The Matchmaker

What fun! A tremendous performance to finish opening week on a high note. Director Chris Abraham took full advantage of the comedic talents of his cast, adding tremendous physical comedy to the amusing dialogue of Thornton Wilder. This could have been another dated play in the hands of a less adventurous and talented group.
I know that Mike Sharra is brilliant at physical comedy and he certainly demonstrated that again as Cornelius Heckl. Seana McKenna has no equal when it comes to sly glances and arch asides. Geraint Wyn Davies is always funny as a sly drunk, and loves to connect directly with the audience as he did when he gave his advice about not supporting more that one vice at a time. Nora McLellan, who played the Matchmaker the last time I saw this play was hilarious as usual.
But the real surprises were Tom McCamus as Horace Vandergelder, Cara Ricketts as Ermengarde and Andrea Runge as Minnie Fay. These dramatic actors demonstrated a whole new range of talents and reinforced the amazing strength of the Stratford company.
I will also be watching for Josh Epstein and Victor Dolhai in the future, both of whom demonstrated great comedic talents as Barnaby and the waiter, Auguste, respectively.
Anyone who decides not to see this play because they have seen it before is missing a great opportunity. You may have seen the play, but not this play!


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Andrea Runge, Cara Ricketts, Josh Epstein, Mike Sharra, Nora McLellan, Seana McKenna, Stratford 2012, Tom McCamus, Victor Dolhai. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Matchmaker

  1. Keith says:

    Sometimes you just wanna have fun. This play is not going to change the world, or probably anyone's opinion about anything – but it provides lots of laughs and you leave the theatre with a definite feel-good bounce in your step. It is also well constructed. Often comedies seem to run out of steam or have flat spots. This one didn't. Of course, in part that is due to the cast and direction, but the playwright has to take a bow too.The cast was excellent. Everyone was so good, the temptation is just to run down the cast list. Where mugging was required – and I am looking at Mike Sherra here – it was done to perfection, I think his best physical comedy since Black Comedy. But Seana McKenna once again showed you can do comedy while playing a real person. As Cathy said, there were also a bunch of other actors here performed brilliantly and about whom you thought "I didn't know [insert name here] could do comedy that well"!I have to confess I disappointed Cathy, as I would not let her bring Josh Epstein home. I pointed out that it was Barnaby Tucker she really wanted to adopt, and the actor might find it creepy. (I know I would.)Go and see it, just don't try to smuggle any of the actors out – we need them for future performances.

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