‘Guys and Dolls’ goes junior at EVMS
Eagle Valley Middle School is joining the schools across America with a production of “Guys and Dolls Junior,” taking the classic concept of “let’s put on a show” and reaching new academic heights through the program titled “The Broadway Junior Collection.” The performers take the stage at Eagle Valley High School Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.
Broadway Junior is a program that abridges classic Broadway musicals in special editions for ages 8-14 to perform. To celebrate the accomplishments of “a bushel and a peck” – a.k.a. dozens – of students involved in the production, opening night Eagle Valley Middle School will include a certificate presentation by representatives for Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, who wrote the book to the show, and Frank Loesser, who wrote the music and lyrics, commending the cast on their successful production. They encourage the students to continue to embrace the arts in the future.
“From the first rehearsal, the students have worked as a team,” says Tim McDonald, Broadway Junior project director, “learning their individual parts as well as working together to present a convincing picture of 1940s-New York, complete with realistic depictions of the people who inhabited it – from gamblers and performers to the crusaders trying to cleanse their souls – through music. We think they deserve a standing ovation from the community for all their work. Broadway Junior applauds the hard work that Eagle Valley Middle School’s student performers, propmasters, scenery artists, lighting designers and directors have put into Guys and Dolls Junior.”
Considered by many to be the perfect musical comedy, “Guys and Dolls” follows Salvation Army crusaders and high rollers from the streets of Times Square to Havana and back again. Permanently-engaged Nathan (to psychosomatic showgirl Miss Adelaide), has to save Detroit’s Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game, which will fold unless he wins a bet from slick high roller Sky Masterson. When Sky gambles that he can woo any “doll,” Nathan counters that Sky will not be able to convince an upright but uptight missionary named Sarah to go to Havana with him. Sarah finds the rakish Sky very resistible at first, but eventually melts and accompanies him to Cuba and while Sky wins the bet, Sarah wins his heart. Upon Sky’s return to New York, he bets all of the members of the rolling craps that they will have to go to the mission if he wins the game. Everything ends merrily, when Sky wins, the gamblers repent and the Dolls gets the Guys
See ‘Guys and Dolls,’ page B3
of their dreams.
Broadway Junior offers the vast majority of students their first experience with one of America’s truly unique art forms: American musical theater. Freddie Gershon, chairman of New York-based Music Theatre International, began developing the program in 1995 with the first production taking place in 1998, motivated by his belief that musical theatre could be translated to life-enhancing experiences for children.
Eagle Valley Middle School will present the Broadway Junior production Friday at Eagle Valley High School Auditorium at 747 East 3rd Street. For more information call 328-6224.
To date, over one million children have performed in more than 10,000 productions of Broadway Junior titles since the program’s launch. Titles included in the collection are ANNIE, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, INTO THE WOODS, SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND and BUGSY MALONE. Meredith Willson’s THE MUSIC MAN is a new addition to the Broadway Junior catalogue, and the great classic GODSPELL and the winner of the Best Musical London Theatre Season 2000, HONK! (The Olivier Award), will soon be joining the celebrated Junior titles as part of the great Broadway tradition and collection for young people. Once schools acquire the dramatic performing rights, they receive a “showkit” of materials designed to help both cast and crew put up a successful production, which includes a fully orchestrated CD to accompany the cast, a choreographic video, curriculum guides that tie important themes of the musical into classroom studies and a producer/director guide for teachers on casting, rehearsals and performance techniques and scripts.
For more information on Broadway Junior please call (212) 541-4684 or go to ([ http://www.broadwayjr.com/ ]http://www.broadwayjr.com/).