Andrea Martin Is Dolly, Jonathan Hadary is Horace in Matchmaker at Ford's Theatre Sept. 24-Oct. 24

News   Andrea Martin Is Dolly, Jonathan Hadary is Horace in Matchmaker at Ford's Theatre Sept. 24-Oct. 24 Ford's Theatre opens its 2004-2005 season Sept. 24 with a new Mark Lamos production Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, starring Tony Award-winner Andrea Martin as Dolly and Tony nominee Jonathan Hadary as Horace.
Andrea Martin
Andrea Martin

The Matchmaker's opening night at the historic Washington, D.C., theatre is Sept. 29. Performances continue to Oct. 24.

The play that inspired the musical Hello, Dolly! is 50 years old this year. According to Ford's, it's "a tale of love and social climbing set in late 1800s Yonkers, New York, that is filled with hilarious dialogue and almost slapstick, old-fashioned, hide-and-seek comedy." The overall message of the play, as the characters tell us in monologues that break the fourth wall, is living passionately.

Lamos recently directed the Kennedy Center's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

This is the first Ford's season under Paul R. Tetreault, the new producing director there.

Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thornton Wilder originally called his play The Merchant of Yonkers, but after a dismal run on Broadway in 1938, he reworked and renamed it under its current title, according to Ford's. Wilder based The Matchmaker on a number of other works including Moliere's The Miser and a comedy by the Austrian playwright Johann Nestroy, who adapted his production from the British playwright John Oxenham’s comedy, A Day Well Spent. (Tom Stoppard's On the Razzle is also a reworking of the Austrian play.) According to Ford's production notes, "Wilder's work revolves around Horace Vandergelder, a wealthy, widowed miser who decides he needs a bride who can also serve as a housekeeper. While Horace searches for love for himself, he dismisses matrimony for his niece who was foolish enough to fall for a struggling, poverty stricken young artist. The antics begin when Horace hires the scheming matchmaker Dolly Levi to find him a bride. Instead of honoring her commitment, she schemes to wed Horace herself and to keep the young lovers together. In the middle of the chaos, members of Horace's staff set their sights on a couple of very attractive women. Unfortunately, one of them is the woman Horace is supposed to consider as a potential mate."

Martin is known for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and the comedy series "SCTV" (recently made available on DVD). She won a Tony for the musical My Favorite Year. She recently played Serafina in Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo at the Huntington Theatre in Boston.

Hadary received a Tony Award nomination for his work in the Tyne Daly revival of Gypsy. Other Broadway credits include A Bad Friend, Gore Vidal's The Best Man and Guys and Dolls. He received an Obie Award for his work in As Is. He toured the country as Roy Cohn in Angels in America.

Other members of the cast include Stephanie Burden as Minnie Fay, Lola Pashalinski as Ms. Flora Van Huysen, Sarah Zimmerman as Mrs. Irene Molloy, Michael Goodwin as Malachi Stack, Christopher J. Hanke as Barnaby Tucker, David McNamara as Cornelius Hackl, Matthew Floyd Miller as Ambrose Kemper, Ross Bickell as Cabman, Anne Bowles as Ermengarde, Brad Fraizer as August, Timmy Ray James as Joe Scanlon and Rudolph, Thomas Adrian Simpson as Gypsy Musician, and Anne Stone as Gertrude and Cook.

Designers are Michael Yeargan (scenic), Wade Laboissonniere (costume), Rui Rita (lighting) and Tony Angelini (sound).

Lynne Shankel is music director, Brad Waller is fight choreographer and Tom Watson is hair and wig designer.

For more information on Ford's Theatre, please call (202) 347-4833 or visit www.fordstheatre.org.

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Ford's Theatre Society is a not-for-profit corporation created to produce live entertainment on Ford's historic stage.

"In tribute to President Abraham Lincoln's love of the performing arts, Ford's Theatre produces plays and musicals that underscore our country's multiculturalism and illuminate the eclectic character of American life," according to its mission. "In the 36 seasons since reopening its doors, Ford's has produced more than two dozen world premieres, including Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope."

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