A clas­sic com­edy

Blue Moun­tain drama club to present ‘The Man Who Came to Din­ner’

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANIEL P. PROSICK COPY EDI­TOR Con­tact the writer: dprosick@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com; 570628-6002

Ahigh school theater group is set to test its sar­donicism next week­end with a play that satir­i­cally in­tro­duces Hol­ly­wood’s prin­ci­ples to Sub­ur­bia’s. If “an in­jured friend is the bit­ter­est of foes,” what is a promi­nent fam­ily to make of an even more promi­nent, vit­ri­olic, ego­cen­tric and most im­por­tantly, in­jured, stranger?

The Blue Moun­tain High School Drama Club, un­der the di­rec­tion of Michael Shoupe, will present “The Man Who Came to Din­ner” at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 and 17 and 2 p.m. Nov. 18 at The James Romberger Au­di­to­rium at Blue Moun­tain High School, Or­wigs­burg. Tick­ets are $3 for stu­dents and se­niors and $5 for adults, and can be bought at the door, Shoupe said.

The satire, based on the 1939 film writ­ten by Moss Hart and Ge­orge Kauf­man and set around Christ­mas­time, “cen­ters around Sheri­dan White­side, a grumpy ra­dio per­son­al­ity, who breaks his hip on the front steps of an Ohio fam­ily’s home, the Stan­leys. He makes their lives dif­fi­cult as he in­serts him­self into ev­ery fam­ily sit­u­a­tion,” Shoupe said. “Mean­while, his sec­re­tary has fallen in love with a lo­cal news­pa­per re­porter, so White­side does ev­ery­thing in his power to keep them apart — in­clud­ing en­list­ing the help of some of his ec­cen­tric Hol­ly­wood friends.”

The comedic cast will con­sist of Adam Beam, a ju­nior, in the lead as en­vi­ous, acer­bic Sheri­dan White­side; Abi­gail Smith, a se­nior, as sec­re­tary Mag­gie Cut­ler; Ai­dan Carr, a ju­nior, as news­pa­per­man Bert Jef­fer­son; CJ Fehr, a se­nior, and Se­quoia Gaw­lik, a ju­nior, as Mr. and Mrs. Stan­ley; and, as White­side’s Hol­ly­wood cronies, Raven Wes­ley, a ju­nior, as Lor­raine Shel­don, Johnathan Orozco, a ju­nior, as Bev­erly Carl­ton, and Richard Joyce, a sopho­more, as Banjo; and more.

The pro­duc­tion staff in­cludes Shoupe as the di­rec­tor and pro­ducer, as­sisted by stu­dent di­rec­tor Olivia Parulis. Matt Lauben­s­tine will be work­ing lights and sound. The freshly built sets were made by Steven Gillen’s con­struc­tion class, as were “a few of the more sig­nif­i­cant props,” Shoupe said, adding “they re­ally went above and be­yond help­ing us get this pro­duc­tion off the ground.”

Shoupe said that, with the 23 stu­dents in the cast, he wanted to do a show that al­lows for that many roles in or­der to “give as many stu­dents as pos­si­ble the op­por­tu­nity to per­form, but it also had to be funny. … I like do­ing come­dies. Peo­ple come to the theater to have a good time, so come­dies lend them­selves well to that. The kids are div­ing into their roles with rel­ish. That’s what’s fun about do­ing theater. At the end of it all, we’re one big fam­ily,” Shoupe said. “I just want the com­mu­nity to see what th­ese kids can pull off. They’re an im­pres­sive group.”

Up next for Shoupe and the au­tumn Drama Club en­sem­ble is a farce, “Moon Over Buf­falo,” planned for next year. The spring mu­si­cal, yet to be an­nounced, will be pre­sented on March 15-17, Shoupe said.

ANDY MATSKO / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Mem­bers of the Blue Moun­tain High School Drama Club, from left, McKenna Wy­chu­nas as nurse Preen, Adam Beam as Mr. White­side, CJ Fehr as Mr. Stan­ley and Se­quoia Gaw­lik as Mrs. Stan­ley, re­hearse for their up­com­ing pro­duc­tion of “The Man Who Came to Din­ner.” The show will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 and 17 and 2 p.m. Nov. 18 at the school’s James Romberger Au­di­to­rium.

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