“It’s energetic, it’s romantic, and it’s a lot of fun. A very enjoyable show.” says Nicholas Stockero, who plays Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls.
Guys and Dolls is a musical, the book written in 1950 by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling and the music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. West Theatre Arts Program will be performing the piece from February 9th to 11th in the West Performing Arts Center.
“Guys and Dolls is set in New York City during the… 60’s” says Evan McKenzie, who plays Nathan Detroit.
The 60’s were a time of bets and gambling, and Nathan Detroit needs money to pay for a place to hold his “oldest established permanent floating crap game”, which is a gambling dice game.
There are two sides to the plot of Guys and Dolls. McKenzie says,“It’s about a guy named Sky Masterson and he is bet by Nathan Detroit, my character. So I make a bet with him that he can’t take a girl that I choose on a vacation. Sky is a gambler so he takes the bet,”
The second side of the plot, Stockero says,“The plot revolves around two paralleling love stories. You have Nathan Detroit who is the fiance to Adelaide and they go through how Nathan is uncertain about the relationship… Then it also follows Sky and his relationship with one of the missionary leaders named Sarah, and how they get together is through Nathan and it’s really complicated because Sky’s a gamber and Sarah’s a missionary worker so they go through how they kind-of mix up their intentions, but as always, all goes well at the end so…”
“Our production is really unique this year because we have a ton of people who are new to theater and its been a really cool experience kinda introducing everyone to the basics of what makes it so fun for me” states McKenzie, a junior who estimates that he’s been in five musicals so far.
Guys and Dolls wasn’t made to be funny, but some comedic relief made its way into the production. “Comedy isn’t a main factor but they slip it in there in a very clever way.” says Stockero.
The music in the production is also another favorite of some the actors.
McKenzie states, “My favorite part about the musical is definitely the songs. The songs are a classic and… Musicals like this have really great harmonies and just the humor and franticness of the entire musical makes it a challenge for our school but it’s also gonna be really great to see it on stage.”
Performing and practising for musicals such as Guys and Dolls is a difficult task according to some actors. Stockero states, “It’s relatively strict. I wish people actually treated it that way because that’s how it should be. ‘Cause it’s a lot of work, it’s split into three different parts. You have to work on the music, then you have to work on the choreography, then you have to work on the actual play aspect of it. It’s a lot of work for us to have those three separate things, then you have to bring it all together.”
On the same topic, Ryan Vanselow, a seventh grader who plays Nicely-Nicely Johnson, states, “It can be really tedious at times.. But if you definitely put in the work it can result in an amazing show,”
“If you think you’re not a musical person, if you’ve never been to a musical at New Berlin West, I highly suggest you go to at least one because it’s a great way to support all of the actors who are all your classmates and it’s also a great way to realize that anyone can be a musical lover. They’re comedies, they sound beautiful, and it involves a lot of teamwork to put it together. I think it’s one of the most amazing things a school can put together,” McKenzie concludes.