posted July 11, 2014

“The Matchmaker” Opens This Weekend on HSRT Stage

Susan Erickson (AEA) and David Colacci (AEA) in HSRT’s “The Matchmaker”

Hope Summer Repertory Theatre will present “The Matchmaker,” an uproarious farce about love, money, and the love of money, beginning Friday, July 18.

Directed by HSRT’s founding artistic director John Tammi and starring current artistic director David Colacci and his wife Susan Erickson, this hilarious, witty comedy promises audiences an evening of endless laughter.  “The Matchmaker” runs in rotating repertory in the DeWitt Center main theatre at 8 p.m. on July 18, 19, 22, 25, 30, and August 1, 5, 8.

“The Matchmaker” tells the hilarious tale of stingy storeowner Horace Vandergelder, who hires matchmaker Dolly Levi to find him a wife.  Dolly sets him up with Mrs. Irene Molloy, even though she secretly intends to marry him herself.  But when Vandergelder decides to propose to Mrs. Molloy much sooner than expected, Dolly must scramble to concoct a new plot to ensnare him.  Meanwhile Vandergelder’s two adventurous clerks secretly abandon his store for a day on the town.  A romantic tangle of unexpected meetings and riotous complications ensues.

According to director John Tammi, “The Matchmaker” charms people because “it’s crazy enough to entertain” while maintaining a “warm-hearted center.”  “It toys with cliché,” he said, “but it doesn’t go overboard and become cloyish, but very real.”  The result is a humorous show filled with charming characters that “we all want to join.”

Playing the role of Horace Vandergelder is David Colacci (AEA), who has returned for his 29th season with HSRT and his 23rd as artistic director.  Colacci also spent eight years as a resident director at Cleveland Play House and has performed in theatres across the country for the past 40 years, including the Guthrie in Minneapolis, the Old Globe in San Diego, and the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville.  He is joined for this show by his wife Susan Ericksen (AEA), in the role of Dolly Levi.  In addition to her 24 summers with HSRT, Ericksen has worked in New York and regional theatres across the country, and has also recorded four hundred audio books.

Playing the role of Mrs. Irene Molloy is Kate Thomsen, who is returning to HSRT for her third season.  Thomsen received her BA from Western Michigan University and her MFA from University of California, Irvine.  Also returning to HSRT is Joshua Kumler, in the role of Cornelius Hackle.  Kumler recently graduated with a BFA from Southern Methodist University.  Joining him in the role of Barnaby Tucker is Evan Adams, an acting intern from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre BFA Actor Training Program.  He is accompanied by fellow acting intern Theo Zucker, who is a rising junior at Hope College.

The supporting cast includes Thomas Joscelyn as Ambrose Kemper, Khyel Roberson as Joe Scanlon, Shannon Huneryager as Gertrude, Ellie Campbell as Ermengarde, Skye Edwards as Malachi Stack, Churaqui Mosely as Cabman, Michael Dewar as Rudolf, Bradley Hamilton as August, Jean Bahle as Miss Flora Van Huysen, and Olivia Donalson as her cook.

Tammi has been involved in theatre at Hope College since the department was founded in 1968.  In addition to directing more than 100 productions for Hope College and Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, he has worked with the Colonnades Theatre in New York City, served as dramaturg for the New Harmony Project, coached dialects for two feature films, and served as chair of Region III for the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival.  He is also the founding producer and director for Brilliance Corporation, a leading audio book publisher.

The production team for “The Matchmaker” includes scenic designer Joe Flauto, lighting designer Peter Sargent, costume designer Jason Resler, sound designer Jeffrey Levin, stage manager Rita Sobbing, managing director Rich Perez, and production manager Rachel Hasse.

Individual tickets are now on sale at the DeWitt Ticket Office (141 E. 12th St), which is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon until intermission.  The college’s downtown ticket office, located at 100 E. 8th Street, is also open Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Adult tickets are $24 for Mezzanine and Balcony and $20 for Orchestra.  Tickets for seniors, faculty and staff are at $22 for Mezzanine or Balcony and $18 for Orchestra.  Student tickets are $15. Patrons can also purchase individual tickets online by visiting hope.edu/hsrt or calling (616) 395-7890.

Ticket options also include Season Ticket Packages, which save patrons up to 38 percent off individual ticket prices and guarantee a terrific seat for every performance.  Season Ticket Packages are available now at both ticket office locations.  The Best Buy Package offers seating for four main-stage performances for only $75 for adults, $70 for seniors and $40 for students.  The Super-Saver Package includes seating limited to the orchestra and admission to the four main-stage productions for $60 for both adults and seniors and $40 for students.

More information available online at hope.edu/hsrt.