Guys & Dolls Leads

John Everett Brewer (left), Megan Mitchell, Ashleigh Harris and Tony Wilfong are the leads in the Whole Backstage's current production of Guys & Dolls.

The Whole Backstage Community Theatre and Season Sponsor Sonny Lewis just opened the summer musical, Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls, directed by veteran Whole Backstager, Johnny Brewer. Performances are slated for today, Saturday, June 18, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 23, 24, 25, at 7:00 p.m. with Sunday matinees on June 19 (tomorrow), and 26, at 2:00 p.m.

This production features a cast of the Whole Backstage’s most celebrated stars, including John Everett Brewer as Nathan Detroit, Megan Mitchell as Miss Adelaide, Ashleigh Harris as Sarah Brown, and Tony Wildfong as Sky Masterson.

John Everett Brewer of Albertville, as Nathan Detroit, is no stranger to theatre. A seasoned performer in Whole Backstage productions, his first onstage walk across was when he was 2 years old, in a crowd scene of Annie with his father directing. John Everett explained, “In 2013, I was able to take on the role of Sky Masterson in Snead State's version of Guys and Dolls, and I fell in love with the show, also directed by Johnny Brewer. This time, I was able to put on a totally different character in Nathan Detroit. It has definitely been a lot of fun getting to play both roles, as they each have their own set of challenges. The cast of this production is incredibly diverse and has done an outstanding job of coming together to put on a great production. It is often overlooked how difficult and time-consuming leading a project like this is, but Johnny has done a fantastic job directing this show. I am thrilled with this production and look forward to the future of the Whole Backstage.”

Megan Mitchell of Rainsville portrays Miss Adelaide, and has appeared in several Whole Backstage productions under the direction of Johnny Brewer. When asked about her opportunity being cast in this production of Guys and Dolls, she says, “I’ve had a wonderful experience playing Adelaide. When I got the role, I knew that I wanted to keep some of the classic things like Faith Prince originally did on Broadway, while adding my own version of the character as well. Working alongside my good friend, John Everett Brewer as Nathan Detroit just makes it more fun and easy to really dive into the role. Adelaide is definitely a challenging character, including speaking with a distinctive accent, but I think I’ve found that often my own personality can be quite similar to hers.”

And further, Megan describes her other onstage experiences, “The first time I worked with Director Johnny Brewer, I was 10 years old. He’s become more like a second father to me, rather than just a director. I’m always proud to be in whatever show he is directing, because he motivates me as well as others, to always go above and beyond what is required. There’s no other way to say it, I love Johnny Brewer!”

These two young actors, John Everett and Megan, have worked together in numerous productions, and have known each other since they were children, attended Auburn University together, and actually played brother and sister in several shows: Charlie and Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Kurt and Marta von Trapp in The Sound of Music; and Young Ebenezer and Fan Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. This is their first show together with their characters portraying a romantic couple, the comedic duo of Nathan and Adelaide.

Ashleigh Harris of Arab, who portrays Sarah Brown, says, “ It has been so much fun harmonizing in love ballads and other songs in this show. I am honored to share the stage with these super talented leads and the rest of our amazing cast!”

Tony Wildfong of Arab, describes his experience, “Playing Sky Masterson has been a coming of age tale for me. Typically, I’m cast as the antagonist or bad guy, but this time, I finally get to play a good guy, and I wouldn’t want to portray Sky anywhere but at the Whole Backstage.”

Guys and Dolls originally conquered Broadway in 1951 sweeping 5 Tony Awards including Best New Musical, and again in 1992 with 4 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical. The New York Times calls it, “The show that defines Broadway dazzle!” Some of the costumes in this WBS production are authentic wardrobe originally worn in the Broadway version of Guys and Dolls starring Nathan Lane, Faith Prince and Peter Gallagher. This Damon Runyon tale centers around a large number of gamblers in town who are all depending on Nathan Detroit to set up “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York”. As Nathan hustles around to arrange it, he faces the big problem of needing $1,000 to secure a clandestine location. Add to the action and conflicts, Sarah Brown, who is short on sinners visiting the mission that she runs; Sky Masterson, who bets Nathan that he can persuade Sarah to go with him to Havana; and Nathan’s delightful financée of 14 years, Miss Adelaide, who dreams of him giving up the crap game and marrying her; masterful music, lyrics and book; high-stepping, energetic choreography; and Guys and Dolls will entertain an audience of all ages with a performance filled with humor, sentiment, and lessons learned.

Johnny Brewer, Director, says, “When Guys and Dolls opened on Broadway in 1950, it was called ‘the perfect musical’. With the sheer magic it creates with memorable music, a great storyline, diverse and cartoonish characters, combined with all our talented cast and crew of more than 80 who have committed their time, teamwork, and creativity, we hope that we have re-created that ‘perfect musical’ as well.”

Patron Membership and General Admission tickets may be purchased at any time for the performances of Guys and Dolls June 17-26, 2022, with: $12 for Student ticket, $18 for Senior Adult, and $20 for an Adult ticket. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 256.582.7469, or visit the office at during business hours at 1120 Rayburn Avenue/Dot Moore Way in Guntersville; or view the website: www.wholebackstage.com; or the WBS on Facebook

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