gmhTODAY 20 gmhToday June July 2018 - Page 78

Theater Scene Written By Matthew Russell Hendrickson Now Playing “Guys and Dolls” June 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 July 1, 6, 7 Set in Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City, Guys and Dolls is an oddball romantic comedy. Gambler, Nathan Detroit, tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, laments that they’ve been engaged for fourteen years. Nathan turns to fellow gambler, Sky Masterson, for the dough, and Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary, Sarah Brown, as a result. Guys and Dolls takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, Cuba, and even into the sewers of New York City, but eventually everyone ends up right where they belong. Meet Chris Sousa C hris Sousa has been performing for audiences all over South County for many years. Like most actors involved with community theater he started in high school, but he also was a member of his church choir. He started singing in the choir at the age of 16 and still sings in a church choir to this day. His first performance on stage was in a production of “Guys and Dolls” in 1973 at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill. Many of his friends were interested and involved in the drama club at Live Oak so he took the leap and got involved as well. After high school, Chris attended Gavilan College in Gilroy where he started to focus more on singing. He took classes in the music department and performed on campus. But it wasn't until 1985 when he was urged by his friend, Carol Harris, to audition for South Valley Civic Theater’s production of “South Pacific” that he got really involved with community theater. This was back in the days when SVCT did not have a permanent home; using local theater spaces throughout Morgan Hill, San Martin and Gilroy instead. He said his motivation to continue performing in community theater was that “I got noticed when I was in shows! And I liked it!” And although his secret hope of some- day making it to Hollywood never occurred, he has also been involved in a few film productions done by local filmmakers. But, performing for an audience either on stage or with the choir is something he truly enjoys. Chris estimates that he has performed in about 51 shows in the South County Area. He has performed on stage for SVCT, Center Stage, Limelight Actors Theater, Saratoga Drama Group, City Lights, Sunnyvale Players and West Valley Light Opera. Also, he recently started performing with the Silicon Valley Gay Men’s Chorus when it does not conflict with his performing schedule. 78 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SVCT • 17090 Monterey Road Morgan Hill • “The Last Five Years” By Jason Robert Brown June 29, 30 July 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 An emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years, the show’s unconventional structure consists of Cathy, the woman, telling her story backwards while Jamie, the man, tells his story chronologically; the two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show. Limelight Actors Theater 7341 Monterey Street • Gilroy Among his favorite characters he has portrayed on stage, he notes Mortimer in “The Fantastiks” (SVCT), Christopher Belling in “Curtains” (SVCT), Roger DeBris in “The Producers” (SVCT), and Bobby Hamilton in “Run For Your Wife” (Limelight). But he is also especially proud of his performance as Grandpa Jo in “Willy Wonka” (SVCT), for which he received the award of Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role for the 2016-2017 Member’s Choice Awards. When asked why he enjoys performing on stage in front of an audience he says that it is “the attention, and that I can do something that others enjoy watching. The feeling of confidence of doing something important and enjoyable.” I myself have been involved with many community and semi-professional theater companies over the years and have had several occasions to work on productions with Chris. My favorite was when I was the assistant director for “The Producers” at SVCT in 2015. You can see Chris perform in June in SVCT’s upcoming production of “Guys and Dolls” portraying the role of Nicely- Nicely Johnson. JUNE/JULY 2018