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Colton-Pierrepont Central School presents ‘Guys & Dolls Jr.’

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COLTON - One of Broadway’s most beloved musicals will be presented in Colton this weekend as the Colton-Pierrepont Central School Drama Club presents two performances of “Guys and Dolls Jr.” this Saturday and Sunday.

“Guys and Dolls Jr.” tells the tale of Nathan Detroit and his fiancee of 14 years, Adelaide, with a developing love story between Sky Masterson and Sarah Brown also wrapped into the tale.

“Nathan Detroit is always looking for a sure bet. He has a crap game all scheduled but no place to hold it. Besides that problem, Adelaide, his fiancee of 14 years, is completely against the crap game, and he is trying to keep it from her. Sky Masterson strolls into town at just the right time. Nathan can get the money from Sky because he always likes a good bet. That is true until he is placed in a bet that leads him to fall in love with Sarah who is a mission worker trying to clean the town of the sinners and their games,” writes Director Bonnie A. McGee in a synopsis of the play.

Ms. McGee said she’s proud of the work the students have done and hopes the community comes out this weekend to show their support.

“We have approximately 20 students (in grades 7-12) involved in acting, lighting and as stage hands,” she said, adding rehearsals for the production began in January.

Mr. McGee is assisted by Musical Director Lanse Larraway and Beth Johnson, as well as Megan Leger, who choreographs the show.

“We have a core of about eight students who have been with us for four years,” Ms. McGee said. “There’s a couple of students who when they take the stage they are that character, which really lights up the stage.”

When asked if there was anything unique about this year’s production, Ms. McGee noted that with a cast that is predominately female, there are many female students playing male roles.

“We have a number of female actresses playing male roles, which they are really enjoying,” she said.

One of those actresses was Taryn R. Barber, a junior, who is in her first production at Colton-Pierrepont.

But Ms. Barber, who plays Big Jule, is no stranger to the stage.

“This is my first year here at this school, but I did plays at Tupper Lake before my family moved to Colton,” she said, adding this is the first time she’s ever played a male character.

“It’s difficult,” she said. “The most difficult part is trying to stand and sound like a guy.”

That being said, Ms. Barber said she’s enjoying the role and that’s among the things that drew her into the theater.

“I like being a character,” she said. “I like being involved with all of the other people and seeing how we all get into character together.”

Andrew A. Jenkins, a junior who plays Mr. Detroit, agreed.

Mr. Jenkins said he’s been involved in drama since the fifth-grade.

“There’s a lot of funny moments that go on,” he said. “I love the singing and the acting and all that goes with it, but it’s also fun to be involved in something with all these other people.”

As for this year’s play, Mr. Jenkins said he realizes that this year’s drama club is taking on a classic tale.

“It’s a real classic and a lot of the music has a Broadway feel to it,” he said. “We’re a small school, so it’s not very often that we get to put on a production like this.” Karrie L. Long, another junior, plays the role of General Cartwright.

“I love acting and singing,” she said. “I’ve been doing it since the fifth grade when we could start doing plays.”

Ms. Long also pointed out that people who are familiar with the story “Guys and Dolls” may be hesitant to bring their children to the show, but she said they need not worry, as that’s where the “Jr.” comes in.

“We’re doing a rehearsal tomorrow for the elementary students. With the regular “Guys and Dolls” you couldn’t do that,” she said, noting “Guys and Dolls Jr.” is a family-friendly version of the classic Broadway musical.

Not everyone though in the cast is a veteran of the stage.

Caleb M. Dollinger is a freshman participating in his first production.

And while this may be Mr. Dollinger’s first production, he’s found himself in one of the starring roles playing Mr. Masterson.

“I think it’s awesome,” he said. “This has been a great experience.”

Mr. Dollinger credits some other classes he’s taken at the school for encouraging him to participate in drama.

“I’m taking some classes for creativity, and I probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for those classes,” he said.

Saturday’s show will start at 7 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee performance offered on Sunday.

Tickets for either performance are $7 for adults or $5 for students. Tickets will be available at the door.

The cast includes Nick Rapczynski as Nicely Nicely Johnson, Steve Avery as Benny Southstreet, Cortney Miller as Rusty Charlie and Arvide Abernathy, Sabrina Johnson as Sarah Brown, Mara Vaccaro as Agatha and Society Max, Nick Avery as Calvin and Angie The Ox, Sadie Knight as Martha and Liver Lips Louie, Alexis VanBrocklin as Bertha, Bruce Avery as Harry the Horse and Lookout, Eve Whalen as Lt. Brannigan and Mimi, Andrew Jenkins as Nathan Detroit, Sara Guiney as Miss Adelaide, Caleb Dollinger as Sky Masterson, Karrie Long as General Cartwright, Taryn Barber as Big Jule.

The cast also includes Mara Vaccaro, Sadie Knight, Emily Johnson, Maia Knight and Emily Tarbox as the Hot Box Girls.


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