Natalie Kane ’14
Among the many signs of fall around the high schoo, one of the most exciting is the approach of the annual fall play. After last year’s success, Neil Simon’s hilarious farce Rumors, Rising Star Award-winning director John Giresi returns to MLHS, this time with a very different production in mind. “I felt it was important to select a piece of contrasting style from Rumors and provide the students an opportunity to perform a recent dramatic work,” he says of his choice.
This year’s play, Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations, opened on Broadway to much critical acclaim and five Tony award nominations in 2009. The moving and highly entertaining drama centers around a musicologist determined to discover why Beethoven wrote thirty-three landmark variations on a seemingly insignificant waltz. “The most exciting part about 33 Variations, for me,” explains assistant director Mrs. Boyan, “are all the intricate side-by-side story lines.” These parallels between past and present call for unique staging, which should make for a very visually interesting show. Mr. Giresi says he is also enthusiastic to be “[directing] a play that totally relies on the acting performances due to the very minimalistic design of the set. In addition, using student pianists to underscore the play in a live performance is very cool.”
The drama department hit the ground running this year. Auditions were held during the first full week of school and the show was cast by mid-September. Junior Lucy Chen will lead a talented cast as the driven but ailing musicologist Dr. Katherine Brandt, while senior Nicole Colchete portrays her somewhat estranged daughter, Clara. Junior Piper Gellman and sophomore Joe Sutker lighten the mood as Katherine’s friend Gertie, a German librarian, and Clara’s boyfriend, Mike. As the story moves between the present and the past, freshman Mike Antzoulis fills the role of Beethoven and sophomore Natalie Kane and junior Andrew Michaels play his secretary, Schindler, and publisher, Diabelli. Rounding out the cast are ensemble members junior Robyn Clifford-Howard and freshmen Natalie Ruddy, Jacob Goldfischer, and Jackie Zhou. A group of talented student pianists will accompany the performance with Beethoven’s variations.
This moving but often comical must-see will run for three performances on November 17, 18, and 19. General admission tickets will sell for just ten dollars and will be available beginning in mid-October. Mr. Giresi remarks that he “would love to see a large turnout in the audience. 33 Variations is a very unique theatrical piece, [so] please come and support our students.” Whether you are an experienced theatergoer or just looking for a fun evening out with friends, you certainly won’t want to miss what is sure to be an excellent production!