Guys and Dolls, Jr.
by Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids

Can gambling guys ever give up the life of dice? They will if the dolls that love them (but want to change them) have their way in this classic musical featuring such Broadway hits as Luck be a Lady, A Fugue for Tin Horns, and If I Were a Bell.

Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids in Denver tackle this one with a cast consisting almost entirely of pre-teens, and they came up with some aces beginning with their four leads. Twelve-year-old Sarah Hammond, playing her namesake Christian soldier, is the sober and straight-laced Sarah Brown determined to rid New York City of sin, never suspecting that she could end up falling for one of the biggest sinners in the form of high-stakes gambler Sky Masterson. Weston Cowden, the old man in the group at fourteen, seems a seasoned actor with a good feel for his character as the smooth, confident Sky who falls for his first sucker bet, and falls for her hard. They’re both on top of their game in If I Were a Bell, Sarah’s solo after she cuts loose (thanks in part to a little Bacardi-flavored milk) and Sky finds himself bemused, charmed, and suddenly aware that he cares for this doll more than any other.

And then there’re their comical counterparts. Ten-year-old Jackson Lomis stars as Nathan Detroit, short in stature but tall in poise and style as the guy having trouble getting his popular floating crap game afloat with the police breathing down his neck, and having even more trouble trying to keep his fiancé Adelaide happy as she laments their fourteenth anniversary since becoming engaged. Which would mean that Lizzie Pittman became engaged three years before she was born. This eleven-year-old talent is a hoot with great vocal work, expressions, and a charming personality. She shines in Adelaide’s Lament as she suffers from her psychosomatic syndrome of being forever a fiancé, and as she flirts easily with the audience as the leader of the club’s Hot Box Dancers (choreographed by Lucia Rich), and again with Sarah Hammond as the two grow determined to marry the man today and change his ways tomorrow.

The show also includes twin brothers Matt and Mike McCoo as Nathan’s friends and business associates Nicely-Nicely Johnson and Benny Southstreet who kick the show off with A Fugue for Tin Horns, Gwenllian Kern-Allely as the always-one-step-behind Lt. Brannigan, a hilarious Cuban waiter (Liam McClelland) who just can’t stop shaking his booty, and an ensemble of gamblers and those mission workers determined to reform them.

Christopher Keener directs a polished, fun, and creative production. Before it’s over, Sister Sarah will be offended by a local drunk who offers her a drink from his bottle after she suffers some bad reviews when one of the New Yorkers yells that her speech is the worst show he’s ever seen, Sky Masterson will crawl through a plastic tube on the floor to reach the floating crap game down in a sewer, “luck” will literally be a lady with a dolled-up Lt. Brannigan as a visible manifestation of the metaphor, and two young ensemble members dressed up as dice will spin their way onto the stage, holding the fate of guys and dolls in their roll.

Performs April 20-22, 2007.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Nicely-Nicely Johnson: Matt McCoo
Benny Southstreet: Mike McCoo
Sarah Brown: Sarah Hammond
Rose Abernathy: Rachel Turnock
Agatha: Aviva Getschel
Calvin: Liam McClelland
Harry the Horse: Nils Gustafson
Lt. Brannigan: Gwenllian Kern-Allely
Nathan Detroit: Jackson Lomis
Miss Adelaide: Lizzie Pittman
Sky Masterson: Weston Cowden
Hot Box Girls:
Sarah Gaipa
Vivian McCall
Aviva Getschel
Dana Good
Gwenllian Kern-Allely
Mimi: Jessica Kehres
General Cartright: Nicole Veselak
Big Jule: Mateo Correa
Society Max: Liam McClelland
Brandy Bottle Bates: Mateo Correa
Angie the Ox: Nicole Veselak

Director: Christopher Keener
Choreographer/Assistant Director: Lucia Rich
Musical Director: Heidi Anderson
Costumes: Nona Comerford and Disguises, LLC
Sound Design: Matt Lyon
Lighting Design: Seth Alison


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