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Orange Lutheran takes a captivating gamble

In the world of a high-rolling, gambling New Yorker, there is often no place for religion or love. But in Orange Lutheran’s production of "Guys and Dolls," everything star gambler Sky Masterson knows is transformed when he makes the ultimate bet -- and unexpectedly falls in love with the conservative and religious Sarah Brown.

Sky Masterson (Michael Burrell) dominates the stage with his presence, and articulates his every word with an accent one would expect of a full-fledged performer. In his relationship with missionary Sarah Brown (Kristen Orr), Burrell accurately portrays a man confused and scared to reveal his true emotions with worried glances and plenty of second-guessing.

His talent extends into his singing, where he easily hits every note spot-on without trouble. During the number "Luck Be a Lady," he and the Gamblers successfully complement each other with appropriately themed dance moves and booming voices.

Alongside her longtime fiancé Nathan Detroit (Jeremy Thulemeyer), Miss Adelaide (Sarah Pierce) captivates the audience with her brimming energy and excitement at the prospect of finally getting married after a 14-year engagement. The comedic couple wonderfully plays off each other's strengths, most notably in "Sue Me," to create a dynamic duo whose time on stage is highly cherished by the audience.

Pierce further stuns onlookers with her entertaining rendition of "Adelaide’s Lament," in which she is careful to, and quite efficiently, inject her New York accent without it becoming overbearing.

With a sparkling smile, Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Lavance Reed) is certainly a pleasure to behold every moment of his presence on stage. During "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," Reed's exaggerated gestures and wildly amusing dance moves more than made up for the rare moments when his clear voice became lost among the crooning of the Gamblers.

In scenes he shares with Benny Southstreet (Anthony Skillman) and Rusty Charlie (Parker Stanley), the trio lights up the stage with humorous banter that results in roars of laughter from the audience.

In its side-splitting and enchanting production of "Guys and Dolls," Orange Lutheran takes its audience on a journey into love and gambling that will make watchers feel as if they have "Never Been in Love Before."

Erin Bola is a sophomore at Fountain Valey High School in Fountian Valley.

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