Samantha Ratakonda ’15
On November 17, 18, and 19, the fall production, 33 Variations, was performed at MLHS. The play lasted around two hours, but its intriguing plot left the viewers in complete awe and admiration.
The play was successful thanks to the fantastic skills of the actors. Freshman Mike Antzoulis, gave true insights into his character, Ludwig von Beethoven, a composer who was just never satisfied with his work. Junior Lucy Chen skillfully portrayed Katherine Brandt, a mother and musicologist obsessed with researching the reason Beethoven spent three years writing variations on a waltz by the Italian music publisher Anton Diabelli. Together, senior Nicole Colchete, as Katherine’s daughter Clara, and sophomore Joe Sutker, as a nurse named Mike Clark, did an outstanding job with their surprising scenes and always maintained their characters’ poise. Junior Andrew Michaels, as Anton Diabelli, junior Piper Gellman, as the research librarian Dr. Gertie Ladenberger, and sophomore Natalie Kane, as Beethoven’s secretary Anton Schindler, all gave spectacular performances as well.
You did not have to be knowledgeable about the history of each composer because the play explained it all very well. The plot consisted of two storylines simultaneously occurring: one featuring Beethoven, Schindler, and Diabelli in the past, while the other followed Katherine, Clara, Mike, and Gertie in the present. In the end, the audience finally discovered the true inspiration for Beethoven’s 33 variations on Diabelli’s seemingly insignificant waltz.
Also key members of the production, student pianists Victoria Sun, Matt Abate, Justin Liang, and Rose Kostak played excerpts of Beethoven’s variations throughout the play, while the ensemble consisting of Jacob Goldfischer, Natalie Ruddy, and Jackie Zhou provided seamless transitions between scenes. Also critical to the play’s success were stage manager Emma Bukowiecki, and the dedicated stage crew led by technical assistant Stephen Drabik. John Giresi, the director, gave all of his effort to this production along with Meredith Boyan, the assistant director, who supported the students throughout the rehearsal process. 33 Variations was a spectacular play that audiences enjoyed immensely.
Here is what a few people had to say about the play:
Mike Antzoulis ’15: My favorite part of the play was the relationships I formed with many different people.
Lucy Chen ’13: I had so much fun with all of the crew and am just so sad that that it’s over.
Mrs. Connors: 33 Variations was one the best student dramas I have ever seen.
Joe Sutker ’14: The play went well and it was fun.
Natalie Kane ’14: I enjoyed getting to do a drama after last year’s comedy. I also got to know great people I probably would not have met otherwise!
Emma Bukowiecki ’13: It’s a lot of mental work. The best part of the play is making new friends. Everyone has a special skill on stage no matter what!