CMT MARQUEE “GUYS AND DOLLS”
Substantiates the Excellence of CMT Education
By Iride Aparicio
Photos By Leandra Saenz
Three gamblers, *Benny Southstreet, *Rusty Charlie and Nicely-Nicely Johnson
SAN JOSÉ, CA – Twenty four years ago, the city of San José, was transformed by a production of the l950 Tony-Award-winning musical, “GUYS And DOLLS.”
What happened was described by Children’s Musical Theater (CMT) Artistic Director KEVIN R. HAUGE, as a Message, printed in the second page of the CMT Marquee Presentation programs of the current performance of GUYS AND DOLLS which is being performed at the Montgomery Theater in downtown S.J.
CMT ARTISTIC DIRECTOR KEVIN R HAUGE
His “story” takes us back to the year 1994 when he (Director HAUGE) and his wife were living in Texas and worked staging corporate and theme park shows all over the world.
It all began with a telephone call from MICHAEL MULCAHY, a friend, asking HAUGE if he wanted to come back to San Jose, (Where he had previously Directed and choreographed several productions at the Children’s Musical Theater) for the Summer, to stage a production of “GUYS AND DOLLS.”
KEVIN R. HAUGE came back to the city, and when he was at “the old “Rehearsal Hall on 9th and Taylor,” as he calls it, doing auditions, looking at the “new faces” of the organization, and its new “fresh talent,” he was greeted by some “kids,” he had directed at CMT when they were seven years old, but were now freshman’s students at different colleges. It was at that moment, he writes, that he began to realize that being part of a community was something which he had been yearning all his life. When at a later date we was offered the job of CMT Artistic Director, Mr HAUGE and his family moved to San Jose and because KEVIN R. HAUGE came to San José, our Children’s Musical Theater is what it is today.
In his position as CMT Artistic Director of 22 Seasons of the Children’s Musical theater school (A school where no child is denied admission) HAUGE has made it one of the best Children’s Theaters in the nation. His innovative approach, which includes the incorporations of modern techniques (The use of Computers in the productions), his aim at bigger acting challenges, more difficult productions and constantly stretching the children’s imaginations, in his classes, had not only accomplished the presentation of excellent shows, but also a “professional- level” of acting from each student in every performance.
And with Director HAUGE, as its Artistic Director, our Children’s Theater continues accumulating merits, culminating with the “recognition of excellence” from the National Endowment for the Arts in the form of 11 NEA Grants for 11 consecutive years. On the personal side, some of the Awards given to Director HAUGE, are: an Honorable Mention for the 2016 Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education and the LIN WRIGHT Special Recognition Award by the American Alliance for Theater Education.
The Cast of GUYS AND DOLLS
WHAT ARE THE CMT MARQUEE SHOWS?
The CMT “Marquee Shows”, were created by CMT five years ago with the purpose to give its former students of a chance to act in a CMT production.
The difference between a CMT show and a “Marquee Show” is that the casting of the “Marquee Shows” is Professional, instead of students (children) the cast of a "marquee Show" is composed of former CMT’s students, who are now adults and are working in different theatres in the USA as actors, dancers, or as teachers who return to the Bay Area for a few weeks, to rehearse and then act in a show produced by their old “Alma Mater.”
There were so many former CMT students in this production of “GUYS and DOLLS” that Cultural World Bilingual will indicate them, by adding an asterisk to their names.
C M T MARQUEE “GUYS And DOLLS.” Directed by KEVIN R. HAUGE
Inside the Montgomery Theater, the orchestra (Musical Director AMIE JAN) let us hear the lively chords of the GUYS AND DOLLS’ overture. Represented on the stage, we see the hustle and bustle of an early morning at Times Square in New York City, ( l920’s, or early l930’s) among them gamblers Benny Southstreet (IAN LEONARD*) Rusty Charlie (MASON KIMON*) and Nicely Nicely Johnson (DANIEL Lloyd Pias) reading the bookie’s list trying to decide on the horse to place their bet in.
