homepage logo

Center Stage: Cypress Lake hits every mark with classic musical

By Staff | Dec 3, 2014

Reviving a classic such as “Guys and Dolls” is always a crapshoot, but this sharp and funny production presented by the talented students of Cypress Lake High School for the Performing Arts, under the astute direction and sharp guidance of Jason Loete, along with the clean musical direction of Gary Stroh, and spot on choreography by Patty Gair, came up a winner.

This definitive presentation featured Tommy Short, a senior theater major at Cypress Lake, as Nathan Detroit. Tommy may have Short as a last name but he is a giant in the talent department. Cast as Nathan’s sweetheart Miss Adelaide was Gillian Marino, another bright and talented student, featured in her third musical production at the school.

Her version of Adelaide’s Lament was one of the highlights of this excellent production. Some of the other standouts in this high-school musical were Chance Cintron in the role of Sky Masterson, and playing Sky’s lady fair was the sweet-as-honey voiced soprano Bryanna Walker as Sarah Brown; Walker may have a sweet voice but she’s also a consummate actress investing her rather sugary character with more than a healthy touch of vigor and spice.

When teamed with baritone Chance Cintron, musical magic takes place, with no lack of acting chemistry or vocal prowess missing in their duets.

When it comes to “high marks,” my vote goes to Luke Autera as Nicely-Nicely Johnson; his version of “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” blew us all out of the water. Nice job Nicely-Nicely!

In truth there’s a whole bunch of top honors for the supporting cast that need mentioning: Zach Holmer (Benny Southstreet), Nic Parker (Big Julie), Spencer Barney (Rusty Charlie), Marcos Martin (Harry the Horse), Nicholas Huston (Angie the Ox), Jacob Budreau (Liver Lips Louie), Cody Vagle (Scranton Slim), Javier Maldonado (Society Max), Tyler Charpentier (Joey Biltmore), and Les Englehart (The Greek), all bring to life the quirky, heart-warming, hilarious New York guys of “Guys and Dolls.”

In fact, the entire talented cast of this fine production are a triumph and a delight as they recreate Damon Runyon’s kaleidoscopic world of mugs and molls in what has been called a “Broadway Musical Fable”; this show has an immortal score and lyrics by Frank Loesser, from the book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. This show still stands up, it still stands tall as the Empire State Building, when it was named “New York’s very own musical.”

It remains as bright as a newly minted dime, smart as a NYC sidewalk pigeon, professional as the New York Yankees, and just as edgy as today’s news. Runyon knew about Broadway, that its wickedness remains pure tinhorn, just as the opening number states in “Fugue for Tinhorns.”

This Cypress Lake High School production goes to prove “there’s life in the old girl yet,” and “Guys and Dolls” still holds up as a perfect musical comedy; especially under the masterful direction and scenic design of Jason Loete, the just-right staging of choreographer Patty Gair, plus the musical direction Gary Stroh, to say nothing of all those terrific, hardworking, behind-the-scenes crew who make the theater magically happen. Thanks, guys and gals; you really are the terrific crew that make “Guys and Dolls” one top-of-the-line high school musical.

Here are some of the offerings that will be on the December calendar for Cypress Lake High School; the ticket prices are beyond reasonable, but your support and attendance is so vital to these hard-working, talented, budding performers :

12/2 Winter Band Concert/7 p.m. $5

12/5&6 Beans ‘n Scenes: Holiday Java/7 p.m. $10

12/9 Dancing Holiday Magic/7 p.m. $5

12/11 Winter Orchestra Concert/7 p.m. $5

12/12, 13, 14 Madrigal Dinner/6:30 p.m. $20

12/16 Arts with a Heart/7 p.m. Donation $5 or 5 canned goods; a performance that celebrates humanity and community. All proceeds benefit families in need in Lee County.

Your best bet is to phone the boxoffice at (239) 481-2233/ext. 6402.

When you call, tell ’em Marsha sent you!