Production photos by Grant Leslie Photography
From the moment when Dolly Levi, played with joyous charm and wonderful exuberance by Michele Lansdown, walks onto the stage to the very last note the audience is enthralled by this classic feel good, romantic musical. HELLO, DOLLY! was first performed in 1964 with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, based on Thornton Wilder’s 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers.
The musical rides on the shoulders of Dolly, a feisty Jewish widow in 19th-century New York who has an amazing talent for romantic meddling. Dolly is a rare independent woman, and she’s aware of that rarity, with comments such as “Marriage is a bribe to make the housekeeper think she’s a householder”. Though tough is some respects she too is looking for a husband and has her sights set on Horace Vandergelder, a well-known half millionaire of Yonkers. Christopher Hamilton is excellent in the role of Horace with just the right mixture of haughtiness, dignity and finally capitulation to the wiles of Dolly.
With wit and guile Dolly manipulates affairs so that, despite Vandergelder’s hard-hearted opposition, three young couples fall in love. Cornelius Hackl played by Michael Johnson and Barnaby Tucker played by Jack Paterson as the store clerks adventuring to New York, together with their prospective lovers Mrs Irene Molloy played by Louise Jacques and Minnie Fay played by Skye Roberts are all very well cast in their support roles. So is Bernice Keen as the weeping niece Ermengarde and Tim Wortherspoon as Ambrose Kempe, her ever hopeful artist suitor.
The talented ensemble of singers and dancers in their lavish costumes bring more delight to the audience. Some slick comic moments, particularly the waiters’ dance in the second half, along with the famous title song, give the audience exactly what they came to see.
Under the skillful direction of Diane Crease with choreography by Edward Rooke and musical direction by Dean Turner this is a polished and highly entertaining production by Miranda Musical Society.
Be quick to see HELLO, DOLLY!before it closes on Sunday 17th September at Sutherland Entertainment Centre.