‘Guys and Dolls’ play review

ISHPEMING – This weekend the W. C. Peterson Auditorium will be hopping with gamblers, do-gooders, and a rum-laced trip to Havana. Ishpeming High School is bringing “Guys and Dolls,” the 1951 Tony Award winning musical, to the stage, cast with a few veterans, some “first timers and several all state athletes.

Once again the team of Clark and Grazulis have put together a fun evening with bright performances, wonderful vocals and a fast paced show. Together again for a sixth time; audiences will not be disappointed by the collaboration of these two talented women. Ishpeming High School, the parents and community are lucky to have them. Just ask the students.

The whole piece was accompanied perfectly on keyboard by the by Musical Director, Sheila Grazulis, who did a great job organizing and directing the twenty four-member ensemble. Kudos to eighth grader Oskar Martinez who plays the Bass. The music also provided the perfect distraction from some scene changes.

The story throws together the guys and the dolls, the saints and the sinners, with both catastrophic and heart-warming consequences, and was brought to life by the enthusiasm and talent of the cast. The two main relationships were incredibly well done the sexual tension between the uptight Sarah (Kari Lyle) and flirtatious Sky (Devin Murphy) was a joy to watch.

Lyle’s Sarah is perfectly wholesome and romantic. Murphy is a senior and has grown into a young talent. Murphy’s Luck be a Lady is well played. No doubt Devin will surely be missed. Nathan (Cameron Adams, another senior) and Adelaide’s (Miranda Conroy) hilariously erratic relationship never failed to make the audience giggle, and it was gratifying to see these young performers share so much on stage chemistry.

Adelaide’s Lament and Sue Me are charming. This duo could absolutely steal the show. Rounding out the leads with the eleven o’clock spot is Alec Van Horn as Nicely-Nicely Johnson. Van Horn owns the moment and rouses the mission and audience with a memorable “Sit Down You’re Rock’n the Boat”. Other leads deserving mention are Kaylee Feltner, Cody Johnson and Especially Johnathan Willey as Lt. Brannigan.

However, the show would have been nothing without the chorus. Some stand outs include; Ed Mannila, Noah Stetson, Jacob Potila, and Nicholas Conroy. Everyone involved in this performance gave it their all, and the hours of hard work that had clearly been put into this show came across on stage. The guys and dolls lived up to expectation, and gave great performances, proving that not only can they sing, but move as well, and the staging by Clark made me want to get up and join in!

So head on over to the west end and roll the dice on a winner. Performance dates are Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.

Call 485-1066 for more information.

Editor’s note: Bobby Glenn Brown has served on several arts boards and is known as a performer and direrector though out the region. He holds an MFA in Musical Theatre. He is a Co-Host for the second Annual Local Dancing with the Stars .