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‘Guys and Dolls’ coming to Bay Port

By Ben Rodgers

SUAMICO – Students at Bay Port High School are ready to transport people back in time to the streets of New York to a world of love and gambling in “Guys and Dolls.”

“We find ourselves in downtown New York in the height of the gambling age, but also a time when gambling was frowned upon,” said Stephan Gullickson, a senior who plays Nathan Detroit. “It’s viewed by the craps players as a great game, but also by the missionaries who want to convert that into Christianity.”

Detroit runs an illegal craps game and is involved with his longtime fiancé, Miss Adelaide, a showgirl played by senior Morgan Tiedt.

“He is a high-stakes gambler,” Tiedt said of her romantic interest. “He likes traveling around. He doesn’t like settling down. He’s afraid of love and commitments and runs from his problem a lot of the time.”

Students at Bay Port High School practice a song from the upcoming musical “Guys and Dolls” coming to the Bay Port Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. on April 27-28 and May 3-4 and at 2 p.m. on May 5. Ben Rodgers Photo

Enter Sky Masterson, another high-stakes gambler played by senior Alexander Muzaski.

Detroit, in desperate need of money, challenges Masterson to woo Sarah Brown, a worker at the local mission played by senior Abby Frank.

“She’s a missionary, so she works in a church with her family and other people who have come to join the mission, and her life goal is to bring everyone to Jesus,” Frank said.

Two different characters living different lives, opposite of two characters entrenched in their ways, makes for entertaining theater, Muraski said.

“It seems like us two (Masterson and Brown), we basically just met and it’s one of those love-at-first-sight situations, unlike these two (Detroit and Adelaide) where it’s been forever trying to get closer,” Muraski said. “… In a way we’re juxtaposing each other, but in the end, there are more parallel structures between the two.”

The will they or won’t they with the four lead characters is the main plot of the show.

Caleb Leaman, senior, right, sings a song to Abby Frank, senior, during a recent rehearsal of “Guys and Dolls.” Ben Rodgers Photo

But the spring musical at Bay Port is more than just four main actors.

Director Jacki Beattie said it takes roughly 120 students to put something like this together.

Jaynie Timm does costumes with 15 or so students, Katie Verdegan is the chorographer for the entire cast, Michael Pufall does vocals and the pit band, Austin Arbour is the technical director, and Michelle Zahn assists Beattie.

Aside from the direction of the people listed above, the entire show is student-run. Students play all the parts, students play all the instruments in the pit band and students did all the costumes.

“I don’t have words to explain how hard they work on this,” Beattie said. “Everything we throw at them they take and they do and they don’t complain. The amount that they work on it is just as hard as any sports team, or any other extracurricular activity.”

Since mid January the leads have put in anywhere between 150 and 200 hours a piece on this show.

When they aren’t running lines, they are working on singing, or dancing, or blocking.

Throw in the regular duties of being a student like school, homework and jobs, and the grind can be taxing.

Alexander Muraski, senior, left does a scene with Jesse Robak, junior, from the upcoming musical “Guys and Dolls” coming to Bay Port High School. Ben Rodgers Photo

“Everyone is spending a lot of time on this, crew, pit band, lights, all of those people. It’s all worth it in the end though,” said Tiedet said. “You have to realize during practice if you’re not on stage you should be doing homework, if you’re not doing homework you should be going over your lines, if not doing those maybe you should take a 10-minute nap.”

Gullickson agrees with the grind but said the end result is worth it being able to entertain people.

“I always think when you go to a performance like this you are looking to be transported to a different time, place and story,” he said. “With this show it’s very easy to get attached to the characters.”

“Guys and Dolls” is at 7 p.m. April 27-28 and May 3-4 and at 2 p.m. on May 5 at the Bay Port High School Performing Arts Center.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at tinyurl.com/BPguys-dolls.

The box office will also be open roughly 45 minutes before each show time.

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