Masquers bet on success with ‘You Can’t Beat the House’

By Monica Barker, Apprentice Editor

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By Monica Barker ’19

The Masquers of West Essex are gearing up for their new fall production, and two new faces are giving them some extra help this year: English teachers Ms. Miller and Mr. Myerson, who are taking on new roles as the director and tech director for Masquers of West Essex.

(Photos courtesy of Sofia Pastena) From left: Junior Teddy Press and seniors Matt Uhlendorf and Paige Wasserman practice Oct. 18 for a scene from “You Can’t Beat the House,” the fall comedy from Masquers of West Essex.

“You Can’t Beat The House,” which runs Oct. 27-28 at 7 p.m., is the comedic tale of two burglars who break into a home for sale. Buyers interested in the home walk into the open house as the burglars are there. Immediately the buyers assume the burglars are the real estate agents and it leads to instant chaos.

“The energy of everybody, the whole cast is dedicated and excited in every rehearsal and it’s great to see that energy from students,” Ms. Miller said, adding that she loves to see students get involved with Masquers.

The script is meant to be entertaining for different age groups. With it’s highlights being comedy and humor, the audience should be full of laughs.

Junior Teddy Press, who plays Conrad, a businessman eager to find a home for his family, said this year’s cast and crew are combining to help give the production success.

I am extremely confident in this year’s play,” Press said. “The show is hilarious and we have a great mix of well seasoned actors and fresh talent.”

Even with a new director, the cast is confident in their ability to “wow” the audience on opening night.

Senior Matt Uhlendorf said he’s looking forward to opening night. “’I’m really excited for the fall play because this has to be the funniest show that the Masquers has done,” Uhlendorf said. “A lot of laughs are going to be shared with the audience.”

Uhlendorf also said Ms. Miller is a major part of what helps the Masquers keep their spirits up.

“My favorite part of working with the cast is seeing all the different personalities come together to create this show,” Ms. Miller said. “It feels like it is something close to magic seeing the cast go from regular high school students one minute, and transforming into their characters the next.”

Believing that the students are committed, Ms. Miller has high expectations for this show as the cast of 10 are determined to make her first play with Masquers unforgettable.

Mr. Myerson said that he has always had a passion for performing and visual art, and he was thrilled when given the opportunity to get involved with Masquers this year.

“The more time we practice, the more confident we all are,” he said, “including the adults and myself.”

The Masquers are preparing for opening night, both on- and off-stage. Art and wood shop teacher Mr. Oberg, who led the stage crew in building the play’s set, said he appreciated the look and feel of the play’s setting, which he described as rustic and antique, modeling a countryside home. “Since I’ve built props for two shows every year for 31 years, this play isn’t a different setting,” Mr. Oberg said.

With new directors at the helm, along with familiar and experienced staff, the cast and crew are eager for ‘House’ to debut. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit