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'Guys and Dolls' to close out ACT season

Brett Farnham, left, as Nicely Nicely and Devin Carey as Benny, rehearse for the Mitchell Area Community Theatre production of "Guys and Dolls" on Tuesday. (Jennifer Jungwirth/Republic)

The Mitchell Area Community Theatre takes to the lively and wild streets of New York City in its final show of the 2010-2011 season.

In the musical "Guys and Dolls," Sergeant Sarah Brown attempts to spread the Word and make a difference, eliminating gamblers from the city streets. In turn, she ends up falling for one of the gamblers she is trying to save. Miss Adelaide, a showgirl, wants to end her lifestyle and marry long-term beau Nathan Detroit. He, however, has other plans trying to find another location for a craps game. As the gamblers scramble to find another location to keep the dice rolling, they are always one step ahead of the law.

Director Cheri Hamilton said it's a happy-ending love story, and the audience should appreciate its storyline.

The show is at 7:30 p.m. Friday and May 13-14, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and May 15 at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $12 and $14 and are available at The Antique Mall or at the door.

The cast of 28 is relatively small for a musical, Hamilton said. Also, unlike most ACT productions, the cast is made up of mostly men.

"We usually have several men and women in the chorus. That was challenging -- to get a lot of men who could sing," Hamilton said.

Many actors are new to this ACT show. Many veterans took part in Dakota Wesleyan University's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," Hamilton said, leaving opportunities open for new faces to take the stage.

But, still, the chemistry between castmates has been phenomenal, Hamilton said.

"They know each other and know how to play with each other. It's been fun to watch them develop their characters," she said.

The character development is crucial to the overall performance.

"When (the audience) first sees the characters come out, they'll go 'oh, that's Steve Morgan, the teacher.' They will forget that real shortly," Hamilton said.

She credits newcomer Jessica Baas, who moved to Mitchell about a year ago.

"It's been a joy to watch her walk in and have a new face as a lead," Hamilton said.

She also said Brooke DeJong was in her first lead role since Sandy in the ACT production of "Grease."

This is Hamilton's 37th year directing shows. She has been involved with ACT for about 16 years.