'Guys and Dolls' by Wolcott High School Student Theater

'Guys and Dolls' by Wolcott High School Student Theater

Nancy Sasso Janis

  • Connecticut Critic

Wolcott, CT - The students of Wolcott High School Student Theater are presenting their fine production of the classic ‘Guys and Dolls’ this weekend in their high school auditorium on Boundline Road. They run May 5 - May 7. The showtimes are Friday, May 5th at 7:30, Saturday, May 6th at 7:30, and Sunday, May 7th at 2:00 PM.

This really is a classic musical set in New York City in the 1950’s when gambling, dancing, and laughter was a priority on Broadway. The students worked hard on this wonderful comedy that appeals to old and young audience members alike. I was invited to attend their final dress rehearsal with a good sized contingent of parents and grandparents. I saw that the result of the hard work is a colorful and fun production that features some excellent singers in the various roles. 

The gambler and male love interest Sky Masterson is played by senior Anthony DeLuco who made his character very likeable and sang very well. Nathan Detroit is played by senior Joe Daddona; he is quite personable and believable in his relationship with Miss Adelaide. Matthew Conroy plays Nicely Nicely Johnson, well, very nicely. He has the energy needed for the role and the comic ability as well. Joshua Rapisarda, a senior, takes on the role of the gambler Benny Southwest and does well with it. Oliver Edwards, a junior, is the big gambler, Big Jule in a great imposing costume. 

Junior Makayla Wagner appears in the fun role of the Irish Lt. Brannigan; she carries off the accent and the big laughs. Gabby Hamel, a junior, has the voice of an angel in the role of Sarah Brown’s friend and fellow missionary Arvide Abernathy. Her supervisor General Cartwright is played with conviction by Sara Waddington, a junior at WHS. The members of the chorus often added background to scenes at just the right points; in fact, during the overture cast members set the scene in an extended silent scene. 

Senior Sarah Olsen is the perfect Sarah Brown. She sings her difficult numbers with natural ability and made us truly like this young missionary. Lizzy Lacombe, a junior, is perfectly cast as the forever engaged Miss Adelaide; she is believable as this fun character. She maintains her accent and sings so very well. 

Choral director Laura Zimmerman directed the students in her 11th musical at the school most effectively. The blocking of the characters is well thought out and very easy to watch. "Crapshooters Ballet" with the orchestra has some great pictures in it and I never get tired of watching "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" and this ensemble did very well with it. Movable scenery constructed by Earle Wes Baldwin ensures that the audience knew where the characters are and I loved the backdrop adorned with brightly colored signs and accented with tiny white lights. Choreography by Jaclyn Kinney, the sister of the director, fit nicely with the show. “Bushel and A Peck” is done well and the Spanish dance couples move nicely.  

Dan Checovetes served as the technical director; the lighting on this high school stage looks very professional and it is impressive to see what he could do to make that backdrop look different with differing combinations of lights. I loved the look of “I’ve Never Been in Love Before.” Costumes by Mary Caye DeSocio are mostly period appropriate; I loved some of the period hats on the young ladies. The pit orchestra is directed by Jane Bate, who also plays keyboard. Adult musicians play alongside some students and it sounded quite full to me. 

Thank you to the production team for letting me into this rehearsal so that I didn’t have to miss it and best wishes for a successful run. 

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