Seven people with Westside ties, including former longtime Ben Davis High School faculty member Joe Cook, are cast members in the all-volunteer Garfield Shakespeare Company's spring presentation of "The Matchmaker," the Thornton Wilder play that inspired the stage and film musical "Hello, Dolly!"
In 1890's Yonkers, the rich merchant and widower Horace Vandergelder decides to remarry, so he hires matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi to find him a suitable bride in New York City. At the same time, his niece Ermengarde is talked into running away with her artist boyfriend, Ambrose, while Vandergelder's clerks Cornelius and Barnaby use the absence of the boss as an excuse to close the store and go to the city for an adventure. By coincidence common to farce, the clerks meet Irene Molloy, a widow and hat store owner whom Vandergelder has courted, and her assistant Minnie Fay. The entire group winds up at the Harmonia Gardens restaurant where dinner, mistaken identities, and general mayhem ensue. Finally, through the efforts of Mrs. Levi, Vandergelder finds his bride, and two other couples plan marriage as well.
The play is directed by Cook, an Indiana State University alumnus, who has 40 years of experience in community theater in Central Indiana. He taught Latin, Spanish, and social studies at Ben Davis High School from 1968 to 1996. He started three Central Indiana theater companies that are still in operation - Hendricks Civic Theatre and Spotlight Players (Beech Grove), in addition to GSC.
Cast members in "The Matchmaker" with Westside ties are:
- Chris Burton, a Decatur Central High School graduate, who not only plays con-man-with-a-heart Malachi Stack but also is the play's assistant director. Burton, who still lives in Decatur Township in Marion County, is a 2009 graduate of DePauw University, where he majored in theater and had roles in more than a half-dozen theater productions. He is audio and visual engineer for CAB Productions, a family business based in Indianapolis, and also works at Northwest Radiology Network in Indianapolis.