Broadway’s Kristine Nielsen and Chicago Favorite Allen Gilmore Lead The Matchmaker, Thorton Wilder’s Rarely-Revived Uproarious Romp at Goodman Theatre

Directed by Henry Wishcamper with a set by Neil Patel and comtumes by Jenny Mannis, The Matchmaker appears March 5 – April 10 in the Albert Theature; tickets go on sale
CHICAGO, IL – Casting is complete for Henry Wishcamper’s contemporary take on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker—the inspiration for the musical Hello, Dolly!, praised as “one of the sweetest and smartest romantic farces ever written” (The Wall Street Journal)—revealing social truths through mistaken identity, outrageous misbehavior and spontaneous romance. Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen is Dolly Gallagher Levi, the vivacious matchmaker who is recruited to find a wife for the wealthy yet prickly widower, Horace Vandergelder, portrayed by Chicago favorite Allen Gilmore. Little does Horace know that Dolly is plotting to become the next Mrs. Vandergelder herself! Joining Nielsen and Gilmore are a cast of acclaimed talents and rising stars, including Theo Allyn (Ermengarde), Behzad Dabu (Barnaby Tucker), Larry DiStasi (Cabman/Rudolph), Marilyn Dodds Frank (Flora Van Huysen), Sydney Germaine (Minnie Fay), Marc Grapey (Malachi Stack), Anita Hollander (Cook/Gertrude), Ronobir Lahiri (Ambrose Kemper), Elizabeth Ledo (Mrs. Malloy), Postell Pringle (Cornelius Hackl) and Ron Rains (Joe Scanlon). The creative team includes: Neil Patel (sets), Jenny Mannis (costumes), David Lander (lights) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Alden Vasquez is the Production Stage Manager. The Matchmaker appears in the Goodman’s 856-seat Albert Theatre, March 5 – April 10, 2016. Tickets ($25-$82, as well as a special $10 ticket price for students) go on sale Friday, January 22; visit GoodmanTheatre.org, call 312.443.3800 or purchase in person at the Box Office at 170 N. Dearborn. For images and bio information for the company, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/PressRoom. Ernst & Young LLP and Interactive Health are the Corporate Sponsor Partners.

“I’m thrilled to collaborate with this diverse group of extraordinary artists on the play Thornton Wilder called ‘a farce with social implications’—and what I believe is his most unappreciated major play,” said Director Henry Wishcamper, who has earned critical acclaim for his productions of classic plays, including Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, among others. “Effortlessly charming, funny and romantic, The Matchmaker also touches on many issues—economic inequity, diversity and the search for the authentic self—that feel relevant to our current cultural moment. Like the play, I hope our production will capture both levity and emotional depth.”
Broadway star Kristine Nielsen makes her Goodman debut.
“This will be my first time back in Chicago since I graduated from Northwestern University 30-odd years ago, and I can’t wait to unleash ‘Dolly Gallagher Levi’—crossing fingers for hijinks and hilarity results,” said Nielsen, who previously appeared as ‘Sonia’ in the Broadway sensation Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, earning her the 2013 Tony Award Nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Play.

On the heels of his appearance in Wishcamper’s production of A Christmas Carol, Allen Gilmore joins Nielsen to lead the 13-member cast.

“I’m happy to return to the Goodman for this exciting reimagining of Thornton Wilder’s iconic play and am likewise overjoyed to reunite with Henry, Theo Allyn and Ron Rains, my buddies from A Christmas Carol,” said Gilmore, the 2015 recipient of the 3Arts Award, whose past Thornton Wilder credits include Our Town at Seattle’s Intiman Theater.