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Harrison High Students Enjoy Their Roles in 'Guys and Dolls'

The Farmington Hills school's production of the award-winning show opens Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m., in the school auditorium.

Harrison High School brings an award-winning musical to the stage this weekend, with a group of actors who all seem passionate about their characters. 

Based on two Damon Runyan short stories, Guys and Dolls is set in New York, where a contingent of Times Square gamblers and ne'er-do-wells meet their match in the Save-A-Soul Mission ladies, who aim to reform them. 

Senior Eric Chappell says he fits well into the role of "Sky Masterson", a slick high-roller who woos missionary "Sarah Brown", played by junior Katie Dodd. 

"He makes a bet with Nathan (Detroit), and because of it, falls in love with Sarah, which is something Sky didn't think was possible," Chappell said. 

Dodd says playing Sarah is a bit of a challenge for her. "She's really uptight, and that's the opposite of who I am," she said. 

Lauren Kelly plays "Arvide Abernathy", another mission lady, who is "very distressed that the mission is about to close." Kelly said playing a more mature character, someone who advises Sarah, was harder to get in to, "but it's been fun." 

The other couple in the story, "Nathan Detroit", played by Ben Vento, and "Miss Adelaide", played by Erin Lightner, have been dating for 14 years, because Nathan isn't quite ready to tie the knot. Lightner points out that her character has had a cold for 12 years, "because of his lack of commitment." 

"I love my character," she said. "I love her angst, it's just very fun to portray. And I love how everything resolves in the end." 

For Caleb Touchstone, playing gambler "Nicely Nicely" has been "amazing and fun". "He's that goofy character," he said, "and I love playing goofy characters." 

According to a press release, the cast of more than 40 includes an unnamed, but "well-known coach" who has his acting debut in a few scenes, alongside a well-known director. The production team includes Tom Schroeder, Joel Yoder, Peggy Babcock, Dean Cobb, Sue Cobb and Lucy Koviak. 

Stage managers Catherine Washington and Samantha Potochick, both seniors, have been involved with other productions but are managing backstage for the first time. Washington said she wanted to be involved, but didn't want the time commitment required of actors. 

Turns out she was wrong about that. 

"We're here more than anyone," Washington said. "We control everything that happens behind the scenes." 

Potochick said the two have a big crew helping them, and the cast helps as well. She has enjoyed watching the show unfold. 

"It's really cool to watch everything from day one to the last day," she said.

Guys and Dolls will be performed in the Harrison Auditorium Jan. 24-26 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. All seats are reserved and may be purchased at the door or by calling the box office. Ticket prices are $15, and $12 for students, children and those 60 and older. The box office number is 248-426-5202.

Seniors in Farmington and Farmington Hills are able to receive one free ticket by showing their Farmington Public Schools Senior Card. Cards can be acquired through the office of School and Community Relations at 32500 Shiawassee or by calling 248-489-3349.

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