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Watauga County High School Performs 1950’s “Guys and Dolls,” Apr. 6-8

By Katie Benfield 

This spring, Watauga High School Performing Arts Department is performing “Guys and Dolls,” a romantic comedy that follows a delinquent protagonist who falls in love with an unlikely girl. The performances will be from Apr. 6-8 at 7 p.m. in the Ross Auditorium of Watauga High School.

“Guys and Dolls” first premiered on Broadway in 1950, a musical that has lasted for generations, receiving a Tony Award, numerous performances and even a film adaptation.

“In our selection process, we try to bounce between eras, writers and styles,” Sarah Miller, director of the WHS play, said. “‘Guys and Dolls’ is a great golden age musical, a large cast production, and an opportunity for Zack Walker, the show’s co-director, to do some amazing set design.”

The play is centered around the main character, a gambler by the name of Sky Masterson, who falls in with Nathan Detroit, a con-man who is trying to find funds to secure a new venue for his illegal activities.

Detroit and Masterson make a bet – a bet that Masterson would be unable to woo a “doll” to Havana, Cuba on a date with him. The doll that Detroit chooses to be the focus of the bet just so happens to be Sarah Brown, a missionary that’s head of the Save-a-Soul Mission. Masterson thinks he’s been tricked in the bet, but he finds that he actually falls for Brown in a way he never expected.

The cast of the play is large with approximately 120 people involved, and that includes actors, technicians, musicians and the like. It consists of students of all ages in the high school who are constantly working their hardest to capture the characters, the play’s purpose and to improve themselves in their art daily.

“This kind of show provides the opportunity for some nice character work, and the cast has really taken to that,” Miller said. “It’s very stylized – big physical takes, giant facial expressions, over-the-top performances.”

According to Miller, the play is stylistically typical of a 50’s era performance, and the high school’s rendition has been beautifully created, stylistically perfected and is a show nobody in the High Country wants to miss.

“I think the audience can expect excellence. Everyone that takes part in a musical at WHS gives their full measure of devotion and talent to the show, and that comes off in droves on opening night,” Garrett Price, Director of Communications of Watauga County Schools, said. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend money on live entertainment in Boone.”

According to Price, everything regarding the play is student-driven.

“They build the sets, they run the lights, they play the music; they act, sing and dance in the show,” Price said. “Students that take part in a production like this don’t just get the opportunity to perform – they are exposed to a unique learning experience that transcends the final product you’ll see on stage.”

The drama department at WHS is completely self-funded, and all the ticket sales go towards helping them continue to put on excellent and entertaining performances such as this one.

Tickets go on sale Thurs., Mar. 30. They can be purchased in the lobby of the high school, Monday through Friday, from 11:45 a.m. until 1:45 p.m. Tickets cost $10 each and seating is reserved.

It is recommended that you purchase tickets ahead of time, as there is no guarantee they will be available at the door, and these performances are expected to be sell-outs.

For ticket information, email whsspringmusical@gmail.com

Cast Members:

Owen Warmuth as Nathan Detroit

Rachel Sabo-Hedges as Miss Adelaide

R.J. Christian as Sky Masterson

Morgan Carr as Sarah Brown