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CRANBURY: Come roll the dice as students present ‘Guys and Dolls’

By Amy Batista, Special Writer
CRANBURY – Theatergoers are invited come roll the dice and fall in love as the Cranbury School presents its rendition of the Broadway Tony Award winning Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls JR.” next week.
“We select the musical based on our incoming middle school classes abilities, comparing what style of musicals we have done over the past few years so that we vary the stylistic experiences for our students,” said music teacher and co-director Ashley DeAntonio in an email on Tuesday.
She said that this year they decided to do a more classic, jazz style musical to give them a taste of theater history.
Set in Damon Runyon’s New York City, Guys and Dolls JR. follows gambler Nathan Detroit as he tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, nightclub performer Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for 14 years without ever getting married. Nathan turns to fellow gambler Sky Masterson for the dough, but Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary Sarah Brown. Guys and Dolls JR. takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, but eventually everyone ends up right where they belong, according to music theatre international website.
The main characters include Nicely-Nicely Johnson played by Meghan Callahan; Benny Southstreet played by Catherine Valente; Rusty Charlie played by Kylee Tucholski; Sarah Brown played by Julia Patella; Arvide Abernathy played by Conrad Hall; Harry The Horse played by Maddie Fetch; Angie the Ox played by Catharine Argiriou; Big Jule played by Teddy Brendel; Lt. Brannigan played by Kate Liggio; Miss Adelaide played by Morgan Beamer; Nathan Detroit played by Thomas Stone; Sky Masterson played by Christy Phillips and General Cartwright played by Erin Cooke.
“The musical numbers are full of energy and fun and you can really tell how hard our students worked,” she said. “Old favorites like ‘Bushel and a Peck’ and ‘Luck Be a Lady’ take on a whole new twist when you see a young cast perform it with integrity and skill far beyond their ages.”
Ms. DeAntonio and Cesar Rainho, music teacher, are co-directing the musical. There are 73 students involved in the production between the cast and the crew.
“The cast and crew of Guys and Dolls JR look forward to the upcoming production,” she said.
Performances will be Friday, Feb. 26, and Saturday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m in the school auditorium. Tickets are $6. Students with I.D. and senior citizens are $4. All senior citizens and pre-school toddlers who are accompanied by an adult are invited to a complimentary dress rehearsal of the show on Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance by Feb.19. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

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