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High schools present 'Guys and Dolls' at Amador Theater tonight

Amador Valley, Foothill students team up to stage classic musical

Students from Amador Valley and Foothill high schools are bringing the award-winning musical comedy "Guys and Dolls" to the Amador Theater at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Besides tonight's performance, shows are set for Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. through March 20.

It's a classic and has a wonderful musical score, great dancing and humor," said Mark Aubel, producer and music director for the high schools' joint spring musical.

The play by Frank Loesser opened on Broadway in 1950, running initially for 1,200 performances and winning the Tony Award for Best Musical, among other honors. Actors Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and Jean Simmons immortalized the characters on screen in director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1955 movie version.

The story is about New York's most infamous craps game in which Nathan Detroit (portrayed locally by students Zac Richey and Danny Hanna) bets the notorious gambler Sky Masterson (played by Arthur Hwang) to take a Salvation Army gal Sarah Brown (played by Madelyn Bartolome and Christina Ge) to dinner in Havana, Cuba. The Pleasanton high schools' production includes single- and dual-cast characters.

"My favorite part is meeting so many people who are so passionate about theater, and I made a lot of new friends," Hwang, a Foothill senior, said about the "Guys and Dolls" show.

Hwang said he not only has an interest in musical theater, but a deep passion for music as well.

"I've also been passionate about music all my life," he added. "Not only vocal, but I have been playing the violin, piano and guitar since I was young. And I just got into singing a little while ago, so I will see where it takes me."

Ge, also a senior at Foothill, is one of two performers who portray the conservative Sarah Brown, who lets loose as time goes on.

"Sarah Brown is a missionary member who is uptight and keeps it all in until she gets drunk off of I don't know how many Bacardis," she said. "It's a really fun character to play."

"Guys and Dolls" also follows the craps game organizer, Nathan Detroit, and his love journey as his fiancee of 14 years, Hot Box showgirl Miss Adelaide (Rachel Probst and Morgan Werder), seeks his attention and yearns to marry Nathan after so long.

An Amador Valley senior, Werder said she has admired her character of Miss Adelaide for years and can relate to the showgirl.

"While I can relate to her love of performing, I think most women can relate to her struggle with love," she said. "She wants nothing more than to love her fiance, yet she often finds herself alone. I have a lot of respect for Adelaide; she wears her heart on her sleeve and still loves wholly and with understanding."

The two high schools have come together to showcase the stories of classical and modern musicals in a joint spring show for years, said Aubel, who works as a music director at Amador Valley. "Guys and Dolls" marks the 32nd musical he has conducted.

"What I love most about our musicals is that it brings the two schools together on a project," Aubel said. "You have the choral, orchestra, jazz and drama departments from both Amador and Foothill working together to create magic. Many times students become life-long friends."

For tickets and other show information, visit www.firehousearts.org. Check out a behind-the-scenes video by the Pleasanton Weekly on YouTube.

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