By Carolyn Corsano Wong
Photos by Michael Pittman Images
HELLO, DOLLY!, the blockbuster Broadway hit, bursting with humor, romance, high-energy dancing, and some of the greatest songs in musical theater history will be presented by STAGE RIGHT of Texas on the Crighton stage February 9-25, 2018. Currently in its 5th Tony Award winning Broadway revival, the romantic and comic exploits of Dolly Gallagher-Levi, turn-of-the-century matchmaker and “woman who arranges things,” are certain to thrill and entertain audiences. The show’s memorable songs include “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Ribbons Down My Back,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Elegance,” and “It Only Takes a Moment.” The show is directed by multiple Montie Award winner: Manny Cafeo.
With book by Michael Stewart; music and lyrics by Jerry Herman HELLO DOLLY! is based on the play The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder. The original Broadway production of HELLO DOLLY! was directed and choreographed by Gower Champion and produced for stage by David Merrick and Champion-Five, Inc. Making a legend of Carol Channing, it opened at the St. James Theatre in New York on January 16, 1964 and closed December 27, 1970 (having run for a total of 2,844 performances). In the opening scene young Ambrose Kemper asks “And what’s in all this for you Mrs. Levi?” “A living,” Dolly replies. “Some people paint, some sew…I meddle.” We are then on a whirlwind tour of New York and Yonkers at the turn of the 20th century complete of song and dance, lush scenery and costumes as we follow the adventures of the mischievous matchmaker, Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi. Dolly finds a match for herself in Horace Vandergelder, the well-known half-millionaire (which was an enormous amount of money in the late 1890s!). She desires to ‘send his money out circulating among the people, like rainwater’ the way her late husband Ephraim Levi taught her. In her pursuit of Horace, she manages to make successful matches for the young and beautiful widow Irene Molloy with Vandergelder’s chief clerk, Cornelius Hackl, Molloy’s assistant Minnie Fay with Barnaby Tucker (also in Vandergelder’s employ) and artist Ambrose Kemper with Vandergelder’s weepy niece Ermengarde.
What happens in the end? Dolly gets her man, of course. And he is delighted she caught him. Dolly leaves the stage promising that his fortune will soon be put to good use. She quotes her late husband Ephraim, ” Money, pardon the expression, is like manure, it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around, encouraging young things to grow.”
Manny Cafeo has put together a cast of STAGE RIGHT favorites to bring this classic of the American theatre stage to the Crighton:
Dolly Gallagher Levi …. Carolyn Wong
Horace Vandergelder…. Michael Martin
Irene Malloy…. Sara Preisler
Cornelius Hackl…. Carlos Gonzales
Minnie Fay…. Hillary Moore
Barnaby Tucker…. Ryan Anthony
Ermengarde…. Elissa Lynch
Ambrose Kemper…. Cain Hamilton
Ernestina…. Cherish Cahoon
Mrs. Rose…. Melissa Cummins
Judge…. Will Radcliffe
Rudolph…. Jim Murph
Court Clerk …. Bradley Rice
Texas Millionaires …. Katie Kelly & Jim Boy
Ensemble: (women) ?????
Ensemble: (men) ?
As with every STAGE RIGHT show, we highlight a need in the community and then throw a spotlight on an organization that is helping with that need: we call them our Spotlight Non-Profit. Our Spotlight for HELLO DOLLY! is Pregnancy Assistance Center North (PACN). From their website: (www.pacn.org)
“PACN is a non-profit pregnancy medical clinic that offers confidential services for women and men. We believe you deserve access to unbiased, client-centered care that is relevant, compassionate and accurate, particularly when facing an unplanned pregnancy or sexual health concern. These services are available at no cost to you. Our centers offer pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, pregnancy consultations and medically accurate information about all pregnancy options; however, we do not offer or refer for abortion services.” PACN will have volunteers in the lobby with information on their services.
HELLO DOLLY! will be presented at the historic Crighton Theatre (recently named one of the top 10 venues in the state by Best Things TX.com to see live theatre performance) located at 234 N. Main St. in downtown Conroe. Performance dates are February 9-25, 2018: Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased online at www.stage-right.org or by calling the Crighton Box Office at 936-441-7469. Discounts are available for groups of 12 or more by calling the box office. Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $18 for groups and $15 for students and youth and senior groups of 12 or more. Discounted tickets are available by calling the box office.
More information about STAGE RIGHT can be found on our website www.stage-right.org