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january 2019 | Volume 175


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  Production graphic.

by Thornton Wilder
Arts Club Theatre Company
Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
Jan. 24–Feb. 24
From $29
www.artsclub.com or 604-687-1644

Before audiences fell in love with the musical Hello, Dolly! there was The Matchmaker. This classic farce by Thornton Wilder kicks off the new year at the Arts Club.

The play follows Horace Vandergelder (Ric Reid), a wealthy storeowner, who seeks a wife—and matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi (Nicola Lipman) doesn’t need to look very far to find her. With forbidden young love and mistaken identities afoot, more than one match is sure to be made. This classic is full of pandemonium and embraces the unexpected in a truly modern way.

Arts Club Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran will direct The Matchmaker. She said, “The Matchmaker is one of my favourite farces—with physical comedy galore, mistaken identities, verbal wit, and a strong central female character. I love finding the rhythm and tightness required for comedy, but most of all I adore the message at this play’s core: that life’s meaning can be found in taking risks, finding adventure, and embracing joy. And while it’s a period piece set in the Gilded Age, we’ve been taking some of Wilder’s advice ourselves. By weaving in some contemporary references, we are embracing adventure in our design and aesthetics. In doing so, we acknowledge that the hopes, dreams, and desires of these characters are not so far from the ones we ourselves hold today.”

Wilder originally adapted this play from Johann Nestroy’s Einen Jux will er sich machen (1842) into a comedy called The Merchant of Yonkers (1938). Fifteen years and a Broadway run later, director Tyrone Guthrie expressed interest in a new production of the play, which Wilder rewrote and renamed The Matchmaker. The most significant change was the expansion of Dolly Gallagher Levi’s character. Then, in 1964, the play enjoyed yet another incarnation with the hugely successful, Tony Award–winning musical Hello, Dolly!

Both a novelist and playwright, Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) celebrated the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience in his works. He is the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both drama and fiction: for his novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and two plays, Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth. He enjoyed enormous success as a translator, adaptor, actor, librettist, and teacher.

Georgia Beaty (Minnie Fay), Scott Bellis (Malachi Stack), Daniel Doheny (Barnaby Tucker), Julie Leung (Ermengarde), Nicola Lipman (Mrs. Dolly Levi), Nora McLellan (Miss Flora Van Huysen), Nadeem Phillip (Ambrose Kemper), Tom Pickett (Joe Scanlon/Rudolph), Ric Reid (Horace Vandergelder), Jason Sakaki (August), Tyrone Savage (Cornelius Hackl), Munish Sharma (Cabman), Deborah Williams (Cook/Gertrude), Naomi Wright (Mrs. Irene Molloy)

Angela Beaulieu (Assistant Stage Manager), Ashlie Corcoran (Director), Mishelle Cuttler (Composer & Sound Designer), Drew Facey (Set & Costume Designer), Genevieve Fleming (Assistant Director), Pamela Jakobs (Stage Manager), Shelley Stewart Hunt (Choreographer), Sara Vickruck (Assistant Sound Designer), John Webber (Lighting Designer), Karen Ydenberg (Production Dramaturg)

Jan. 24–Feb. 24, 2019 (Media opening: January 31)
Tue–Thu at 7:30 PM, Fri & Sat at 8 PM, Wed at 1:30 PM, and Sat & Sun at 2 PM

The Arts Club Theatre Company, founded in 1964, is Canada’s largest not-for-profit urban theatre company. Led by Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran and Executive Director Peter Cathie White, it offers professional theatre at three venues—the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Island Stage, and the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre—as well as on tour throughout the province.





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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews