Submitted on behalf of the JGMS Performing Arts Department
The John Glenn Middle School Performing Arts Department will present GUYS AND DOLLS JR., the classic musical about gamblers and missionaries, April 4 through 6 in the JGMS auditorium.
The musical by Frank Loesser, based on the short stories of Damon Runyon, takes readers to “Runyonland,” an idealized version of 1950s New York, where a group of well-meaning scofflaws led by Nathan Detroit (sixth grader Ethan Washington) try to keep their floating crap game going without running afoul of the law, represented by NYPD Lieutenant Branningan (seventh grader Charlotte Dreyfus), or facing the wrath of the Save-a-Soul Mission, led by Miss Sarah Brown (seventh grader Cate Galante). When high roller Sky Masterson (sixth grader Henry Lewis) comes to town, Nathan crafts a plan to get the deposit money he needs to secure a place for his crap game: he’ll bet Sky that he cannot convince Sarah to have dinner with him—in Havana! But Sarah’s not as hard-nosed as she seems, and she and Sky might just surprise each other. Meanwhile, Nathan’s fiancée of fourteen years, Top Hat star Miss Adelaide (seventh grader Madalena Mola), is just about fed up with all his stalling over getting married. It’s a rollicking story of love, luck, and redemption, featuring beloved tunes such as “A Bushel and a Peck,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” and the title tune, “Guys and Dolls.”
The cast and crew have been working hard since December to bring the show to life. More than one hundred middle schoolers are involved in the production, both on stage and behind the scenes.
Eighth grader Que’Mya Brewster brings order to the mission as General Cartwright, while seventh graders Ava Derderian and Jacob Choi serve as Nathan’s right-hand helpers, Nicely-Nicely Johnson and Benny Southstreet. Seventh grader Taylor Anderson is the intimidating Chicago gambler Big Jule, with Aiden Koschuk (8th), Hayden McAllister (7th), John Mitchell (6th), Sydney Phylis (8th), and Xander Recca (8th) rounding out the lead gamblers. Eighth grader Connor McClung is mission leader Arvide Abernathy, with Oren Brosgol (7th), Jacob D’Andrea (8th), Ben Harris (7th), Alex Mattson (7th), Jaden Payne (8th), Aditi Thonangi (8th), and Sabrina Turner (8th) comprising the mission band. Shane Metcalf (8th) serves as Top Hat emcee, and Layla Brown (7th), Gracie Holland (7th), Martha Hyde (8th), Christina Kolak (7th), Anna McEachern (7th), Sophia Panagiotou (6th), Melanie Perales (6th), Sofia Quaglioz (8th), Lamees Radi (8th), Sophie Shelton (8th), Coco Steele (8th), Lulu Steele (8th) are Adelaide’s dancers. Thirty-three students make up the rest of the ensemble.
The crew is led by all eighth graders: Eli Bak and Matthew O’Connor co-lead backstage, with Gianna Missiti managing lights and Parker Anderson-LaPorte and Peter Benson co-managing sound. Jack Staines manages the props and greeters crew. Nineteen more students round out the various crews backstage and in the booth.
Performing arts teacher Amy Budka directs the production, assisted by science teacher Barbara Ferri and BHS alumnus Brad Hegarty. Linda Aiken serves as music director, and JGMS parent/GrooveWrx founder Jennifer Buckley is the choreographer. Emily Mitchell coordinates the parent volunteers and serves as a doll-of-all-trades.
Performances run Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5, at 7:00pm; and Saturday, April 6, at 4:00pm (note earlier start time!). Reserved tickets are $11 per person and available for purchase through https://www.showtix4u.com/ (search for “Bedford”). The show is appropriate for all ages, and will run approximately one hour and 45 minutes, including intermission.