South Summit High School’s "Guys and Dolls" | ParkRecord.com

South Summit High School’s "Guys and Dolls"

Sophomore Grace Schulz, who has been a member of the South Summit High School’s drama department for two years decided to put acting aside last year so she could deal with her demanding schedule.

Then she saw the musical "Guys and Dolls," a Tony Award-winning production that takes place during the days of speakeasies and prohibition.

"I love that play," Schulz said during an interview with The Park Record. "The version I saw last year in Heber was so wonderful, and it inspired me to keep doing drama.

"Before I saw it, I figured since I was so busy with high school, I could let drama go, but not after I saw the play. I thought that if there was a play like this out there, I definitely want to be a part of it."

Schulz got her wish when the new South Summit High drama teacher Jackie Hayes announced "Guys and Dolls" would be the next production.

The musical, directed by the school’s new drama teacher Jaqueline Hayes, will be presented in the high school auditorium, 45 S. 300 East, in Kamas, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, and Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10, at 7 p.m.

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"It is such a cool production," Schulz said. "The best part for me is the music. It’s so catchy and fun and upbeat all the way through."

"Guys and Dolls," featuring music and lyrics by Frank Loesser that was based on a book by Jo Swerlling and Abe Burrows, premiered on Broadway in 1950 and was selected as the winner of the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Unfortunately, the Pulitzer Prize advisory board vetoed the selection because of Burrows outspoken conflict with the anti-communist investigations of the House of Representatives’ Un-American Activities Committee, according to Broadway historian Steven Suskin in is book "Opening Night on Broadway."

Still, the controversy didn’t stop Hollywood from capitalizing on the fact the play won the Tony Award for Best Musical.

In 1955, Joseph Mankiewicz directed a "Guys and Dolls" film, starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine.

Schulz plays Lt. Brannigan, a police officer bent on catching illegal gamblers, in the South Summit version,

"Since, the play takes place in the 1920s and I’m going around trying to bust some gamblers, I have to play him pretty stoic," she said. "I don’t have a lot of good-time laughs with the role because I have to be serious, but that’s also fun and a good thing for me to bring to the stage, because I’m not really serious in my normal life."

Schulz also stretches her abilities because she isn’t playing a woman.

"I love getting up on stage and it’s fun trying to be someone other than myself," she said. "I mean, in this play, I have to play a guy, and that may be taking things to the extreme, but it’s so much fun to try out different characters that I couldn’t be in real life."

Last year Schulz was cast as the bossy older sister in South Summit’s production of "Saturday Matinee."

"That was fun, because in real life I’m the younger sister in my family," she said with a laugh.

Schulz was also part of the Egyptian Theatre YouTheatre’s production of "Sleeping Beauty."

"I was the fairy Meriwether," she said. "It was cool dancing around with a magic wand."

There is also a lot of dancing in "Guys and Dolls,’ Schulz said.

"That’s the biggest challenge for me," she confessed. "I have to dance, and I’ve never been good at dance ever. But our director is really good and she’s been teaching us what we need to do and that has helped me get comfortable with what I have to do on stage."

Schulz’s experience with the South Summit drama department has inspired her to pursue acting in college.

"I am interested in all the performing arts and would love to keep doing drama," she said. "I have a lot of fun and I learn a lot of things about myself."

The South Summit High School drama department will present "Guys and Dolls" in the school auditorium, 45 S. 300 East, in Kamas, on Wednesday, Dec. 7, and Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10. Curtain is 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children and can be purchased at the door.

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