Of gangsters, gamblers and showgirls

Centre front from left: Shelby Sparks, Carlos Norton and Rain Santillian in the classic musical Guys and Dolls which was a big hit at Pakuranga College. Photo supplied

With more than 100 staff and students involved in this year’s musical, Guys and Dolls the annual production at Pakuranga College, was no small affair.

As one of the original Broadway classics, the show last week was packed with popular songs that have been recorded by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine.

The storyline of the vintage musical Guys and Dolls revolves around a group of colourful gangsters and gamblers, missionaries and showgirls in 1950s New York City.

Despite having such big shoes to fill, the lead vocalists delivered foot-tapping renditions of each musical number, ably supported by a talented cast of dancers and chorus members.

The big-band sound was produced by the school’s student orchestra, with sassy brass and swing beats that recreate the atmosphere of depression era New York.

Throughout the performance, the stage was alive with talent – from the commanding presence of Angus Zeng (Sky Masterson), to the soaring vocals of Shervonne Grierson (Sarah Brown).

Sloane Perkins and Jack Watchorn produced some great comedy moments in their portrayal of Miss Adelaide and the charismatic Nathan Detroit.

The entire cast exuded a vibrant energy and the high quality of the sound, lighting and costumes gave an overall sense of professionalism not often seen in a school production.

Much of the production was run by the students themselves, including lighting and sound, set creation and front of house.

Principal Michael Williams commented, “As with everything in the school, the production is a learning experience. It’s a great opportunity for students to acquire new skills while having fun. We are immensely proud of how hard everyone works each year to produce a show of such a high calibre.”