Young actors play adult roles in 'Guys and Dolls'
PRESCOTT - The young actors and actresses in the award-winning Prescott troupe Young Star Musical Theatre dance and sing their way from New York City to Havana in the Broadway production, "Guys and Dolls."
The show opens at 7 p.m. Friday in the Yavapai College Performance Hall in Prescott, with additional performances at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday.
"This is a classic musical set in New York in the 1940s," director Shmaine Posey said. "And Yavapai College is a professional theater, so the audience gets the entire experience."
Posey formed Young Star Musical Theatre in 2001 as an avenue for young actors in the quad-city area to learn the craft and gain professional experience and public exposure. Of the 44 actors performing in "Guys and Dolls," the youngest is 6 years old and the oldest is 17.
"Probably 60 percent of the actors have never been on stage before," Posey said. "But you'd never know it by their performances."
"Guys and Dolls" opened to rave reviews on Broadway in 1950. Frank Loesser wrote the original lyrics and music based on two short stories written by Damon Runyon, "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood Pressure."
"Sarah Brown is a missionary trying to change New York City," Posey said of the plot. "Then she falls in love with a gambler."
The two acts and 15 scenes start on Broadway, travel around the country down to Havana, Cuba, and end back on Broadway. The multiple stage sets and costume changes treat the audience to a night of travel and fantasy.
In 1955, movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn released a movie based on the stage show starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and Jean Simmons.
"I love, love, love this play," Posey said. "The dialogue is very smart and very funny."
Since Posey formed Young Star, the group and its actors have garnered multiple awards from the prestigious National Youth Theater Organization.
"Anytime you get a chance to see a live performance in a professional theater, you should do it," Posey said. "This is good, wholesome fun performed by local kids."
Tickets cost $15 per person and are available at the theater box office; at the door before each performance; or by calling 499-7741 or 776-2000. The performance hall is located at Yavapai College, 1100 E. Sheldon, Prescott.