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Curtain Opens on "Guys and Dolls"

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (Feb. 20, 2008) - The departments of music and theater at SUNY Plattsburgh are pleased to present the popular Broadway musical, "Guys And Dolls," March 6 through 8 at 8 p.m. and March 9 at 2 p.m. in the Hartman Theatre, Myers Fine Arts Building, on the college campus.

Guys and Dolls Cast The winner of five Tony awards, "Guys and Dolls" was first produced in 1950 and was later made into a film that starred Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine reprising her stage role. It is the story of two conflicted spirits who find solace on the moral edges of society - good and bad - and discover themselves through finding each other.

"All that, and it's funny too," comments Kim Hartshorn, associate professor of theater and stage director for the show.

The story revolves around four characters played by SUNY Plattsburgh music or theater majors. Tyler Nye (Sky Masterson) is a junior from Keene Valley who has appeared in numerous school and community productions. Antonette Knoedl, a junior from Long Island, has been cast as his love interest, Sarah Brown. Sophomore Christian Amato (Nathan Detroit) relates to his character the most. Having grown up in the Bronx, he was able to base his character's actions and mannerisms on relatives and people he knows.

Jessica Schaefer (Miss Adelaide), a junior from Plattsburgh, sums up her experience this way: "Adelaide has been a dream role because I get to do it all - dance, sing and act - the three things I love to do most in this world."

"A musical theater production represents the ultimate in collaborative art," Hartshorn said as he took a moment from the hectic rehearsal schedule to reflect. "The goal is to find a unified vision that magically blends the chaos into a complex and compelling experience for the spectator. If we have done our job, this production will raise the audiences' spirits and banish the blues for weeks, and then, it will be summer."

This collaborative effort involves both theater and music departments. Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Karen Becker is the show's music director and serves as the band's conductor.

"I am thoroughly enjoying teaching this wonderful American classic to a new generation of music theater performers," said Becker.

Audience members will recognize some of the more popular tunes, including "Luck Be a Lady" made popular by Frank Sinatra, and the memorable love song, "I'll Know." Music faculty and student musicians play side by side in the "Hot Box Combo," Becker's name for the "Guys and Dolls" band.

The collaboration doesn't end there, however. In addition to the band and the cast of 29 students, there are as many students and faculty working behind the scenes. For instance, there are theater department faculty and staff like Dr. Tim Palkovic, who began sketching set designs months ago so that Ben Wright, the technical director, could take them to the scene shop. Costume designer E. Marie Barber has a student crew working with her in the shop, pinning, cutting, and stitching. Laura Jean Schwartau is doing choreography. SUNY Plattsburgh alumna Daniel Black '03 has returned as the theatrical lighting designer, and current students, like Bridget Dunigan, stage manager, take on roles such as hair and makeup, props master and deckhand.

Reserved seating tickets are on sale now and are going fast. General admission is $15. Students and seniors pay $12. Call 518-564-2283 for box office hours.

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