|An NTID dress rehearsal of Guys and Dolls.
“Guys and Dolls” premiered on Broadway in 1950 and is largely considered one of the greatest musicals of all time. The show tells the story of a diverse group of gamblers, missionaries and blue-collar workers in New York City during the 1930s. The main focus, however, is on a pair of men who regularly partake in an illegal gambling ring. This puts strain on their relationships with the women they love, forcing them to decide how much they are willing to change to win them back.
For their spring show, NTID’s Panara Theatre will be putting on a production of the classic Broadway musical “Guys and Dolls.” NTID’s production will feature over 100 students and faculty as members of the cast and crew. The musical was designed, staffed and produced entirely by the theater program’s students.
This production marks the first time in 15 years that the Panara Theatre has put on a musical, and the first time in 30 years that a show has utilized a live orchestra. The theater was recently modified just for the purpose of making room for the orchestra. Production has been underway for about three months, but rehearsals began just six weeks ago.
According to Director Luane Davis-Haggerty, the most difficult part of production was overcoming the language barrier between the students, directors and crew. “We are working with three languages here: English, ASL and music. And all three are being worked with at the same time,” explained Davis-Haggerty. She noted that advancements in technology made the production process far easier than in recent years by assisting in communication and queuing directions. She also noted that the actors were very excited to be able to participate in a musical because it is so different from anything NTID has put on in recent years.
As of the April 30 dress rehearsal, the show is coming along nicely. The cast’s ability to synchronize both signed and spoken lines with musical numbers was impressive. Actors who are deaf or hard-of-hearing sign with voice actors shadowing them, while speaking actors sign all of their lines. The musical numbers were particularly impressive, since the signing actors had to express the emotion of their voice actor’s singing through body and sign language alone. The final product is full of life and energy.
The opening night will be Thursday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. The show runs through Sunday, May 8. A special show will be held May 7 featuring the understudies taking the stage in place of the regular actors. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for others, and may be purchased at the NTID box office.