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Thomson High troupe tackles story of Guys and Dolls

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Torrey Boyd as Nicely-Nicely Johnson (left) and Jordan Lewis as Sky Masterson perform a scene.

When Janet Bailey, choral director at Thomson High School, was looking for a musical her students could perform this year, she was looking for a script that would encompass her large class. Ms. Bailey said she found that, and a whole lot more.

The production of Guys and Dolls will be in the school's theater at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, Friday, Feb. 10, and Saturday, Feb. 11.

"I read through at least 10 or 15 musicals this summer looking for one that would use a large cast. ... I love the script, it made me laugh and it made me cry, but mostly it made me laugh," Ms. Bailey said.

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Crystal Knight gets into character.

According to a theater history website, the popular musical opened on Broadway in 1950 and ran for 1,200 performances before being made into a movie starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and Jean Simmons.

Ms. Bailey said the setting of the musical, written by Frank Loesser, is in the 1940's "when marriage was a big thing." The story revolves around a New York City gambler, Nathan Detroit, who bets fellow gambler Sky Masterson that Masterson can't make the next girl he sees fall in love with him. The next girl he sees happens to be Miss Sarah Brown, a Salvation-Army missionary, and the stage is set for a hilarious evening of complications. Jazz numbers and show dances add to the romance and comedy for a complete evening of entertainment.

"I think the dancing is some of the best parts about the whole musical. We've got some guys who are phenomenal dancers; we even have one who does a backward flip in one of the dances. It's a lot of fun," Ms. Bailey said.

The dance scenes were choreographed and are directed by Becky Moreland, who is the choreographer for the THS band and dancers. The THS Jazz Band, conducted by Jesse Moreland, will perform the musical accompaniment, along with two professional violinists - Robert Browning, head of the strings in the Richmond County School system, and Barry McDaniel, a musician and pastor at Abilene Baptist Church.

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Kimberly Adkins, as Adelaide, and Kane Bruce, as Nathan Detroit, perform.

Sophomore Jordan Lewis, who plays Sky Masterson, said he has been in many plays, but this is his first musical. Jordan said he didn't expect to get a leading part, but he likes his character because "he's a cool guy, everybody wants to be with him."

"I like the musical much better than acting, because I can really throw myself into it. I like dressing up like this, I can get into the character and feel the part," Jordan said.

The characters Nathan Detroit and his night-club chorus girlfriend, Adelaide, are played by juniors Cain Bruce and Kimberly Adkins. Cain and Kimberly said they "play off each other very well," and their favorite part of the musical is performing the song "Sue Me."

"I guess of all the characters, I love Adelaide. ... Everybody just needs to see Adelaide, she's a character of all characters. She's just fun, a lot of fun," Ms. Bailey said.

Ms. Bailey said the play is helping students learn about true love and marriage, which she feels is down-played in today's society. Her students agree.

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Kane and Kimberly talk over dinner.

"It teaches that you can't change a person until you've loved them," said Carol Poss, a freshman who plays the part of Sarah Brown.

Tickets cost $5 for general admission and $10 for reserved seats in the center of the theater. Call the school office at 986-4200 for advanced tickets. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Due to royalties, advertising rights, costumes, set materials, props and musicians, Ms. Bailey said the performance is costing around $6,000.



Web posted on Thursday, January 26, 2006











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