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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Fall play ‘The Matchmaker’ promises hilarious and unique showing

It’s been shown at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.  It’s been performed on Broadway. And now, “The Matchmaker” is appearing at Saratoga High.

Opening on Oct. 10, this year’s production of “The Matchmaker” promises an entertaining comedy with eclectic characters and a talented cast.

Set in 1890s New York, the play tells the story of Horace Vandergelder, a merchant looking to get married after having been a widow for several years.  He asks his friend Dolly Levi to find a match, but Dolly is more interested in marrying him herself.

As she tries to get him to notice her, she also helps his niece elope with a penniless artist and help two of Horace’s assistants take a day off work without running into their boss.  When everyone runs into each other in one of the classiest restaurants in the city, games of hide and seek, food fights and mistaken identities ensue.  

“This year, I wanted to pick a show with a lot of heart and wit,” director and drama teacher Sarah Thermond said. “‘The Matchmaker’ has a great combination of speaking roles and meaningful ensemble parts, and also has a unique kind of humor that we haven’t worked on for a while.”  

Because of the unconventional tone of the show, Thermond said she is most excited to watch the various roles come to life.

“Normally, over-the-top farcical comedies have very flat characters, but the characters in ‘The Matchmaker’ are not only hilarious, but also have a lot of depth and insight that they bring to the story,” Thermond said.

Senior Melissa Rogan, who plays the part of Flora Van Huysen, has been part of the drama program since she was a freshman and is excited to see the twist that ‘The Matchmaker’ brings.

“The drama department has performed some tough material like ‘The Crucible,’ which dealt with darker themes,  and ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’ [which] brought on the challenge of tougher language,” Rogan said. “I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what great things this year will bring.”

The audition, held on Aug. 27, proved a successful and low-stress event for those participating.

“It was made to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of audition, so anyone can participate regardless of their acting abilities,” sophomore Sarah Traina, who plays a singer in the musical quartet said.

Freshmen like Ania Kranz, who plays a dinner guest, who was auditioning for her first high school show, said she felt at ease.

“I went in a bit scared because I was new to the drama department, Kranz said. “But the audition was really fun, and I met a lot of awesome people while there. ”

Even with the excitement of a new play for the new school year, the show also offers challenges to actors and actresses because of the shorter preparation time.

“The show will be performing a week earlier this year in order to fit better with other important school events, which means we have about a month to get the show up,” Thermond said. “There will be a lot of memorization for a few characters in particular, and we also have combat, music and dancing to add.  I am confident we can do it all; it will just be a matter of doing it all at a faster pace.”

Rogan, however, views the short amount of time as a plus for the cast.

“I think the decreased rehearsal time will really force the cast to dig right into it,” Rogan said. “Because we have less time, there’ll be less room to goof off and more time to focus on what we love doing, and I think because of that, we’ll have a wonderful show.”

The show will perform Oct. 10 and Oct. 11 at 7 p.m., Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. and Oct. 17 and Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in the McAfee Center.  

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