Hot opening night for ‘Guys and Dolls’

4 months ago

FORT KENT, Maine — Opening night was a success when Valley Unified high school students tackled a nearly three-hour production of the Broadway hit musical “Guys and Dolls” on Thursday.

The audience was charmed by the young actors and actresses, who wore headset microphones to help lend power to their singing voices and provide ample sound waves to display their comedic delivery of lines in the large University of Maine at Fort Kent Fox Auditorium.

Oliver Caron (left) and Izzy Rusnack on opening night of the musical “Guys and Dolls” at Fox Auditorium on Thursday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

The heat presented a bit of a challenge for the actors and audience members, according to director Doug Clapp.

“Who would have expected 94 degrees for crying out loud in the St. John Valley the first day of June,” Clapp said.

Despite a few minor blips, Clapp said he was pleased with the opening night performance of such a big show.

“The songs were beautiful; the singing and the dancing were great. They did a really good job,” Clapp said. “We showed the community something they probably haven’t seen as a play before.”

Valley Unified students proved multi-talented during an opening night performance of the musical “Guys and Dolls” at Fox Auditorium on Thursday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

The show included a slew of graduating seniors: Olive Caron, Sadie Pelletier, Daniel Hafford, Tia Saucier, Olorin Braun and Connor Pelletier.

Caron said it has not quite hit him yet that this will be his last ever high school theater production, but it will most likely register on Saturday evening after the last performance.

“I definitely am going to miss acting alongside everybody in Mr. Clapp’s drama club,” Caron said.

Ben Davis (front) and Taylor Martin brought many laughs to an opening night performance of the musical “Guys and Dolls” at Fox Auditorium on Thursday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

Sophomore Nathaniel Paradis said actors were taking turns backstage between scenes cooling off with handheld fans used as props by the Hot Box dancers featured in the show.

Paradis, who was also the chief set builder, said he watched the movie “Guys and Dolls” to prepare for his role as the shady Harry the Horse.

Paradis plans to continue acting in high school plays next year, and said participation in theater has expanded more than just his communication skills.

Valley Unified students perform the musical “Guys and Dolls” at Fox Auditorium on Thursday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

“I basically learned a lot of carpentry that I will probably use later in life,” he said.

There will be three more performances of “Guys and Dolls,” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for students.

The show is suitable for audience members of all ages, Clapp said.

Olorin Braun (left) and Sadie Cairns captivated the audience during an opening night performance of the musical “Guys and Dolls” at Fox Auditorium on Thursday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)
Olorin Braun (right) and Sadie Cairns captivated the audience during an opening night performance of the musical “Guys and Dolls” at Fox Auditorium on Thursday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)
Olorin Braun (left) and Sadie Cairns captivated the audience during an opening night performance of the musical “Guys and Dolls” at Fox Auditorium on Thursday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)