By Lola Jamin ’20
This semester, the Genesians are staging their fall play “The Matchmaker.” Written by Thornton Wilder in 1957, the play is an adaptation of “The Merchant of Yonkers” that was turned into the successful Broadway musical “Hello, Dolly!” featuring Carol Channing and later the popular film “Hello, Dolly!” starring Barbra Streisand.
The story, set in Yonkers, New York, in the 1880s, follows Dolly Levi (played by senior Shea Sprague), a matchmaker who sets up single men and women for marriage following the death of her own husband. Dolly searches to find a match for Horace Vandergelder (played by senior Taleen Angoorly), and along the way the audience is introduced to a variety of exuberant and memorable characters, such as Barnaby Tucker (played by senior Cassidy O’Connell) and Cornelius Hackl (played by senior Emma D’Atri), Irene Molloy (played by senior Savannah Smith), Ambrose (played by junior Justice Kochevar) and Ermengarde (played by junior Grace Egbe), all of whom become entangled in Dolly’s plot.
With rehearsals under way, the cast and crew members recently took time to comment on their favorite parts about being in the show and what they look forward to the most:
“It is very important to me to build friendships and get to know people”, says junior Amanda Ritts. When asked about what she looks forward to the most in the production process, Amanda says “having fun and making memories” and also, “food during tech week.”
“It is very important to me to build friendships and get to know people”, says junior Amanda Ritts.”
Sofia Ogdemli, a freshman new to IH, is most excited to “to meet to people,” and she says she is also looking forward to dancing in the dance sequences that will be scattered throughout the show.
Shea Sprague, who will be playing Dolly Levi in her last play production at IHHS, says that “[The Matchmaker] is a very uplifting show.” She said she is “excited for people to see it because it will make them happy regardless of what is going on in their lives.”
Just like Sprague puts it, the lightheartedness of the show is sure to add some positivity into anyone’s life! The production will open Thursday, November 9, at 7:30 p.m. and continue Friday, November 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 11, at 7:30 p.m.. A final show is scheduled for Sunday, November 12, with time to be announced.
Sophomore Audrey Valcourt, participating in her first IHHS production, said of the cast, “Everyone is passionate about performing. Everyone is incredibly talented. I can already tell that we’re going to have so much fun together and put on a fantastic show.” Valcourt says her favorite part about the play overall “is how different the characters are from one another. Everyone is playing a very unique type of person in this show. It’ll be interesting to see how the actors make their choices.”
The full cast includes: Sofia Ogdemli, Alex Pablo, Dafnie Zaragoza, Maeve Carney, and Canela Roey (as dancers), Evan Young (as a dancer/August), Alexa Bayliff (as a dancer/Joe Scanlan), Layla Chessmen (as a dancer/Rudolf), Audrey Valcourt (Flora’s Cook), Amanda Ritts (Cabman/dancer), Fiona Riley (Gertrude/dancer), CJ Hightower (Ambrose Kemper), Ava Dobbs (Malachi Stack), Thea Williams (Miss Flora Van Husen), Grace Egbe (Ermengarde), Cassidy O’Connell (Barnaby Tucker), Emma D’Atri (Cornelius Hackl), Lola Jamin (Minnie Fay), Savannah Smith (Irene Molloy), Shea Sprague (Dolly Levi), Taleen Angoorly (Horace Vandergelder).