Review by Lauryn Angel
I confess that I knew very little about Hello, Dolly! before seeing it at Dallas Summer Musicals. I knew that Carol Channing played the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi on Broadway – but that’s about it, really. So I went into the theater knowing effectually nothing about the show, save that Betty Buckley was in the titular role for this production.
The plot finds our heroine at the turn of the century – that’s the nineteenth into the twentieth century – and Dolly is a widow trying to support herself through various ventures, including match making. Specifically, she’s in the midst of brokering a marriage for Horace Vandegelder (Lewis J. Stadlen), whilst simultaneously attempting to smooth the way for Vandegelder’s niece, Ermengarde (Morgan Kirner) and her beau, Ambrose Kemper (Colin LeMoine) to be married themselves. While Dolly claims to have brokered a marriage between Vandegelder and the widowed Irene Molloy (Analisa Leaming), Dolly secretly plans to wed Vandegelder herself, as she is tired of trying to support herself in a world that doesn’t allow women to support themselves on their own. Similarly, Irene Molloy has finally agreed to marry Vandegelder because she is tired of selling hats. In a subplot, Vandegelder’s employees, Cornelius Hackl (Nic Rouleau) and Barnaby Tucker (Sean Burns) decide to take advantage of their employer’s absence to take a day off. And, of course, they all take off to the same destination – New York City – and hijinks ensue.
Hello, Dolly! is a charming show, with catchy musical numbers and fun dance routines. Betty Buckley has clearly made the role of Dolly her own, and the rest of the company are clearly enjoying themselves as well. The costumes are beautiful and the sets are fantastic. There really is no reason to miss Hello, Dolly! during its run at Dallas Summer Musicals through July 28.