Group of young actors brings a tuneful underworld to life on the stage


A CHORUS OF singing gangsters rolls the dice to determine the outcome of love-me, love-me-not relationships in the musical "Guys and Dolls," which will be performed by North Carroll Middle School pupils at 7 p.m. April 13 and 14.

Directed by music teachers Thilana Quick and Maryann Villa, this is a junior version of the Broadway hit, scored for middle school voices and scripted for their abilities.

They chose this play because a large number of pupils could be involved, and a lot of boys wanted to sing on stage.

"It's about gangsters in love, with good characters that make a fun show," Villa said.

Two subplots involve marriages between gangsters and members of a religious mission center. Another involves heavy bets placed by gangster Sky Masterson, played by Chris Gillyard.

Nathan Detroit, played by Brent Donovan, heads "The Guys," the carnation-bedecked troupe of gangsters. Detroit's life revolves around shooting craps. Miss Adelaide, a Hot Box tap dancer played with a lilting Brooklyn accent by Kristi Hawver, has endured an engagement to him for 14 years.

Bets are taken that Detroit and Adelaide will marry, as will Masterson and Sarah Brown, a missionary out to reform him through kindness, played by Jennifer Spears.

The other Guys are Jeff Malbrough, Bryant Renfro, Brian Crumbie, John Workman, Josh Seifert, and Earl Gray.

Mission members are played byAshley Lohr, Danielle Quisay, Heidi Scherbarth, Darcie Robinson, Sarah Christian, Jan Armacost, Ashley Mitzel, Emma Miller, Dana Picco, Kristi Scherbarth, Becca Markle, Aubrey Wenderoth, Courtney Burda and Russell Marshall.

"We move from the mission to the sewers to finish the craps game after the cops move in," said Sean Guerin, who plays gangster Angie the Ox.

In the sewers, a crucial roll of the dice takes place, after the gangsters sing their favorite song, "Luck Be a Lady" with an admirable solo by Chris Gillyard. If Masterson marries, The Guys will each make $1,000.

"But the gangsters join the mission," said Earl Gray.

For every Guy, there is a Doll. They are Brittany Slechter, Suzanne Jugo, Wendy Fout, Colleen Nevin, Leah Smith, Erin Drumheller and Genevieve Smith.

The Hot Box Girls, who tap dance under the direction of science teacher Leslie Jeffers, are Bethany Alford and Kacie Naylor. Other dancers are Corinne Henneman, Renee Rogers, Laura Cugle, Jennie Black, Cara Smith, Sarah Blackowicz, Kate Kolarnik, Chelsea Roe, Tiffany Keresztenyi and Amber Spicer.

Lead actors include Luke Little, playing Nicely-Nicely Johnson; Jared McDermott as Benny Southstreet; Jason Werner as Rusty Charlie; Willie Berry as Harry the Horse; Brent Turner as Lieutenant Brannigan; Angela Boos as General Cartwright; Alyssa Ray as Arvida Abernathy; and David Crafton as Big Jule.

Don Malbrough and Howard Spears, parents with children in the performance, constructed the sets. Family and consumer science teacher Debbie Eckles directs the stage crew of pupils. Pupil director Brent Darsch runs the spotlight.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children. School performances will be given April 12.

Information: 410-751-3440.

Outdoor cleanup planned

Take your shovels, trowels and work gloves to Pine Valley Nature Center on Saturday to help prepare the grounds for events. Volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. to noon.

Mulching, trimming and mowing are top chores on the list. Students can earn student service learning hours. Pine Valley park depends entirely upon volunteers for maintenance, leading programs and developing uses for the park.

Information: 410-374-3395.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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