RANDOLPH, NJ - With the cold arriving and the days shortening it's time again for the fall drama at Randolph High. Or, rather, comedy. This weekend the Randolph High School Drama Club Presents its fall play, The Love of 3 Oranges, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

It's a new take on an old classic adapted by Hillary DePiano of Denville. “It's all your basic fairy tale characters, the king, the prince, princesses, the evil witch, the evil henchmen,” said English teacher Michele Danna, who is in her second year running the Randolph theater program.

While searching for a different script she ran across a preview of the play. “I thought, this actually sounds interesting. So I ordered a copy and read it. I thought it was perfect for our cast and our school and what I was looking for . . . it was the play for this year.”

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The play stars a hypochondriac prince who falls in love with three very real oranges, and the ensuing quest to find them takes him through a whirlwind of fairytale friendships, love and mayhem. “It's hilarious, and a lot of it is based off what the directors and the cast has decided to do,” said senior Matthew Ludwig, in his 2nd year in the theater program. “The play is good to start off with, but what makes it really funny are some of the gigs we put in there.”

Auditions were held in September and the cast has been preparing for weeks, spending hours after school honing their craft. “At the beginning a lot of the casting didn't really make sense to me,” said Kyle Benedetti, who plays Brighella, a dim witted lackey who he assured is most of the comic relief, before adding that the whole show is comic relief. “Now that the whole thing has progressed I can see why Miss Danna put people in certain positions, and its worked well.”

But now the big shows are here and the cast is eager to show off their acting chops. “This play is awesome,” said junior Isabel Braun, who plays an evil princess. “We have been working so hard on this play.”

Vincent D'Alessandro, who plays King Silvio is confident the play will be well received for its big laughs. “Its hysterical. Its just really off the wall, the humor is just so insane that it's funny, it's bizarre and crazy. I think people are really going to like it, it's slapstick but then there's a little bit of humor you have to think about. It's a very good combination.”

Junior Emily Weiner, a veteran of many High School productions, explained that this type of acting is fun but challanging.  "Comedian Delarte is a tough medium to work in, and took a lot of extra effort for all involved."  Weiner, who plays the evil witch Fata Morgana, continued "Miss Danna is such a great director, she helped everyone get to their best level.  Everyone who comes to watch the show will get a decent laugh."  

But as with most high school activities, in some there are wins and losses, successes or failures, high or low marks, but overall it's about the students, for whom most of the time, fun is the goal. “Id like people to know that we're all having fun out there,” said junior Jesse Bush, a newcomer to theater scene who plays the hypochondriac Prince Tartaglia. “Its not just for them, its for us too, we're enjoying ourselves.”

Showtime is at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the middle school auditorium. Tickets can be bought at https://rhs.booktix.com/