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West Potomac High School Guys and Dolls

By • May 6th, 2008 • Category: Cappies

With the cops on your tail, where’s a man to run the oldest established, permanent floating, crap game in New York? Set among the gangsters and gamblers of the 1940s, West Potomac High School’s recent energetic production of the musical Guys and Dolls certainly rocked the boat.

Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls has been a hit since 1950, when its original run on Broadway lasted 1,200 performances and won five Tony Awards. In its well known story, gambler Nathan Detroit has finally found a garage willing to host his illegal crap game, but he’s still lacking the $1,000 the owner requires. So he makes a bet he cannot lose: his friend Sky Masterson must take uptight Save-A-Soul Mission’s Sergeant Sarah Brown to Havana tomorrow. In the course of the next few days, complications and chaos arise, and an awful lot of money changes hands.

The talented dancers were the backbone of this show, filling each musical number with high-spirited enthusiasm. The ensemble of Crapshooters executed complex choreography in “The Crapshooter’s Dance,” creating a lively, memorable image. The enthusiastic Cuban Dancers brought their scene to life, with Rebecca Walker and Hunter Link standing out from the crowd with their impressive performance.

Paul Disselkoen enhanced the ensemble’s equally spirited number, “Luck be a Lady,” with his strong vocals as Sky Masterson. His expressive voice coupled with believable line delivery, created an enjoyable effect. Both Annie Trimber and Kathryn Brewster (as Sergeant Sarah Brown and Nathan’s girlfriend Miss Adelaide, respectively) created convincing characters, and the two actresses worked well together during “Marry the Man Today.”

Amid several talented supporting actors, Graham Jenkins filled his endearing portrayal of Nicely-Nicely Johnson with nervous tics and earnest stutters. Jenkins and Chris Silva (Benny Southstreet) were fun to watch during their harmonious duet “Guys and Dolls.” Laura Page was intimidating as General Matilda B. Cartwright, and always stayed firmly in character. However, several performers lost their personality and accents while singing, and poor enunciation, combined with a sometimes overwhelming orchestra, made some songs difficult to understand.

Despite getting off to a slightly slow start, Lady Luck was with the guys and dolls of West Potomac High School, as they came together to make this show a joy to watch.

by Leila Giles of Homeschool

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