Hello, Dolly! This phrase was made famous is 1964 when Hello, Dolly was first produced. It is timeless classic that has been around for several decades and the Drury Lane Theatre & Conference Center in Oakbrook,IL has brought back this Tony Award winning performance back to the Chicagoland area.
Director and mulit -Jeff Award winner Rachel Rockwell does an outstanding job with this beloved musical. The love for the Thorton Wilder influenced script has led her to produce a magnificent rendition of Hello Dolly! The chorus and choreography was fun and lively and had the audience cheering in amazement each time a performance ended.
The character Dolly, was made popular by Carol Channing. Now, the infamous matchmaker Dolly Levi is played by Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba. Dolly is a sassy widow on a quest to snag the richest man around since her husband had passed on. She has an answer for everything and knows everyone’s business around town. Her pitch perfect voice makes for an outstanding Dolly with a firecracker attitude to match it.
A less than charming man from Yonkers by the name of Horace Vandergelder is played by the incredibly talented David Lively. He is a bitter store owner with a horrible attitude towards life and women. He has hired Dolly to find him a suitable wife. Although Dolly obliges with his request, deep down she is attempts to make Horace fall in love with her. Little does Horace realize that love was standing right in front of his face the entire time.
Jeff Diebold plays the role of Cornelius Hacklperfectly. At the beginning of the performance, we learn that Cornelius is a hardworking young man who works for Mr. Vandergelder. We also discover that poor Cornelius has never had his first kiss and is determined to leave Yonkers for the first time in order to find it. He finally decides to work up some courage and leave the store for a day to venture out to New York City. Cornelius is able to convince his younger best friend Barnaby(Lee Slobotkin) to venture out to New York City with him.
Barnaby also works for Mr. Vandergelder and has a sincere yet corky personality. He has never been outside of Yonkers and is looking to meet a lovely lady for his first kiss. His comedic spin on things creates for a truly fun evening.
While in the city, Cornelius and Barnaby spot Mr. Vandergelder and run into a hat store. The store is owned by a Ms. Irene Malloy(Emily Rohm) who is also looking to wed Horace Vandergelder.However, after a scuffle at the hat shop, Horace storms out and no longer wants to continue a relationship with Ms. Malloy. This is Cornelius’s chance to escort elegant Ms. Malloy for a night on the town in order to capture her heart.
Minnie Fay is an outrageously funny character played by Maggie Portman . Minnie is Ms. Malloy’s assistant in the shop and is instantly smitten after meeting Barnaby. She brings her own comedic styling to the stage that will have you falling out of your seat with laughter.
You do not want to miss the fabulous production of Hello, Dolly! It is filled with love, laughs, and a beautiful ending. It is running now until January 5th, 2014. For more information on how you can purchase tickets, please visit the Drury Lane. Also, for more information about upcoming shows, you can call the box office at (630) 530-8300.
Photos: Brett Breiner