Lake Park High theater to put on Neil Simon's classic comedy 'Plaza Suite'

Editor's note: A previous version reversed some of the actor/character names in some of the captions. Junior Frankie Molfese is playing Karen Nash and senior Gia Zatos is portraying Muriel Tate with freshman Matt Hudak as Jesse Kiplinger/Borden Eisler, and Patrick Lavery as Roy Hubley.

The Lake Park Theatre Department continues its 2023-24 season with the iconic comedy-drama "Plaza Suite," written by the great American playwright Neil Simon.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Nov. 16-18, in the East Campus Dice Auditorium, 600 S. Medinah Road, Roselle. Tickets at the door are $5 or free to senior citizens and Lake Park students.

Premiering on Broadway on Valentine's Day, 1968, the show about relationships features a different romantic couple in each of the three acts, each staying in the same hotel suite in the posh Plaza Hotel, overlooking Central Park. Led by director Kathy Weber, the cast includes a group of nine students who have enjoyed a particular bond.

Senior Gia Zatos plays a married woman who meets an old flame for a rendezvous: "Working on 'Plaza Suite' has been one of the best experiences I've had in high school. As Muriel Tate, I get the opportunity to try new things and play someone much different from what I normally do. But what really makes this show memorable for me is the close bond my cast mates and I quickly formed with each other, one that is rare among other casts I've been a part of."

Senior Hannah Marotta plays Norma Hubley, and describes the experience as "a chance for me to get out of my comfort zone. My character is very dramatic and panicked, which makes performing very exciting."

Junior Frankie Molfese says of her character, Karen Nash: "She is such a complex one and I have enjoyed getting to work on this role, developing the layers of her. It is sure to be an emotional roller coaster for the audience that they won't want to miss."

Other cast members include freshmen Brayden Cervantes, Matt Hudak, P.J. Lavery, MacKenzie Paulish, and Olivia Romanowicz; and sophomore Kylene Murphy.

This theater production marks not only director Kathy Weber's 50th at Lake Park, but also her last as she will retire at the end of the 2023-24 school year.

She joined the Lake Park English department in August 2000 and has directed children's plays, dramas, comedies, musicals and summer camps. She was also involved as the Thespian Club Co-Sponsor (2010) and debate, formerly forensics (assistant coach from 2000-04).

Senior Gia Zatos (as Muriel Tate) and freshman Matt Hudak (as Jessie Kiplinger) rehearse Neil Simon's comedy "Plaza Suite" for Lake Park High theater's upcoming production. Courtesy of Lake Park High School District 108
Junior Frankie Molfese (as Karen Nash) and freshman Brayden Cervantes (as Sam Nash) put on a scene from Neil Simon's comedy "Plaza Suite." Courtesy of Lake Park High School District 108
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