On April 23, 2011, I had the great privilege of watching Guys and Dolls at Bethel High School in Spanaway, Washington, USA.
The Musical Director, Steve Barnett who dressed in a 40‘s style hat and long black trench coat, appeared not much older than 25, lead an impressive 16 piece orchestra throughout the show, with his sidekick Mike Hoye, who helped with music direction and accompanied on the keyboard.
The orchestra started off the show with a soft distinctive old style jazzy prelude and played throughout the show. It was relaxing and quite enjoyable, I caught myself more times than I can count tapping my foot and moving my head back and forth. Thank goodness I sat in the back row so no one would be distracted.
As a great fan of the Salvation Army, I was pleasantly surprised their characters were a big part of the show. As the production progressed, I kept having to remind myself I wasn't at the 5th Avenue in Seattle as the professionalism and talent were comparable.
The singing, dancing, and acting was far beyond your average high school skills. Drake Brown as Benny South street, and Morgan Vann as Nicely-Nicely Johnson stood out as talented singers, entertainers, and actors and as only a freshman and a sophomore they have time to enjoy high school and hone those skills.
The struggle ensued with the continuous sneaking around trying to get a discreet craps game going. The adorably petite Miss Adalaide, played by Erica Frank could really belt out a tune, dance, and shake her booty which was quite spectacular considering she couldn't have weighed more than 80 lbs soak and wet.
One of the lead boys Nathan Detroit, played by Steven Cagle, was a natural-born actor, he danced around the relentless Adalaide as she pleaded to get married after lying to her mom she had already tied the knot.
Megan Cook played the very believable uptight, religious Salvation Army Sergeant Sarah Brown who sang soprano in her many avoidances of Sky Masterson played by Jordan Drewer, until he won her heart. Jordan was not only an impressive singer, I loved it when he sang "Luck be a Lady," that young man could dance and entertain too.
My favorite part of the show was the Havana dancing and fight scene which must've included the whole cast. The time to put this show together had to have been intense as the choreography was extensive and well done by the performers.
My dear Educational Service Center buddy, the Director of the Arts and Music Department was amazing as Arvide Abernathy. I loved it when he sang, "More I cannot Wish You." How many Department Directors do you see step into a role in a high school play? Michael Sandner is one of my Bethel heroes because of all he does for and with the kids to keep Art and Music alive!
The Production Director:
Mary Ellen Gilmour
The rest of the cast:
Harry The Horse/General Cartwright: Sara Netter
Big Jule: Nate Johns
Lieutenant Brannigan: Ryan Szenk
Hotbox MC/Gambler: Myko Aragon
Mimi-Hot Box Girl: Brielle Lammert
Agatha/Big Jule: Kaitlyn Gates
Allison-Hotbox Girl: Abigail Kostelecky
Ferguson-Hotbox Girl: Caitlin Lorenz
Society Max: Jason Carlisle
Hotbox Girl/Lead Havana Dancer: Trairat "Sum" Unteng
Hotbox Girl: Brittney Muse
Mission Doll: Ronnie Briggs
Hotbox Girl: Ashley Okarski
Stage Manager/Sound/Program/Photographer: Alithia Dombrowski
Stage Assistants: Bruno Huerta, Katalynn Sutton
Stage Technicians: Joshua Rodriguez, Kimberly Van Sickle
Stage/Curtain Kaycee Gerken
Photographer: Josselyn Guillarmou
Sound: Racheal Albrecht
Head, light, and spotlight: Grant Aragon, Matthew Parmenter, Travis Hogue
Set Design/Construction: Jack Hagey
Set Construction: Sonja Moran, Matthew Lindberg
Contra Bass: Shelby Sewright
Piccolo/Flute: Serena Scrivner
Flute: Mystery Culver
Percussion: Tyler Brewer
Saxophone/Clarinet: Nikki Phillips
Saxophone: Theresa Eckles
Trumpet: Amanda Gentry, Lindsey House
Cello: Melena Collins
Trombone: Christian Read
Baritone Saxophone: Theresa Fuller
Viola: Monica Themar
Violin: Michaeline Collins, Jiaqian Lu
Clarinet: Daniel Kennett, Stephanie Day