WCHS to premiere Hello, Dolly! this week

by | April 29, 2002 12:00 am

Emily Moorehead
Hello, Dolly! based on the Thornton Wilder play, The Matchmaker, opens at White County High School (WCHS) with a special dinner theater performance on May 2, and regular theater performances on May 3 and May 4.
“The students learn a lot during the play,” said Sandy Lewis, WCHS theater teacher.
“They learn how to cut out patterns; they learn to sew; they’ve designed a lot of the set pieces.
This is really, truly a fine arts department project.”
Lewis said Ed Howell (WCHS art director), Sean Powell (WCHS band director) and David Schroeder (WCHS music and vocals coach) had also lent tremendous guidance to the students presenting the play.
There will also be a pit orchestra comprised of WCHS music students to accompany the onstage singers.
The cast of Hello, Dolly! features Leah Sparkman (Dolly), Chad Marcum (Horace), Matt Cotten (Cornelius), David Knox (Barnaby), Anna Vaughn (Irene), Rebecca Webster (Minnie Fay), Kara Farris (Ermengarde) and Matt Hargrove (Ambrose).
Hello, Dolly! tells the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a matchmaker hired to arrange a marriage for widowed half-millionaire Horace Vandergelder. However, Dolly has other plans. She has also been recently widowed and has come to the conclusion that Horace and his fortune will make her the perfect match. When she arrives in Yonkers to assist Vandergelder in finding a mate, Dolly immediately begins to plant seeds of doubt in Vandergelder’s mind about Irene Molloy, the pretty young widow Dolly had previously chosen for him.
Meanwhile, in Vandergelder’s Hay and Feed Store, two of his employees are plotting to take advantage of the boss’ absence. Cornelius and Barnaby have decided to sneak off for their first-ever peek at the big city.
Once they make their escape, however, they have the misfortune of spotting Vandergelder on the street. Attempting to escape unnoticed, they slip into Irene Molloy’s hat shop, the very place Vandergelder has arranged to meet with her. Dolly and Irene attempt to hide the boys from Vandergelder who, much to Dolly’s delight, quickly comes to the conclusion that his intended fiancée is hiding a roomful of strange men.
Vandergelder storms out indignantly, announcing his intention to meet instead with the extraordinarily wealthy Ernestina Money. This suits everyone just fine, for Cornelius has found himself smitten by Irene, and Irene, for her part, has already admitted to her assistant, Minnie Fay, that she was about to accept Vandergelder’s proposal only to escape from the drudgeries of her little hat shop. Dolly quickly sizes up the situation and suggests the boys take Irene and Minnie Fay to dinner at the fashionable Harmonia Gardens to make amends for ruining the meeting with Vandergelder. Although Cornelius and Barnaby cannot afford such an expensive dinner, they soon find themselves standing in front of the Harmonia Gardens, two beautiful women on their arms and no idea how they will pay the bill. But when Vandergelder shows up at the same restaurant searching for the mysterious Ernestina, mayhem erupts, and by the time the confusion is over, everything may just have worked itself out—even if it is not the way one might have expected when the evening began.
Tickets for the dinner theater on May 2 are $15 and include dinner and the show and must be purchased in advance.
Dinner theater seating begins at 6:15 p.m. and curtain is at 7 p.m.
Additional regular performances will be May 3 and May 4, with tickets $6 and curtain at 7 p.m.
The original Broadway debut of Hello, Dolly! ran for 2,844 performances and briefly held the record for the longest-running Broadway production before it was overtaken by Fiddler on the Roof. During the Broadway run, Carol Channing debuted in the title role and was succeeded by such luminaries as Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, and Ethel Merman (who had originally turned down the role.)
Music and lyrics were written by Jerry Herman and book is by Michael Stewart.

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