Young actors stage American classic

36 sing, dance through 'Guys and Dolls, Jr.'

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comMarch 14, 2013 

— Some of Playhouse Merced's youngest actors will grace the stage this week, singing and dancing their hearts out in a production of "Guys and Dolls, Jr."

Running for three days in Merced, the show is the latest production from the Young Artist's Conservatory, featuring a children's adaptation of the classic musical.

A group of 36 actors, ranging in age from 5 to 15, will entertain audiences in a 90-minute presentation of live music and custom-made costumes.

The actors began rehearsal in late January, practicing eight hours a week for six weeks, according to director Noelle Chandler.

"The most outstanding part of this show is the performing," said Chandler, who's also the education director for the Young Artist's Conservatory. "These kids are very young and 'Guys and Dolls' is not an easy show."

"It's a lot of intense vocalization, and the kids nail it. They worked really hard to get there, and they put on a great show."

Just like the original "Guys and Dolls," the script follows the life of a slick, high-rolling gambler named Sky Masterson, who bets that he can't get a date with Sarah Brown, a sergeant at the Save-a-Soul Mission.

Meanwhile, Sky's friend Nathan Detroit has his hands full dodging the police and his ready-for-the-altar girlfriend, Adelaide.

Set in New York City in the 1950s, audiences will be treated to hit songs such as "I'll Know," "Adelaide's Lament" and "Luck be a Lady."

"Guys and Dolls, Jr." is appropriate for all ages.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Merced County Arts Council, 645 W. Main St. in Merced.

Tickets are $10 for adults and seniors, $5 for students and children. Tickets can be purchased by calling (209) 725-8587 or visiting the box office at 452 W. Main in Merced, Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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