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updated: 10/23/2013 4:01 PM

St. Viator stages 18th century Irish comedy

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  • Matt Beiswenger of Fox River Grove tries to woo the affections of Katie Del Ghingaro of Inverness in St. Viator's production of "She Stoops to Conquer."

      Matt Beiswenger of Fox River Grove tries to woo the affections of Katie Del Ghingaro of Inverness in St. Viator's production of "She Stoops to Conquer."
    Courtesy of St. Viator High School

Saint Viator High School

In the English comedy, "She Stoops to Conquer," there are mistaken identities, a fist fight, stolen jewels and a tavern drinking song to keep things lively. You'll be safe in the audience, though, when the play opens Thursday, Oct. 24, at St. Viator High School.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $5 at the door.

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Written by Irish playwright Oliver Goldsmith in 1773, the satire involves a young lady who poses as a serving girl to win the heart of a young gentleman too shy to court ladies of his own class.

"There's just so much craziness going on with one family, that it's hilarious," says junior Alex Lubinec of Mount Prospect, who plays the role of Sir/Lady Marlow. There are two casts, so Grace Nessen-Gilligan of Arlington Heights also plays the role.

Director Kate Costello discovered the play during graduate school at Northwestern, and she says you rarely see it in high schools. This is the first time she has directed the show, and she says its zany humor still resonates with audiences.

"Oliver Goldsmith called it a 'laughing comedy,' in contrast to the very proper 'sentimental comedies' of the period," Costello says.

Her students agree.

"The jokes are still relevant," says junior Anthony Zanocco of Arlington Heights, who shares the role of Mr. Hardcastle with Sean Esterquest of Inverness. "There's a slice of humor for all ages."

Students all developed a proper British accent for the show, while the servants worked on their Cockney accents.

"It's very British, but that's what I think is so cool," adds senior Kim Whalen of Arlington Heights, who plays Mrs. Hardcastle, along with Michelle Trovato of Bensenville.

Ryan Wolfe of Arlington Heights and Matt Beiswenger of Fox River Grove are both cast as Charles Marlow, wooing the affections of Kate Hardcastle, played on alternating nights by Maria Werba of Arlington Heights and Katie Del Ghingaro of Inverness.

Other principals include Nate Brown, Clare Supplitt, and Noelle Jay, all of Arlington Heights; Matt Lanus of Elk Grove Village, John McManus of Deer Park, and Parker Simonaitis of Inverness.

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