Cappies Review: Glenelg Country’s “Guys and Dolls”

Madison Trester, Guest Writer, South Carroll

Glenelg Country High School’s production of “Guys and Dolls” is an absolute must see! In Glenelg Country’s production of “Guys and Dolls,” both cast and crew showed clear dedication to the musical, which captivated the audience throughout the entirety of the show.

The musical “Guys and Dolls” first debuted in 1950 at Broadway in NYC. It is based off of two books by Damon Runyon, The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown and Blood Pressure. These books inspired Jo Swerling and Frank Loesser to collaborate to create the musical “Guys and Dolls.” This show ran for multiple seasons with still-ongoing productions due to its success. “Guys and Dolls” received Tony awards for Best musical in 1951. Soon after, in 1953 “Guys and Dolls” began production in the UK. As the musical became well known, it was eventually made into film rendition in 1955. The plot of “Guys and Dolls” is set in New York City in the 1950s with two separate couples who find themselves closely intertwined with the secretive game of gambling.

From the moment he stepped on stage, Alejandro Flores-Chevere, playing the character of Nathan Detroit, captivated the audience with his comedic sarcasm and witty remarks, specifically when Detroit was frantically searching for a place for the Crapshooters to play their game. While Flores-Chevere’s comedic comebacks and sarcastic remarks created a light-hearted atmosphere to the show, his ability to face hard truths and circumstances were portrayed when he came to terms that he could lose his love, Miss Adelaide. Izzy DeBonis, starring as the infamous performer at the Hot Box, Miss Adelaide, captivated the audience. DeBonis showed both her comedic and sensitive traits through her role to convey all situations throughout the performance. Specifically her performance of “A Bushel and a Peck” had the audience humming along with her welcoming persona at the Hot Box. However, the production could not go unoticed without characters such as Sky Masterson, played by Gavin Gundersen, and Sarah Brown, played by Amber Garcia. Both Gundersen and Garcia humbled the stage in their blossoming and unexpected love story in songs such asĀ  “My Time of Day” and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before.”

Glenelg Country’s production came to life through the supporting and featured cast members. Dyllon Ravenell, playing the role of Averide Abernathy conveyed the loving and open-hearted grandfather to Sarah. Ravenell’s melodic vocals in the song “More I Cannot Wish You” captures the heart of the audience. The comedic duo of Nicely Nicely Johnson (McKenzie Kittrell) and Benny Southstreet (Luka Madhok) portrayed hilarious facial expressions and mannerisms which left the audience gasping for air. The ensembles in “Guys and Dolls” such as the Crapshooters and the Hot Box dancers showed extensive dedication to the success of the show.

The tech categories did not go unnoticed in this production of “Guys and Dolls.” Lighting design by Alexandra Rysyniak had an intentional purpose and added to the musical’s comedic atmosphere while creating heartwarming moments during the show. Glenelg Country’s Pit Orchestra added delightful backgrounds and intros for the musical. Specifically during scenes such as Havana and the Crapshooters Ballet, the pit musicians were given their time to shine with their songs. GCS Advanced Stagecraft Team built remarkable sets with exceeding attention to detail such as dice, poker chips, and black jack cards incorporated into the set design. During the show there was always a surprise to see the swift and clean changes between sets. Glenelg Country’s stage crew was left unnoticed with their dedication to the musicals success.

Glenelg Country’s production of “Guys and Dolls” kept the audience on the edge of their seats with anticipation alongside the Crapshooters.