NEGAUNEE - It may have been spring break for the rest of the district, but some students at the Negaunee High School continued working this week, rehearsing for the school's upcoming production of "Guys and Dolls."
The first full-scale musical put on by the district since the 1960s, the musical opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Negaunee High School auditorium, with additional shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost $8, available at the door or in advance at the Midtown Bakery and Cafe, Younkers or the Vista Theater Thrift Shop.
The family-friendly musical follows the adventures of a pair of New York City gamblers, Nathan Detroit and Skye Masterson, as they attempt to hold a high stakes illegal craps game, despite the interference of local law enforcement and the protests of their respective love interests - Nathan's fiancee, Miss Adelaide, and Sarah Brown, the sergeant of the local Save-A-Soul Mission, who Skye unwittingly falls in love with.
Pianist Marcia Paquette rehearses with Ben Bickler, 15, and Emma Collins, 17 during a special spring break rehearsal last week. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
"It's really fun," said Emma Collins, 17, who plays the part of Miss Adelaide.
Collins and the other lead actors continued rehearsals throughout the past week, working on specific songs and scenes.
Although it has been a few decades since students at the Negaunee High School had the chance to put on a full musical, they are wasting no time breaking in their new auditorium facility.
"I like to think that this will become a yearly event," said rehearsal pianist and pit orchestra member Marcia Paquette.
While some of the students have had the chance to participate in other area theatrical productions, for others "Guys and Dolls" is their first chance at memorizing lines, choreography and dances.
"It's a little stressful," Collins, who also studies dance, said. "I wanted to be (Adelaide) as soon as I heard she was a dancer."
From nightclub dancer Miss Adelaide to a crew of singing and dancing gamblers to the unexpected pairing of Skye Masterson and Sarah Brown, the production is filled with entertaining characters and songs.
"I just love acting. It's so much fun," said Ben Bickler, 15, who plays police officer Lt. Brannigan.
The students and the adults working with them have been in rehearsals for more than a month, with more rehearsals scheduled for today and the rest of the week to make sure things are ready for opening night.
"Doing a full-scale production is a lot more involved than just doing a medley of songs," Paquette said. "We're trying to take people back to a different time and place. It's definitely not 2011 culture."
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.