The Teen Actors Guild of the Millennium Repertory Company is bringing a longtime favorite to the stage with its production of “Guys and Dolls,” which runs through Aug. 12 at the Manchester Arts Center.
The production opened to the public on Thursday at with local teens bringing this classic musical to life.
According to the production’s director, Danelle Afflerbaugh, the show was chosen by the young actors themselves.
“The teens vote on their own show each year, so they picked this show. It’s a Broadway classic and they liked the idea of the period piece,” she said.
The production tells the story of Sky Masterson and what happens when he bets fellow gambler Nathan Detroit that he can make the next girl he sees fall in love with him. The girl turns out to be an innocent mission worker. Masterson has his work cut out for him, and it’s a sure bet there’ll be lots of laughs and complications. The production features colorful characters and fun songs, such as “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat”, “A Bushel and a Peck” and “Luck Be a Lady.”
While “Guys and Dolls” marks Afflerbaugh’s third time directing for the repertory company, this her first TAG show.
“This is the third musical I've directed for MRC, but the first time I've been at the helm for a TAG show,” she said. “I feel very comfortable directing musicals, since I am a dancer and have grown up doing musicals. I love the opportunity to work with talented teens who are willing to learn about their craft.”
The production, set in the 195os, was a period piece that Afflerbaugh said offered many learning opportunities for the young cast of actors.
“Obviously, doing a show from this period meant many teachable moments with the teens. The dialogue was very period specific, and the kids enjoyed learning the colloquialisms,” she said.
The cast features Travis Lawson as Nathan; Matthew Robertson as Sky; Jamie Roberts as Sarah; Sarah Thomas as Adelaide; and also includes Tanner Maccagnone, Zach Beard, Anna Campbell, Trevor Hawk, Mary Margaret Edwards, Mary Green, Nik Dunavant, Trey Elgouhary, Colleen Wainright, Katie Slabaugh, Alex Dunavant, Faith Duke, Alyssa Freeze, Vanessa Jarman, Nicole Whitt, Alexa Morse, and Montana Bowers. Jonathon Duke is in charge of musical direction.
Along with lessons, the teens were also able to don some unique ’50s styles that help bring even more life to the show.
“The costumes are such an important part of the setting for this show,” Afflerbaugh said. “One of our MRC veterans, Jeanne Edwards, took the job and ran with it. She made these kids look fantastic.”
The director hopes locals will come out and support the teen actors.
“My goal for this show was for people to walk away saying, ‘That was a great show,’ not ‘That was a great show for a TAG show,’” said Afflerbaugh. “This cast is really, really talented and I hope that each cast member has walked away having not only had fun, but having learned something that makes them a better performer.
The show will run through Aug. 12 at the Manchester Arts Center. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for students, seniors, and military, and are available at millenniumrep.org or by calling 931-570-4489.
Kali Bradford can be reached by email at email@example.com.