PWHS Theater Department Presents “Guys and Dolls”

WEST PORTSMOUTH- The Mother’s Day Tradition continues as the Broadway musical “Guys and Dolls” takes center stage May 12-14th at the VRCFA. Audience members will be transported from New York City’s “Times Square,” “to the dance clubs in Havana and back to NYC as the Portsmouth West High School Theater Department performs the famed high-energy production.

Under the direction of Portsmouth West High School’s Linda Tieman, “Guys and Dolls” is a musical comedy that keeps the audience engaged from beginning to end. Lots of music, familiar songs and a story line that will have you cheering for two of the most unlikely couples by the end.

The musical follows the story of young missionary Sarah Brown played by veteran actor Abigail Hazelbaker, as she works tirelessly against the increasing influence of a high-roller gambler Sky Masterson, played by Dalton Hedrick. Hedrick and Hazelbaker previously worked together in PWHS productions “Mama Mia”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, and most recently “We Will Rock You,” The Story of Queen.

The timeless song “Luck be a Lady” is featured in this musical and most will remember the Frank Sinatra version and they will find themselves captivated by the story. This is Hedrick’s favorite scene in the musical. He added local physician, Dr. Vincent Scarpinato is working with the actors to prepare for this type of production that couples dance, song, and dialog. Hedrick added “He is an experienced actor who actually played Sky Masterson before in another local production.”

In “Guys and Dolls” the audience will watch nervously as gambler Nathan Detroit (played by Noah Williams) searches tirelessly for a location to accommodate his gambling game. He ultimately is forced into the sewers for lack of a better location. Williams described this production as one of the theater department’s largest post-pandemic productions since it incorporates dialogue to tell the story in addition to song and dance. “There are a lot of lines and interaction among the cast.” “Lots of scenery changes.”

The role of his long time fiancé (Miss Adelaide) who is determined to get Nathan to the alter, is shared by Samantha Gray and Bella Kammer. Miss Adelaide has been engaged to the “rough around the edges gambler” for over fourteen years and she desperately tries to get him to the alter.

Samantha Gray, who most recently performed solos in “We Will Rock You” and was featured in “Mamma Mia” is excited about the opportunity to be included in this cast. Bella Kammer is an experienced performer having worked with the local PAAC Children’s Theater programs for many years and she hit the ground running when she joined the PWHS Theater Department.

Both Gray and Kammer described the transformation that happens when they put on their costumes. “You suddenly become the character when you step onto that stage and you see the audience reacting to you.”

Williams explained how everything changes when the scenes are performed all together. “We have been practicing individual scenes and suddenly everything is performed from beginning to end and we get to experience it. Everything works. When the show is over and people come to see us in the lobby, it is just great.”

Hazelbaker added just how the much the theater department had become a family during school year. In addition to their regular coursework, the castmates have long hours of practice after school, many having worked together for years.

The transformation of the VRCFA into NYC is further enforced by the handcrafted sets designed and constructed by Gary Tieman and Ed Ingles. The two craftsmen have been designing Broadway caliber sets for over a decade and are such an important part of the theater experience. Many set changes will provide the timeline for the story.

Cast members include: Jackson Bell, Jacob Sherman, Logan Ralstin, Abigail Hazelbaker, Earnest Rhoden, Connor Gray, Samuel Weiss, Noah Williams, Bella Kammer, Samantha Gray, Dalton Hedrick, Dalton Russell, Sara Carter, Kara Carter, Mason Tieman, Elijah Crisp, Macie Jones, Emily Hammond, Abbigail Rodgers, Tabitha Rodgers, Ellie Powell, Kara Carter, Sara Carter, Jacee Carver, Emmaly Damron, Claira Davis, Tehya Hazelbaker Tabitha Johnson, Cassidy McClurg, Lita McGraw, Malaya McGuire, Adriana Quirasco, Bella Sherman, Ashlynn Swords, Deaglan Wolfe, Elijah Crisp, Ethan Doughman, Ash Grabowski, Braden Grooms, Isaac Homer, Ethan Patton, Bryson Perry, Hunter Terry and Turner Young.

Dr. Jessica Powell is featured on the piano. Dr. Ryan Powell with lighting, etc., Gary Tieman and Ed Ingles with sets/props.

Tickets for the Friday (May 12,) Saturday (May 13) or Sunday (May 14) performances are on sale at the VRCFA website or at the box office.

For additional information contact: Debbie Gambill 740-357-2112 or [email protected]

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