As the house lights dim, Frank Loesser’s iconic score soars through South Pasadena Middle School’s auditorium bringing the bustling streets of 1949 Manhattan to life in this musical masterpiece. Guys and Dolls tells the tale of con-man, Nathan Detroit, as he struggles to keep his illegal and notorious, crap game alive. When his trusty venue is raided by the police, Nathan has to rush to find a new home for his crap game but lacks the cash to secure one. In an attempt to secure the “dough”, Nathan bets his high-rolling buddy, Sky Masterson that Sky can’t take the “doll” of Nathan’s choosing on a date to Havana, Cuba. Sky agrees to the bet and the real game is set in motion. Nathan chooses the reserved and uptight Evangelist Sarah Brown. Sky thinks he’s taken a sucker’s bet for the first time in his life, but soon discovers his life turned upside down when his efforts to woo Sarah are so successful that he falls in love with her himself! Based on the characters and short stories of Damon Runyon, this Broadway masterpiece with Music by Frank Loesser, Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, features such memorable tunes as the hilarious “Adelaide’s Lament,” the romantic “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” and the classic “Luck Be a Lady.”
South Pasadena’s future music theatre stars take the stage in this stylish new production by Australian director Christopher Walker. Mr. Walker infuses Damon Runyon’s colorful characters with big, bold comedy in this hysterical production that integrates new media with a nostalgic late 1940’s scenic design.
“Expect to laugh!” says Walker, “This script is Hilarious, and also even funnier when performed by a youth cast. It’s a classic that will have you toe-tapping but also allows you to laugh raucously throughout the whole story.” This is Walker’s third time directing this particular musical and he offers, “I guess the most surprising part has been able to witness the new discoveries these students bring to each of these iconic characters, I spent a good amount of rehearsals laughing at ways these talented little actors have been delivering lines, truly entertaining indeed! I am super excited to bring this show to our audiences, and I hope you all love what these dedicated little actors bring to our story!”
Felicity Muñoz, who co-choreographed last year’s crowd pleasing hit Hairspray, utilizes tap, ballet, jazz and salsa to stylishly choreograph the more than half a dozen musical numbers in the show. Rounding out the production team are musical director Julie Welch, technical director JC Gafford, Hollywood lighting designer Phil Browne, sound designer Jay Lee, costume designer Ray Rochelle, and the SPMS orchestra led by Sarah Martin in this production that features an acting ensemble and stage crew of over eighty talented students.
SGVMT’s producing artistic director, Bobby Hundley, gushed with pride as he finished watching a dress rehearsal. “It’s incredible to see how far the students have come with their performances from the first day of rehearsal to now. Chris’ keen attention to detail and ensemble first mentality, in his direction, has really forged a special chemistry amongst the cast and it shows on stage.” Mr. Hundley said as Mr. Walker rounded up the students for notes. Hundley continued, “The singing is beautiful, the dancing is dynamic, and the acting is very well done. The South Pasadena community has a gem in their backyard and I hope everyone comes out to support the hard work of these wonderful kids.”
This production is part of SPMS’s ongoing partnership with the San Gabriel Valley Music Theatre to provide students with a unique, music theatre conservatory each Spring teaching students acting, text analysis, character development, vocal technique, dance, design and technical stage craft. Performances are Friday May 3rd at 7:30pm, Saturday May 4th at 2:00pm and 7:30pm and Sunday May 5th at 2:00pm. Tickets are only $20 Reserved assigned seating, $10 General admission and may be purchased online at http://www.ticketor.com/SGVMT or call 626-399-3876.