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WHS Theatre Department Sets New Dates for 'A Little Hotel on the Side'

The show must go on, says director Daniel Devlin.

The Westfield High School Theatre Department has rescheduled its production of the French comedy 'A Little Hotel on the Side.' The show, a farce about romantic mishaps at a Paris hotel, now will be presented on November 29 and
30 and December 1.

The show, originally scheduled to be performed this weekend, was pushed back to accommodate outages related to Hurricane Sandy, which closed the high school for nearly two weeks. 

"The show must go on. It will just go on a little later than we originally planned," said director Daniel Devlin, who is also a drama teacher at Westfield High School.

Like many in the cast and crew, Devlin spent most of the past two weeks without power due to the storm. "The students have worked so hard to make this show happen despite the circumstances," said Devlin. "It is a testament to their dedication and quality." 

Devlin urged Westfield residents to show their support for the students -and enjoy a much-needed laugh -- by coming to see 'A Little Hotel on the Side.' 

Set in turn-of-the-century Paris, 'Hotel' gets rolling when middle-aged building contractor Benoit Pinglet (Matt Lynn), tired of being henpecked by his wife Angelique (Michaela Tropeano), tries to arrange an affair with the beautiful Marcelle (Nicole Zimmermann), who also happens to be the wife of his best friend Henri Paillardin (Geoffrey Ko). 

Adding to the comedy mayhem are Taylor Jackson as Victoire, the amorous French maid; Jack Mustard as Maxime, the bespectacled student who is the object of Victoire's affection; Megan Mulrooney as Bastien, the hotel's owner; Connor Wynne as Boulot, the hotel clerk; Will Cary as Inspector Boucard of the Department of Public Morality; Fraser Weist as Mathieu, a family friend whose stutter creates confusion galore; and Mathieu's six daughters, played by Kate Capodanno, Lauren Echausse, Allie Hecht, Veronica Murphy, Abbie Paone and Maggie Tanji. 

The shows also features Isabel Smelkinson as Chervet, a school teacher; Nicholas Gabuzda as Ernest, an artist; Liz Griesmer as "a lady"; Daniel Coelho as Head Porter/First Constable; Michael Poyntz as Porter/Second Constable; Chris Ick as Porter/Constable; Daniel Connolly as Porter/Constable; Julian Mone as Porter/Hotel Guest; and Frank Guerriero as Porter/Hotel Guest.

Other guests are played by Robert Romano, Colin Barry, Isabella Gelfand, Jackie Daaleman, Kim Roth, Jill Rosenfield, Catherine Bruno, and Lisa Simon. 

'A Little Hotel on the Side' is Westfield High School's first production since the smash success of its spring musical, Pippin, which was the top winner at the 2012 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star awards. 

Transforming the Westfield High School stage into turn-of-the-century Paris is the job of the show's technical crew, which is led by Lydia Oquendo (Stage Manager), Geneva Gleason (Costumes), Alison Simon and Emma Tabachnick (Stage Design), Alexa Derman and Victoria Guerriero (Hair/Makeup), Mary Kate Miller (Sound), Asher Horowitz (Graphic Design) and Rob Cassie, Benji Schwartz and Alex Ying (Lighting Design). 

Oquendo said that during the widespread power outages caused by the hurricane, students had difficulty communicating with each other and that many, including herself, left Westfield to stay with family or friends elsewhere. She said the students are grateful for the extra two weeks to prepare the show. "That extra time will really help us," she said. 

'A Little Hotel on the Side' will be performed at the Westfield High School Auditorium, located at 550 Dorian Road. Performances are Thursday, November 29 at 4 p.m.; Friday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 1 at 7:30 p.m. General seating tickets are available for $10 at the door.

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