Harsh New York accents and tough street gamblers mix with a church mission and lots of relational tension and live song and dance.

Ellison High School Theater presents the Broadway classic “Guys and Dolls” Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the school auditorium.

Theater and choir students are combining, along with a live ensemble, to bring the musical to life.

Show times are 7 p.m. Tickets, available at the door beginning nightly at 6:30, are $8 for adults and $5 for students.

Ellison junior Stephanie Harnish is a hotbox dancer in the show. She said audience members would enjoy the clever humor in the midst of the backstreet gangster gambling.

“I like our shimmering curtain and all the flashiness,” she said.

While performing a classic of Broadway can be intimidating, Harnish said the high school cast has thrown in creative elements that will catch audience members’ attention.

Andrew Thomas, an Ellison sophomore who plays gambler Benny Southstreet, said the cast worked hard to bring the musical together.

“It’s cool to see it all coming together,” he said during rehearsal a few days before the opening show.

“I think people will like the cartoonish elements to it,” he said, noting the action is highly animated with characters exaggerating their movements.

“I like that it feels like an old-timey movie,” he said. “We can act it out.”

Ellison senior Talia Martinez plays Adelaide, one of the lead characters.

“This show is really cool,” she said. “It has a lot of gambling action and there’s a lot of tension among the characters. We try to let the audience feel the awkwardness. I think it is a heartfelt show.”

The story involves a bet over winning a woman’s affection and a long-running romance in which Adelaide continuously tries to persuade her fellow to marry her.

Martinez said Adelaide is fun to play with her silly, ditzy personality.

“She doesn’t understand a lot, but she’s sweet,” Martinez said. “She tries to be the best person she can be.”

With live music, singing and interesting characters, the audience should enjoy the fall performance at Ellison High School.

“It’s the 1950s with gamblers and suits and fedoras,” Martinez said.

“It’s really neat with catchy, upbeat music.”

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