For over 60 years, Staples Players have entertained, touched and inspired audiences. Some shows are fun and funny; others, thought-provoking or provocative.
Over the years, we’ve grown to expect spectacular quality: acting, singing, directing, choreography, sets, costumes, lighting, the pit.
We always rave about Players’ productions. But we sometimes take them for granted.
“Guys and Dolls” — the 7th time they’ve put on that musical — closed Saturday night. It built on the tradition of previous versions, and all the other successes.
But it sure wasn’t easy.
Henry Carson — the senior playing Nathan Detroit — was laid out by flu just before the show opened. Freshman Will McCrae stepped spectacularly into the breach. (His late grandfather — Jack Lemmon — would have been very proud.)
The next day, understudies Graham Griffin (also a 9th grader) and junior Finley Chevrier took the stage, in other roles. A spot operator was also out sick.
In the week between opening and closing, nearly 2 dozen of the cast and tech crew caught whatever was going around. By the final performance, all but one had recovered. The show went on — fabulously.
But without its regular pit orchestra conductor.
Staples music teacher Carrie Mascaro was ill. Her colleague Luke Rosenberg — the school’s choral director — stepped up big time. He learned the score, then led 14 musicians in a flawless performance.
The show must go on. And it did.
How about one more standing ovation for:
- The understudies who got the call, and quickly responded
- Their replacements, who had to instantly adapt too
- The costume crew, who did incredible work before the show, then kept working as actors took on new roles
- The tech crew, which never gets enough praise — and their creative boss, Jeff Hauser, who made sure set designer Jordan Janota’s imaginative vision was brought to life
- Choreographer (and expectant mom) Rachel MacIsaac Myers, whose wonderful work continued with each new actor
- Luke Rosenberg, a true professional who stepped into the big conducting breach with virtually no notice
- Directors David Roth and Kerry Long, who solved problem after problem, and weathered storm after storm, by modeling the show biz tradition that everyone involved will remember the rest of their lives.
“Guys and Dolls” — the 1950 show — is all about luck.
“Guys and Dolls” — Staples Players-style — had plenty of bad luck. But every person involved, on stage and off, came through a winner.
Congratulations, guys (and dolls). You’re our “06880” Unsung Heroes of the Week.
PS: Missed the show? check out the highlight reel below. It’s an easy bet: This will be the best 8 minutes you spend today.
(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Let us know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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