JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Jones County Junior College.
The "Golden Age of Broadway" will be resurrected in Ellisville as Jones County Junior College's Fine Arts department presents, "Guys and Dolls." The 1950 Tony Award winning musical will be presented on Friday, March 20, through Sunday, March 22. The weekend shows are at 7 p.m. in the M.P. Bush Auditorium with a Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, and will be available in the lobby each night. All students, from any school can watch the show at no cost with a valid school ID.
The cast is made up of a motley crew of gamblers, female night club performers and Salvation Army workers determined to win souls. These unlikely groups are intertwined in a tale of good and evil, love and deception and the challenges of life. The abundance of male talent in her theater class prompted JCJC producer and musical director, Nikki Johnson to showcase the classic musical which takes place in New York City.
"'Guys and Dolls' is the perfect musical for this group of students and we often laugh because so many of the roles seem to be people we know and love. We will definitely be making type-casting jokes long after this production," said Johnson.
Rob Mulholland continues as guest director for the production and JCJC music instructor, Jennifer Hart joins the team as the orchestra conductor and assists with music and producing the show. The leading man in this year's spring musical is a familiar face and familiar to being the lead. Hattiesburg's Harlan Mapp plays gambler and self-described "goof," Nathan Detroit. His fiancé of 14-years, Miss Adlaide, the lead dancer at the "Hot Box" night club is played by newcomer to the JCJC stage, Lydia Myers of Laurel.
"My character, Nathan Detroit's relationship is comical and his wit is quick which I find easy to tap into," said Mapp. "My favorite part of this show has been getting to star alongside Lydia Myers, my character's fiancée. She's very talented both as an actress and as a vocalist. She's so quick to adapt to any situation we're in."
Myers is also very complimentary of Mapp's skills and being able to adjust to anything. Both said they push each other to do more and to be better actors.
"We have great stage chemistry so we can work off of each other," said Myers, who has been on the stage in pageants and dance since she was two-years old and plays since she was seven. "When one of us does something unexpected, the other can immediately adapt and play off of it. That's the great thing about working with him; he's ready for anything!"
Morgan Scott of Meadville is returning to the JCJC stage as Sarah Brown, a Salvation Army worker determined to save all the sinners in New York. Things get dicey when Mapp's character bets Sky Masterson, played by JCJC freshman, Steve Jones of Starkville, he can't get Sarah Brown to fall in love and leave the country with him. The funny thing is Sky's charms seem to be working!
"Compared to the previous roles I have had at JCJC, I love this one the most!" said Scott. "My character has a tough exterior…but throughout the show, that exterior begins to break down."
Jones admitted playing Masterson was a little difficult at first because it is very different from his personality.
"While I enjoy Sky Masterson's character, I don't at all like the beginnings of his character. He is suave, while very fake trying to uphold his reputation. It made it difficult to relate to him at first," said Jones, who is no stranger to the stage with previous lead roles like Ren in "Footloose," Moonface Martin in "Anything Goes," and the Geni in "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp."
These four actors are surrounded by a cast made up of sinners and saints who dance and gamble, chased by Salvation Army soul-winners who all roll the dice on love and adventure. For more information about "Guys and Dolls," contact the JCJC Fine Arts Department at 601-477-4094.