This Friday the hit musical “Guys and Dolls” will open with some of the best teen talent that Manchester has to offer.
“Of the teen shows that have been done over the last few years, this cast is the highest caliber talented kids across the board. Even the ensemble kids are pretty darn good,” said Teen Actor Guild Director Danelle Afflerbaugh.
She said that Matthew Robertson as Sky Masterson is fantastic.
“He’s grown up in TAG doing shows and come into his own. This is a great role for him – a cool, laidback slick kind of character. The songs sound great; they’re right in his pocket as far as vocal range,” She said.
Backing up Robertson is Travis Lawson, a Coffee County Central High School actor from “Romeo and Juliet” and “Hairspray.”
“He is my favorite (character) of the show. He plays the Frank Sinatra-character, Nathan Detroit, super talented, off book really early, a really solid actor. But also, he envelops the character well,” Afflerbaugh said.
Opposite Lawson is Sarah Thomas, a triple threat (theater lingo for someone who can sing, act and dance). Thomas is a stage veteran who has choreographed for Westwood Middle School’s “Once Upon this Island” and even teaches a hip hop dance class locally.
Other high profile actors include Alyssa Freeze, whose acting credits span from Arts Center of Cannon County Center to a role in the independent film “If You’re Gone.”
“Guys and Dolls” is a gangster comedy musical that shouldn’t disappoint. It takes place in the 1940s-era New York and is full of rich character.
“Because of the nature of what it is, takes place in New York and in that period, it’s been really interesting to teach the kids about it. I think it’s really important when kids are delivering a line they have to understand what they’re talking about.
“The line isn’t going to come across well to the audience unless they get it. So there are references to things like Sears and Roebuck. There were times when we were going over lines and we had to stop and ask ‘do you know what that is?’ and explain,” she said.
This is Afflerbaugh’s first time directing a TAG show, and she’s included as many teens into offstage jobs as possible.
Local teen Gianna Afflerbaugh choreographs the dance and teens support the production as stage manager and works light and sound from the booth.
“It’s not just teenagers on stage. Pretty much every part of the production is being done by kids. The whole premise of TAG is to teach kids the discipline and it’s more than just acting and singing,” the director said.
“Guys and Dolls” runs Aug. 3-5, 10-12. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at millenniumrep.com or by calling 931-570-4489. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for students, military and seniors.
The cast, which features Travis Lawson as Nathan, Matthew Robertson as Sky, Jamie Roberts as Sarah, and Sarah Thomas as Adelaide, 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. The director is Danelle Afflerbaugh, with musical direction by Jonathon Duke.