By Illeana Baquero
This winter, the Varley Players put on a stellar performance of the Broadway classic Guys and Dolls. For three consecutive nights in early March, the cast and crew worked hard to present this show to audiences. While the show was a success, it was also bittersweet for many members of the company; it was the very last show that the Seniors will be able to participate in. Senior Izzy Yallof, who was a dance captain for Guys and Dolls in addition to portraying Mimi, says that “My last show couldn’t have gone any better. The hard work all the girls put into our dances was incredible and the improvements everyone made in such a short time was very impressive. Although my last show was sad, I wouldn’t have wanted it to go any other way.”
Alex Dempsey, another senior, played the role of Rusty Charlie and Joey Biltmore in the show. He adds that “Having done nine shows with the Varley Players, I think Guys and Dolls was one of the best performances I’ve done here. Not only did we have such a talented company of both leads and ensemble members, but the dedication I saw from everyone in both cast and crew was unlike anything I had seen in this program before. For instance, in the Crapshooters Ballet, which was an all-boys dance number, we put many hours into learning and perfecting each step, despite only one of us having outside dance experience. In the end, I believe that the dance was one of the highlights of the show and I think it was because of the work we put into it. Even though Guys and Dolls was my last show at Byram, I know that the company is in great hands and I’m excited to see where they take this program.”
This sentiment was definitely shared by many other members of the cast. Gabi Coronel, a junior, was a member of the Hotbox Dancers in this winter musical. Similar to what Alex found about the dance numbers in this show, Gabi says “It was my first time having a dance ensemble part and at first I didn’t think I could do it. As someone that has little dance experience outside of school, I was determined to work on the dances whenever I could. As the show came closer, I knew I could do it, and everyone else helped make it a wonderful show.”
Matt Giovanetti, a freshman who received a leading role as Nathan Detroit, agrees that “Guys and Dolls is definitely one of my favorite productions I have ever done. Everyone seemed to have a great time getting into character, and I am so proud of the work everyone put in.” As far as the Seniors leaving, he says that “I am really going to miss the Seniors that I have been working with this past year, but I know that we will always stay connected because we are part of the Varley Players family.”
Although Guys and Dolls was an ending of sorts for the class of 2020, there was no better way to go out than with this incredibly well-done production. Each and every cast and crew member, whether they had a large or small role, a lot or a little experience, worked hard and contributed to the success of the show. This dedication to the program is a sign that it is in good hands going forward, even with this year’s graduating class stepping away. We cannot wait to see what everyone accomplishes in the future, both at Byram Hills and beyond!