TCA Mher Megerdchian Theater Group Embraces the Inner Silly


By Alin K. Gregorian
Mirror-Spectator Staff

The star-crossed lovers and the father of the popular Sofi are all atwitter because of the Flatterer’s words. From left, Harout Chatmajian, the flatterer in question, Khachig Sareminassian (behind Chatmajian), Meline Khekoian, Shemavon Atamian, Missak Boghossian, Harout Barsoumian, Harout Takvorian (behind Barsoumian), Michael Khekoian and Talar Zokian, try to sort out who loves whom.

 

WATERTOWN, Mass. — The Tekeyan Cultural Association’s Mher Megerdchian Theater Group of New York and New Jersey has a reputation as a top-notch troupe, therefore any performance must meet high expectations. Lucky for them, they did so during a performance on March 27 at Watertown High School. In fact, the close to 400 persons attending the performance were thrilled with the inspired lunacy of “The Flatterer,” a play by Hagop Baronian, laughing aloud — and often.

The play’s central character is the “Flatterer,” Babig, played with customary abandon and physical agility by Harout Chatmajian. The flatterer in essence repeats each character’s statements, so that each hears what they want to hear, rather than realty, and in turn, wade in deeper and deeper into misunderstandings. Many of those misunderstandings concern romantic entanglements. In particular, three men (Tateh, Arshag and Dikran, played by Shemavon Atamian, Harout Barsoumian and Michael Khekoian, respectively) are vying for the affections and hand of Sofi, played with flirtation and emotion by Talar Zokian.

At the same time, Tateh’s sister, Theresa, played by Meline Khekoian, is in love with Arshag and assumes that he is coming to her house propose to her. Poor Theresa wants to believe that the very young (and immature) Arshag is interested in marrying her, despite being 20 years younger. She was played with appropriate delusional grandeur by Meline Khekoian, who incidentally is the mother, in real life, of Michael Khekoian.

Arshag, who loves Sofi but is loved by Theresa, is a proper fop who spits out nonsensical poems that are supposedly inspired by his love for the ever-popular Sofi. Of course, the poem he keeps reciting with much emotion, gets laughs from the audience.

In the meantime, the servants Partem, played with charm and wit by Harout Takvorian, and the exasperated Kevork, played by Khachig Sareminassian, attend to the needs of this nutty bunch.

Finally, Hovsep, Sofi’s father, played by Missak Boghossian, is trying to sort out his daughter’s many suitors while trying to avoid a phatom lawsuit from a creditor.

The play was a musical with several songs by the main characters.

Needless to say, all is sorted out and Sofi is able to be with the man she loves, Dikran.

The play was directed by Gagik Karapetian, with several songs by Stepan Loussigian.

The night before the production, the members of the troupe were presented at a dinner by the local chapter of the AGBU.

Also present at the program, as well as the dinner, was the chairman of the troupe, Hagop Vartivarian, who has overseen the mounting of several plays by the group, including this one.

The program was organized by the AGBU New England District Committee and the Armenian Mirror-Spectator.