Malvern Theater Society set to perform “Guys and Dolls”


Dan Malloy

Director and cast comment on casting, practices, and their favorite characters

On March 4, 5, 11, and 12, the Malvern Theater Society will be performing Guys and Dolls, an “oddball romantic comedy” according to the MTS website.

GnDTShirtDr. James P. Fry, Director of the Malvern Theatre Society, said that the play revolves around two main couples.

“There is Sky, the high rolling gambler, and his love interest Sarah Brown, who is the head of a mission,” Fry said. “There is Nathan who is a gambler, and his love interest, Adelaide, a lead singer at a nightclub. They have been engaged for 14 years.”

Fry said that the story is a “piece of classic Broadway.” He said this show is different from some of MTS’s recent selections. “It is definitely more of a comedy than something like ‘The Laramie Project’ or something like docu-drama like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’” Fry said. “There is a lot of gambling that is going on.”

The story takes the audience from the underground sewers of New York to Havana, Cuba, and even to the heart of Times Square, according to the Malvern Theatre Society (MTS) website.

When English teacher Richard Roper directed MTS, he tended to select seniors for lead roles, Fry said. After Fry took over, things changed.

[Sky Masterson] is a very handsome, confident man who definitely has a way with the ladies. So, naturally, the character fits me quite well.

-John Skrocki ’16

“I favor the individuals who I think are right for the position regardless of their year,” Fry said. “This year it is mixed. There are seniors in lead roles to sophomores.”

There are 3 underclassmen out of the 4 lead roles, with junior RJ Napoli as Nathan Detroit, Notre Dame Academy sophomore Emily Kinka as Miss Adelaide, and Villa Maria junior Elizabeth Mackenzie as Sarah Brown.

In the play, Nathan Detroit, played by Napoli, plans to set up the “biggest game of craps in town.” Napoli described his character.

“He is a commitment-phobe and he has horrible luck,” Napoli said. “He is weirdly persuasive but hugely socially awkward.”

Since he is broke, he has to ask his friend Sky Masterson, played by senior John Skrocki, for the money to gamble. Skrocki said that his character is a “smooth and suave” fellow.

“He is a very handsome, confident man who definitely has a way with the ladies,” Skrocki said. “So, naturally, the character fits me quite well.”

Guys and Dolls is the first show Skrocki has a lead role in. He said the preparation was completely different from when he first joined MTS last year as an ensemble member.

“I didn’t have to memorize lines and I didn’t have the stress of being a lead,” Skrocki said. “This year I have a lot more responsibility so I’ve been pretty jam packed with different tasks I need to complete to prepare myself.”

Napoli is excited to be a lead in the play for the first time as well but is more thrilled because of the history of his role.

“I am not so much as excited that this is a lead role, but more about the fact of who has played this role before like Nathan Lane or Frank Sinatra etc.,” Napoli said. “I think it is really cool to be following in their footsteps.”

Fry said that cast, crew, and ensemble put in up to 8 hour weeks, depending on role. Assistant vocal director Mrs. Lindsay Miller, who leads the arts department at The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, explained the amount of hard work put in to make the show a reality.

“Musicals take a lot of time, dedication, support and commitment,” Miller said. “It is great to see so many boys and girls step out of their comfort zones and work together to put on a great show.”

Skrocki said that everyone should watch the performance, and he has something for people to watch out for on the night of the play.

“Keep an eye out for Ethan Bedwell on stage, he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve,” he said with a smirk.