JHS To Present ‘Guys And Dolls’ This Week

Cast members of Jamestown High School’s upcoming production of “Guys and Dolls” are pictured during Thursday’s rehearsal at the JHS auditorium. Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday. P-J photos by Gavin Paterniti

Cast, crew and volunteers involved in this year’s Jamestown High School musical production are preparing to transport their audiences to various locales of New York City circa the 1920s and back again.

The school will present its rendition of “Guys and Dolls,” a romantic Broadway comedy set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City, this week with performances scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday in the high school auditorium.

The musical, which appeals to all ages, tells the story of gambler, Nathan Detroit, who tries to find the cash to setup the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years. Nathan turns to fellow gambler, Sky Masterson, for the dough, and Sky ends up with a straight-laced missionary, Sarah Brown, as a result.

Students have been practicing the musical since January, working every day after school and on Saturdays. Lauren Scharf, who is directing her second consecutive JHS musical, said the production is progressing well considering some unique obstacles.

“One of the big challenges this year is that the musical is being held about two weeks earlier than normal, but we’re in really good shape in spite of that,” Scharf said during Thursday’s rehearsal, which was the first time the play would be run through from start to finish. “Other than that, the things that have been going really well is that the kids have been very dedicated. A lot of the leads already had their lines memorized within the first two weeks of rehearsals. Also my two co-directors, my choreographer and vocal director, along with our pit director, have a really good chemistry between us and so we’re also jiving.”

There are many volunteers who help put on the musical each year including costume design, set design and building Sue Kent, Tasmin Pope, Jerry Costantini, Suzie Dunlap, Jen Hanlon, Julie Gable, Tammy Nordwall and Technical Director Scott Barton, along with all of the students who work behind the scenes to make the musical a success.

The students themselves pointed out the benefits to putting on and participating in a school musical each year.

“We are really lucky to have such support for our musical and to have a school musical each year,” said Andrew Roof, a senior who is playing Nathan Detroit. “It gives the opportunity to students who may want to do music in their lives. Having a musical helps you see if it is something you might like to pursue as a career, or even just continue as a hobby in your life. Joining the musical breaks down your confidence barriers and takes you out of your comfort zone in all the right ways. Working as team to creates something will help prepare you for life.”

“This is the first year I have been part of the musical,” said Isaiah Quigley, a junior who plays Benny Southstreet. “I’m used to being in sports but I wanted to try something new and out of my comfort zone. It is a lot different than sports and I really have gotten to see the real side of acting and singing. There are so many different talented students at JHS in singing, acting and dancing. I just didn’t realize this whole other world and it’s been great to be a part of it.”

“Singing is something I have a passion for,” said Sophia Isabella, a junior. “The JHS musical gives me an opportunity to not only sing and dance, but to make a strong connection with castmates, boost my self-confidence and become a better performer. It gives the community the ability to see JHS students showing their talents outside of athletics or music.”

Tickets to “Guys and Dolls” are $8, and can be purchased at the door or in advance from any cast, crew or orchestra member.