Theatre Information

Woodrow Wilson High School Guys and Dolls

By • Nov 29th, 2012 • Category: Cappies, Virginia, Washington DC

Woodrow Wilson High School’s Theatre Department “rocks the boat” with a throughly vivacious production of Frank Loesser’s classic Guys and Dolls! Woodrow Wilson’s production delightfully brings the familiar tunes and enduring themes of this musical comedy to the stage.

Guys and Dolls first made its début on Broadway in 1950 and is based on the stories and characters of Damon Runyon. Winning the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1951, Guys and Dolls follows the story of two particular gamblers. One is Nathan Detroit (Des O’Brien) whose dedication to gambling has prolonged the engagement to Hot Box showgirl Miss Adelaide (Anna Martone) for 14 years. The other prominent gambler, a smooth talking big shot Sky Masterson (David Peck), takes a bet with Nathan that he will be able to woo the pious and abstemious Sarah Brown (Samantha Cherukuri) into accepting a dinner invitation with him to Havana.

In Woodrow WIlson’s production, Anna Martone, playing Miss Adelaide, carried the show. The flamboyant gestures and physical expressions gave exactly the right streak of defiance and adoration toward Nathan (Des O’Brien). Surrounded by a dazzling light frame, her solid presence carried distinctly amidst the other lively and committed dancers in Hot Box numbers such as “A Bushel and a Peck.” Martone’s chemistry with O’Brien in numbers such as “Sue Me” were both adorable and entertaining as they both played off one another with humor and proceeded to take successful risks with the characterization of their respective roles.

Anchoring the show were David Peck (laid back and alluring Sky Masterson), Des O’ Brien (aggressive yet sweet Nathan Detroit), and Samantha Cherukuri (pious and strict missionary Sarah Brown). Cherukuri displayed a vocal range of envy in numbers such as “I’ll Know” with Peck. Cherukuri’s strong angelic head voice in harmony with Peck’s deep and powerful voice in this number was heartwarming and beautifully executed.

Zac Nachbar-Seckel stole the show with his brilliant physical and vocal characterization of Nicely-Nicely Johnson. One of the strongest numbers in the production was “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” due to his fabulous execution and vocal ability supported by the energetic choreography and unexpected harmonies from the Crap Shooters. His ability to both stand out and naturally blend in is commendable. Everything from his walk to his ability to maintain a pitch had the audience charmed. In general, the cast was lively and the big numbers, like “The Crap Game Dance,” were pulled off smoothly and authentically despite the number of people on stage.

The set of the underground crap game was a wonderful surprise and transitions between scenes were done smoothly without a single prop out-of-place. Costumes ranging from the pin-striped suits of the gamblers to the flamboyant dresses of the Havana dancers were accurate and fitting. The entirety of the performance was supported by a skilled orchestra and colorful lighting. Despite a few mic and enunciation problems, both the cast and crew put forth very good effort and carried on a thoroughly enjoyable production of Guys and Dolls.

by Michiko Feehan of Albert Einstein High School

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