Prescott Center for the Arts’ first show of the season, Damon Runyon’s “Guys and Dolls” opened Thursday, Sept. 13 and is set to continue through the rest of the month.
Director and Musical Director Sandy Vernon said she’s always loved the show and acted in it a long time ago. One of the show’s choreographers, Pam Cannedy has done it several times as well, though they’ve never done it together, Vernon said.
It’s a funny show with the reputation of being the perfect musical, she said.
“I think it’s because it has everything. It’s really funny, it has a lot of really great songs,” Vernon said. “It’s really about humanity, it’s about love … Crazy love.”
The part Vernon said she played when she performed was that of the missionary Sarah Brown. In a lot of productions she’s seen, Brown is characterized an ingénue, a sweet innocent girl, she said. However, Vernon said she envisions her as a strong woman with standards who gets hit with Cupid’s arrow and has to figure out what to do. This version of Sarah is played by Judah Neese and Maya Sharratt.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14-15, Thursday through Saturday Sept. 20-22 and Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 27-29 as well as at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, Sunday, Sept. 23 and Sunday, Sept. 30. All showings are on the main stage.
This is the first show Vernon has served as director for, though she has been a musical director for many shows in the past. As the director, she said she’s enjoyed seeing her actors grow and do things they never though they could do. Cannedy and her husband, Stepan Oleksyn, are specialists in bringing out the best in people she said.
People in the cast have had to step out of their comfort zones, Cannedy said. They may be able to sing and act, but movement and dance might not be their forte, particularly with the men in the show who are great actors, she said.
Vernon said she’s loved working with the variety of people Prescott has to offer. The youngest member of the cast is 17 and the oldest is in his 70s, she said, with Cannedy adding she sees the older people in the cast helping out the younger and enjoying their energy and enthusiasm while the younger want to gain their knowledge.
As a whole, Vernon has done an amazing job as the director and musical director, Cannedy said.
“It’s one thing to be a musical director and have someone else calling all the other shots,” she said. “It’s a whole other thing when you’re doing both … she’s very well respected.”
Vernon also mentioned Connie Arnold, the show’s production manager who she said has been working quite hard.
Tickets for the show are $27 for adults and $20 for youth and can be purchased online at www.pca-az.net, by calling 928-445-3286 or at the door, 208 N. Marina St.