Guys & DollsSpring play opens this weekend
The costumes are fabulous. The set is incredible. The music is classic and the choreography upbeat.It looks like the students at Tahoe-Truckee High School could have a hit on their hands.During the past two weeks, 32 cast members have been putting the final touches on the high school’s spring musical, “Guys and Dolls.””Places, places,” yells Peggy Boelk, the show’s director. “Everybody in act one, scene one, get ready!”Students scurry across the stage in their plaid jackets and polka-dot bow ties and get into place.”1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 … 1, 2, 3 …” counts Boelk.As the first few notes from the orchestra float through the air, the intense look on Boelk’s face lifts and she focuses on her actors.A hilarious love story, “Guys and Dolls” takes place on the streets and in the nightclubs of New York City and Havana, Cuba during the roaring twenties.Boelk chose the play for its popular music that includes such hits as “Luck Be A Lady Tonight” and “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat.”Ben Gaunt, a sophomore, plays Sky Masterson, one of the central characters in the musical. Boelk knew she had found her lead when Gaunt auditioned.”He just had the attitude … a real guys’ guy,” said Boelk.Gaunt was initially nervous about the singing involved with the part.”The fact that I get to sing has really been a lot of fun,” said Gaunt. “I surprised myself with what I could do.”But Gaunt isn’t the only sophomore lead that the play features. Richard Hess, 15, plays Nathan Detroit, a gambler looking for a place to hold a craps game.”I just really, really enjoy this play,” said Hess. “It’s got great music, a great script and a lot of funny characters.”Throughout the show Hess’s character, Detroit, tries to keep his girlfriend, Miss Adelaide, from finding out about his gaming scheme.Katie Porter, a junior, plays Adelaide. Porter hopes her work on the high school musical will lead to something more.”I want to pursue Broadway,” says Porter. “That’s why I’m doing this and taking so many other kinds of classes … like tap, jazz and swing.”When asked why she wanted to play Adelaide, Porter replied, “I watched the movie and I saw her and said, I want to be the blonde ditz. She just seemed like a lot of fun.”Dancing is a big part of the musical and choreographing the intricate dance numbers is the job of Sierra Nevada Dance teacher Elizabeth Archer.”It’s been challenging for the kids because most of them are not dancers,” said Archer. “But they have really risen to the occasion. They have worked really hard and are so enthusiastic.”The musical could never have gotten off the ground without the help of countless numbers of community volunteers.”A lot of community members have been involved with this production since the start, people who have kids in the musical and even people who don’t,” said Esther Porter, one of the show’s producers. “Three contractors helped us build the set, some artists helped paint it … it has truly been amazing how many people have pitched in.”Organizing the production is no easy task. Costumes have to be sewn. Tickets have to be sold. Sets must be designed and built.The production has some tall shoes to fill. Last year’s spring musical, “Grease,” sold out every performance.But Esther Porter is confident that the show will be a success.”This is something the community really needs,” said Porter. “We don’t have a live theater in the area, and the kids put on a great show … this is something you shouldn’t miss.””Guys and Dolls” will run May 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19. Doors of the TTHS auditorium open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Four Seasons Florist and the Tahoe-Truckee High School Library. The cost: $6 for students and $12 for adults.
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