Crossing the street we see a female celebrity, followed by a man walking behind her carrying a tower of boxes on his hands. There are sailors, girls and gamblers on the street and also Police Lt. Brannigan (ANDY ROTCHADL) wearing a yellow raincoat, who is trying to find out where is the next “crap game” organized by Nathan Detroit, (DOUG SANTANA*) going to be held.
And contrasting with all those “sinners” on the street, we see the young angelical-looking Sister Sara Brown (CATHERINE BRADY*) a Lt. from the Salvation Army being followed by her small Salvation Army’s band, standing on the street talking (but being ignored by most people) about “repentance” and "sin."
But it just happen that Nathan Detroit (D.SANTANA*) who needs one thousand dollars to secure a place for his “Crap game” the next day, after seeing Sky Masterson (FRANKIE MULCAHY*) the gambler who gambles about everything, decides to bet him one thousand dollars that he (Sky) cannot take the saintly Sister Sara (BRADY*) for dinner with him Havana (Cuba)
CATHERINE BRADY* Sarah Brown and FRANKIE MULCAHY *as Sky Masterson
But the plot get complicated, because when with the promise of bringing twelve "sinners" to her Mission, Sky tricks Sarah to agree to go to Havana with him and Sister Sara is away, the unlocked Salvation Army Mission is invaded by the “Crap gamblers” and Sara loses faith is Sky.
On the “comedy side” of the musical, the plot presents another problem with a different couple: Nathan Detroit (D. SANTANA*) and his “doll” Adelaide (ELIZABETH SANTANA*) the principal dancer/singer of the the HOT BOX DANCERs, at a local Nightclub. After being engaged with Nathan for fourteen years and no wedding in sight, Adelaide is beginning to experience a psychosomatic cold. so, lately she is demanding from Nathan to get married.
ELIZABETH SANTANA* as Adelaide singing Adelaide’s lament
On April 15th Matinee, the C M. T “Marquee Presentation” of GAYS And DOLLS, was presented professionally in every aspect. As Sister Sarah Brown, (Brady*) played her role convincingly and sang each one of her songs in a beautiful timbre of voice. As Sky (MULAHY*) played his dual role of gambler and lover well enough to make us believe him, and he was excellent in his rendition of “I’ve never been in Love Before” (which may have needed to be played l slower by the orchestra) His version of “Luck Be a Lady” was dynamix.
Also in character were Nathan (D.SANTANA*) and Adelaide (E.SANTANA*) who in a lovely voice gave the audience a realistic rendition of “Adelaide’s lament” and a sensual dance in “Take Back your Mink” also danced by ADISA KRUAYATICLEE, SAMANTHA REPETTI, KAILA TOVA, and BRITTANY MARIE WATTS. As the gamblers, we need to mention Nicely Nicely Johnson, (PIAS) for his overall portrayal of the character and his excellent rendition of Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat. As a group, the best scene that afternoon was the Crapshooters’ dance.
Other former CMT in the show were IAN LEONARD* (Benny Southstreet) MASON KIMON* (Rusty Charlie) TED SCLAVOS* (Gambler) BRITTANY WATTS* (hot dog girl) RUDY FEUNTES* gambler) BOBBY GIRAUDO* (gambler) JEREMIA CLAUSS* (Arvide) CHRISTINA BOLOGNINI* COLETTE O’BANNION and KAYVON KORDESTANI (Essemble)
The Crapshooter’s dance
GUYS and DOLLS,
The 1950 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical was based on the short stories by American Author DAMON RUYON, “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown, “Blood Pressure” and “Pick the Winner.” The book was written by JO SWERLING and ABE BURROWS and because of LOESSER popularity as a Lyricist altered to fit LOESSER’s music and Lyrics so that the story could lead into the songs.
At the end of the C M T MARQUEE presentation, while the audience was still standing for the long enthusiastic standing ovation, a female CMT representative on the stage mentioned the importance of a theatrical education for children. This professional CMT production of GUYS and DOLLS substantiates her statement.