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The Matchmaker

Thornton Wilder, who wrote this zany philosophical farce, is a paradoxical figure. He was both deeply conservative -- intent on conserving the theatrical conventions and traditions of the past -- and an innovator who burst the bounds of realistic theater with plays like The Long Christmas Dinner, Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth. But perhaps his most memorable creation is the title character of this piece, Dolly Gallagher Levi (Lori Berg), the irrepressible matchmaker and all-around busybody, who sets her cap for wealthy businessman Horace Vandergelder (Dimitri Christy), and along the way solves the romantic dilemmas of everybody in the vicinity. Director Heather Chesley provides a production that initially seems pedestrian and heavy-handed but gains in momentum as it progresses. Most innovative are the increasingly frantic and loony dance interludes, by choreographer Julie Hall, employed to cover the set changes. In addition to those mentioned above, there are engaging performances by Ellis Greer as the determined milliner Irene Molloy, Joseph Barone as the naive clerk Barnaby and Katie Buderwitz as a vivacious Minnie Fay. Their performances, combined with Wilder's sunnily subversive wit, give the proceedings an air of festive celebration that sends the audience out beaming. Actor's Co-op's David Schall Theatre, 1760 Gower St., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m. (added perf Sat., June 15, 2:30 p.m.); through June 16. (323) 462-8460, ActorsCo-op.org.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Sat., May 18, 2:30 p.m.; Sat., June 15, 2:30 p.m. Starts: May 10. Continues through June 16, 2013

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