Luck, be a Lady

WHS students to perform 50s classic, ‘Guys and Dolls’

High roller Sky Masterson (James Maguire, foreground) and other gamblers contemplate their next floating dice game. Buy this photo

Washougal High School students will bring Broadway to the Washburn Performing Arts Center this weekend.

The actors are performing, “Guys and Dolls,” a Broadway musical based on the book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, with music by Frank Loesser.

WHS Theater Director Kelly Gregersen chose the production because of its popularity and quality.

“It’s one of the top musicals of the 20th century and an absolutely wonderful piece,” he said. “It has both great music and a great plot.”

It is based in 1950s New York, the city that never sleeps. From the news seller to the chorus girl, to the gambler and missionary, all of them are caught up in the life of the city streets.

“It has been a fun adventure so far,” Gregersen said. “And I think it will be a fun show as well, for the audience and the actors.”

The musical includes several choreographed dance routines, which Gregersen said has taken hours and hours of practice on the part of the actors and for choreographer Noah Scott.

“It has been years since we’ve done a big dance show,” he said, “But watching the kids’ excitement when they finally get the steps is a ball.”

Gregersen added that he thinks audience members will recognize and enjoy the dance numbers, which include “Luck, be a Lady,” “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat,” and “Bushel and a Peck.”

Sophomore Nick Stevens plays the role of Nicely-Nicely Johnson, the right-hand man for gambler Nathan Detroit.

It is his third high school production.

“I really like the character because he has some pretty funny lines and pretty awesome solos,” he said.

Senior Julia Larson plays the role of Adelaide the showgirl, who is desperate to leave behind her lifestyle and end her 14-year engagement to Nathan Detroit by marrying him.

She wants him to give up his shady lifestyle and earn an honorable living.

“She is definitely sassy,” Larson said. “She’s so much fun and knows what she wants.”

Senior Chandler Burton is playing the role of Big Jule. It is his first high school production.

“Mr. Gregersen suggested I try out, so I did and he thought I was a good fit for the character,” Burton said.

He describes Big Jule as the gambler everyone knows.

“He is the guy who is really big, really funny and always wants his way,” Burton said. “I really like the character, he has so many good one-liners.”

The show will run this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18 and 19, at 7 p.m.

There will also be a matinee Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m.

Ticket prices are $6 for students, and $8 for adults and senior citizens.