Guys and Dolls
Feature story by Mina Lam
On the 22nd of February, something unusual happened. The hall, normally dark and empty by 7:30, was suddenly a bubbling hub of students, parents and visitors, gathered in front of the doors. Quiet murmurs filled the air, punctuated by an occasional shout and frantic waving of hands as friends were reunited. The student volunteers calmly shepherded those lost towards the ticket booth with a smile, whilst the ticket sellers were fast and efficient in dispersing the long line that formed.
Backstage, the cast and crew were buzzing with a combination of excitement and nerves. Final touches to the props and costumes were applied, sound and lightning was checked once more, as everyone readied themselves for the show.
Meanwhile, a sudden clang announced that the doors were open. The excitement in the audience was palpable. A mad rush to the best seats began. As the crowd finally settled in their seats, they took in the colourful 1920’s era posters that transported the audience back into a time of speakeasies, gambling and prohibition. The lights dimmed, and the orchestra began to play…
Guys and Dolls is an award winning musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, which premiered on Broadway in 1950. It is set in New York City, during a time where alcohol, gambling and parties were more abundant than ever. The musical follows the journey of four main characters: Nathan Detroit (Oskar Ho), New York’s most infamous crap game organiser; Sky Masterson (Bryan Chan), a gambler willing to bet on anything; Miss Adelaide (Jane Wong), Nathan’s fiancée of 14 years; and Sarah Brown (Mari Lam), a beautiful and pious sergeant that runs the local “Save-a-soul” mission.
In order to raise $1000 for a crap game, Nathan Detroit challenges Sky Masterson to the seemingly impossible feat of taking Sarah Brown to Havana, Cuba. He is certain that Sarah Brown, religious and morally upright, would never agree to such a proposition. As a tumultuous relationship develops between Sarah and Sky, Nathan struggles with his own relationship with his fiancée Adelaide, who is tired of waiting for him to propose. The audience follows the growth of these two characters from self proclaimed sinners to reformed men, with brilliant dancing and catchy tunes such as “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat”, “Take Back Your Mink” ,“A Bushel and a Peck”, “Adelaide’s Lament”, “If I Were A Bell” and “Marry the Man Today”.
The show ran for three nights, and every performance was a high energy, hilarious and unforgettable experience. All the performers showed outstanding talent singing, dancing and acting, never failing to make the audience laugh. This was a result of four months of intensive rehearsals both after school and on weekends, practicing lines and songs. The success of this show was also due to teachers’ and backstage volunteers’ hard work and contributions.
Although the performers contributed significant amounts of time, to them, it was all worth it for the incredible experience. Kaila Pasceri, playing the role of the Havana Solo Dancer in the production, said: “I met a group of people who were just like me; quirky, caring, enthusiastic and infatuated with what they do best … perform.”.
From the beginning to the end, an exceptional experience was produced, and for that, we must give a giant round of applause to the talented performers, teachers and volunteers.