Brian Gilbert) were the two male protagonists and had remarkable voices. Gilbert sang especially well in “Sue Me” along with his romantic interest, Adelaide. Henderson was outstanding in his song “My Time of Day” and the “chemistry” between him and his female counterpart Sarah Brown was felt throughout the audience in “I’ll Know” and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before.”
Sarah Brown (Kayleigh Decker) and Miss Adelaide (Elysse Camacho) were also incredible. Decker sang with an opera-inspired quality to her voice highlighted in her duets with Henderson while Camacho was consistently strong, especially in her performances of “Adelaide’s Lament.”
In “The Oldest Established” and “Luck Be a Lady,” Marriotts Ridge showcased a large group of strong male talent. The talent included Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Cooper Farrell), Benny Southstreet (Brady Richards), and Rusty Charlie (Daniel Smeriglio) who sang “Fugue for Tinhorns”. Farrell, Richards, and Smeriglio fed off of each others’ energy and sang and harmonized exceptionally well together.
The cast as a whole was brilliant in their ability to maintain their accents and also perfectly convey the humor and sentimentality of the show.
The set design was very unique and incorporated lights and shapes in an abstract depiction of the New York City skyline. The costumes as well were very significant and relevant to the time period. The costumes could be viewed as an extension of character, particularly the men’s suits, because each one was unique; solid colors or pinstripes, vests and ties all combined differently to help develop the character. The choreography was very well done in “Bushel and a Peck” and “Luck Be a Lady” and helped to express the thoughts and emotions of the actors.
The lighting was very interesting in that they used shaped lights that spelled out Hot Box or flashed the image of a plane to help illustrate scene transitions. The band also had a wonderful performance with very strong tenor saxophone and trumpet sounds.
Overall, the performance was fantastic and every element of the show fit together perfectly. Guys and Dolls effectively articulates the dangers of both love and gambling in 1940s New York City and is definitely a show everyone will love “a bushel and a peck.”
Guys and Dolls
New York city is place of dreams – of people and places and more stories than can be counted. One of these stories is the musical Guys and Dolls, brought to the local stage this year by Marriott's Ridge High School.
The story of Guys and Dolls takes place against the backdrop of a 1950's New York. A local gambler, Nathan Detroit, who runs “the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York”, finds himself short on cash and short on time to marry his fiancee of fourteen years, Adelaide. When he hears that a fellow gambler, Sky Masterson, known for his “sky high” bets, is in town, he makes a bet that Sky can't turn down: he must find a way to woo the lovely but devoutly religious Sarah Brown. The play has become a beloved Broadway classic since it opened in 1950, and is based on a short story by David Runyon entitled, “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown.”
This play was very well thought out, from the characteristic New York accents to the well-rehearsed dance numbers. As much as the characters, this dancing brought the play together, helping to move the story along, introducing the characters as in the opener “Runyonland”, and bringing excitement and movement to the events that were unfolding on stage.
Guys and Dolls focuses on two different, but intertwined stories, tied together by Nathan and Sky's gambling habits in the big city. Nathan (Brian Gilbert) played his part with enthusiasm and energy, side by side with Miss Adelaide (Elysse Carnacho). Both actors had difficult parts to play, with emotions ranging from anger, to indifference, to joy, which they were able to portray without flaw. Sky (Stephen Henderson) and Sarah (Kayleigh Decker) also were central characters. Their voices complimented one another during songs like “I'll Know” and “I've Never Been in Love Before” and blended seamlessly.
The supporting characters and ensemble provided a strong basis for strong protagonists. Rusty (Daniel Smeriglio), Nicely (Cooper Farrell), and Benny (Brady Richards), three more gamblers, sang and danced during “Fugue for Tinhorns” and “Guys & Dolls”, and added humor to play with little quips which, though intermittent, were perfectly in sync. The ensemble also provided support with the well-choreographed dance numbers and backup singing.
In this play, there are several different settings, which must all be coordinated with one main set. The backdrop was a modernist take of the New York skyline, with special effects that mimicked changing daylight as the time of day changed in the musical. Stage changes were simple and quick, yet effective. They showed exactly where the events were occurring, as well were aesthetically interesting.
Though this high school stage in Maryland is no “Big Apple”, the streets of New York city come alive in this adaptation of Guys and Dolls by Marriotts Ridge High School.