WHALLONSBURG - Teenage drama set to a musical score takes the Grange Hall stage this weekend, and it isn't the usual story. It's a tale of love and rolling dice, choreographed and played out under spotlights.
Boquet River Theatre Festival opens "Guys and Dolls" Aug. 13 with its senior cast of teen actors following the smash hit Junior's show, which sold out every night last weekend.
After three weeks of evenings spent directing lines, songs and dance moves, Director and Choreographer Jackie Robertin moved the cast to dress rehearsal on Monday with aplomb.
Despite the hard work, the kids had a lot of fun switching in and out of character, tipping fedoras and belting out showtunes.
The senior cast is building off a collective 100 years of experience in theatre with some 20 students and crew from Westport, Essex, Willsboro, Elizabethtown and Lewis.
This is the third year Boquet River Theatre Festival staged a second show for older actors, allowing them to concentrate on finer points of voice and acting skills.
Written in 1950 with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, Guys and Dolls is the story of how high roller Nathan Detroit takes the ultimate gamble with Miss Adelaide while a chance romance of Sky Masterson unfolds with Save-a-Soul Mission sergeant Sarah Brown.
The score features classic show tunes "Luck Be a Lady," "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," and "Adelaide's Lament," which hummed their way into the heart of American culture in decades past by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine.
"This is going to be a great show," Robertin said to the cast on Monday.
Summer theatre productions at BRTF opened in 1993 with one program that has grown to reach some 50 local young actors in two shows this season.
Musical Director Gigi Carroll said the primary goal behind the scenes has not changed.
"BRTF was established to provide young people with theatrical training and experience while infusing themes of humanity, honesty, good will and respect."
Board of Directors President Ed Mason said, with its 18th season, BRTF has become a mainstay of young people's summertime activity in the Boquet River valley.
"I can assure you, as in past years, our venue of the Whallonsburg Grange Hall will be exploding at the seams with growing audiences, especially since the balcony is now opened. There will be many laughs and standing ovations to show how proud we all are of our young and adolescent actors."
BRTF has also launched a new website with more information about the program and ticket sales: www.brtf.com.
"Guys and Dolls" goes onstage 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug 14, with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, Aug. 15.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and childrens and may be ordered online or by calling 932-5726.
Tickets are available at the door if space allows, but reservations are highly recommended.