M*A*S*H to keep audience in stitches at GHS
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Nov. 11, 2011
Those familiar with the award-winning television show “M*A*S*H,” which aired from 1972 to 1983, will find much familiarity with the Glastonbury High School Drama Club's stage producton, but they will also see some less-familiar characters.
The play consists of scenes – or slices of life – from the fictional Moblie Army Surgical Hospital 4077th unit during a several-month course of the Korean War. Although some story arcs string across several scenes – such as a budding relationship, and the doctors' attempts to improve the life of a Korean friend – they also deliver on their own.
The cast of more than 30 actors said the show is funny (and they're correct) and just plain fun.
“It's from the movie and the TV show,” said Wendy Brown, who plays Lt. Nancy Phillips, “but it's more family-friendly. It's the same characters, but with different stories that span a year of the unit, and some new characters pop in, too.”
Kelly Tierney, who plays nurse Lt. Janice Fury, said her character has romantic intrigue with one of the doctors.
“I have a little thing with the character known as 'Ugly,' [Captain John Black, played by Kevin Lorraine],” she said. “His name is 'Ugly' because he's actually handsome — it's ironic. We secretly like each other and the audience gets that vibe, and funny things happen with that.”
Jared Miller plays the infamous Capt. Benjamin Franklin Pierce, better known as "Hawkeye."
“I'm doing random stuff, trying to get back home,” Miller said. “I pretend to be insane in one scene by trying to catch mermaids in mud patties. I talk in a British accent and wear a safari costume.”
Tré Frazier plays Captain Augustus Bedford “Duke” Forrest, a character from the movie that was not in the television show.
“In the original book, 'Duke' is a character that comes to the 4077 with Hawkeye,” Frazier said. “He's not as much of a clown. He's a little more level-headed.”
Michael Oldziej said he enjoys playing “stick-in-the-mud” Captain Frank Burns. “He will come and yell at you for playing cards in your tent, for no reason at all,” he said. “I love playing this character. It's a lot of fun being mean to everyone else.”
Jay Arseneault plays General Hamilton Hammond, who oversees the 4077th, albeit from a desk in Seoul, usually through phone calls to Lt. Col. Henry Blake, hilariously played by Kevin Howson.
“I'm mostly yelling at Blake all the time,” Arseneault said. “He either wants new doctors, or I'm telling him there's a Congresswoman coming.”
Arseneault said he is a longtime fan of the TV show and jumped at the chance to act in the play. “I've been watching M*A*S*H with my mom for years,” he said. “I was ecstatic when I found out we were doing the show. It's hilarious.”
“People should check this show out because everybody in the cast is very attractive,” Frazier joked. “[But seriously,] 'M*A*S*H' is one of the most popular shows in TV history, so most people will relate to it. It's a lot of laughs and a lot of fun.”
“It's so much fun,” Tierney said. “The audience will be laughing the entire time.”
The show will be performed Nov. 11, 12, 18 and 19, at 7 p.m. at the GHS auditorium. Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for students.