Paul VI Catholic High School Guys and DollsBy Cappies • Apr 30th, 2014 • Category: Cappies
Ever seen a crapshooter? You’ll know one when you see him, a bright suit on his back, dice in his hand, and a doll on his arm. In other words, he looks like a snake that swallowed a golf ball. Paul VI Catholic High School’s performance of Guys and Dolls took the audience to New York City back when the dolls were glamorous and the guys were scoundrels.
Written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, Guys and Dolls is an adaptation of short stories written by Damon Runyon. Set in New York, the musical chronicles the lives of gamblers, dancers, and even missionaries. The production premiered on Broadway in 1950 and won a Tony Award for Best Musical. A film adaptation starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and Jean Simmons premiered in 1955.
Playing the shifty, albeit redeemable, Nathan Detroit, Spencer Loessberg instantly proved himself a strong male lead. His vocal abilities were very solid and his chemistry with Miss Adelaide was hilariously believable with all of their heated squabbles. Speaking of the night singer, Abby Rozmajzl played the spunky Hot Box star to perfection. Her belting abilities were incredible and every twitch of the eyebrow and squeak of the voice was done with flawless comedic timing.
With equal leading stage time and magnetic charisma, Jacob Rozmajzl played the freewheeling Sky Masterson. Trapped into a bet that he couldn’t get a missionary sister out to dinner, Sky’s goal to charm the uptight Sarah Brown quickly unraveled as he found himself falling for her. Rozmajzl’s singing abilities were on par with those of professional performers. He was always quietly engaged on stage and had a presence that could not be ignored, and to his immense credit was impeccably consistent with his old New York style accent. Sarah Brown (Caleigh Davis) had just the right amount of sweetness to her and her gentle soprano voice suited the role perfectly.
Other standouts of the night included Big Jule (Joey Arzeno) the intimidating gangster from Chicago who had excellent deadpan lines, an intimidating presence, and a memorable straddle jump over Nathan in a men’s dance number. Nicely Nicely Johnson (J.J. Cummings) was also a crowd favorite with his flustered sincerity juxtaposing his gambler’s status. His shining moment came in “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” where he proved himself an accomplished vocalist. The male ensemble as a whole was incredibly impressive with their commitment to lively characters and constant engagement on stage.
“Call it sad, call it funny. But it’s better than even money, that the guy’s only doing it for some doll.” Wedding bells rung and the card decks were pocketed in the end when it seemed, as it often does, that the dolls did the real work. With contagious enthusiasm and stand out vocalists, the Paul the VI Catholic High School players had lady luck (and a lot of hard work) on their side. This show is one that’ll leave you ringing like a bell and humming right along, you can bet on it.
by Emilia Brennan of Oakton High School
Photos by Paul VI Catholic High School
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