It’s been 13 years since the middle school put on Guys and Dolls, so it was with great anticipation that audiences piled into the SPMS auditorium to hear favorite tunes like “Luck Be A Lady”, “Guys and Dolls” and “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat” in a show that did not disappoint! The Christopher Walker directed production of the Frank Loesser musical had the audience snapping their fingers and tapping their toes for an entertaining show that involved more than 80 students. It was entirely crewed by students including dressers, orchestra, lighting, front of house and stage crew and everything went off without a hitch.
The story of Nathan Detroit and his floating crap game in New York City is a classic and a crowd pleaser, especially when those guys and dolls are talented middle schoolers playing adults dressed in 1940’s era suits, dresses and minks. The Ray Rochelle costumes were dynamite, really setting the tone from the girls in swanky dresses and mink stoles and the guys with pin-striped suits and fedoras. The SPMS student orchestra did a fantastic job, led by Sarah Martin, and the songs were delivered with terrific, jazzy energy, led by musical director Julie Welch while The Hot Box Girls and the entire ensemble did a bang up job with the Felicity Muñoz choreography.
There were two complete casts and tearing it up on stage was the charming Zachary Maracine and the charismatic Paul Zenas as Nathan Detroit, with the engaging Sebastian Liebe and debonair Avik Gautam as Sky Masterson. The sneezing, long-suffering girlfriend of Nathan, Adelaide, was played with absolute delight by Audrey Omidi and bringing the house down with “Adelaide’s Lament” was the unstoppable Sequoia Ding. The standing ovations were very well deserved by the entire cast and crew who brought this beloved musical back to South Pasadena.
Of playing Adelaide, Audrey Omidi said she had the best time explaining, “I loved finding all of the different ways to explore this unique character. I’ve always focused on being a dancer in the past and this role gave me the opportunity to show what I can do as a character actress and singer.”
The young actors indeed were having a blast doing spot on New York accents. As Zachary Maracine said, “the best thing about the show has been hearing all of the New York accents being performed by my classmates in the show. It’s hilarious and great fun!” While Josephine Foley who plays Sarah, the uptight Evangelical who falls for Sky Masterson, tells us her favorite part of the show was performing the Havana numbers. “It’s just great to be able to let loose and be a mess on stage; to do bad salsa on purpose during the colada scene and just to be so free on stage in that number after being so reserved for most of the show.” Both Foley and Taylor Calva were superb in showing the arc of their character going from very buttoned up to letting loose in Havana and then falling hopelessly in love.
This production was the second, after last year’s “Hairspray”, partnership with the San Gabriel Valley Music Theatre. Technical direction was by JC Gafford, lighting by designer Phil Browne and sound design by Jay Lee.
Congratulations to all of the cast, crew and volunteer parents who made Guys and Dolls a smashing success!