My only previous knowledge of Hello, Dolly was that it contained a song by the same name. Not being familiar with the content or the characters, I had no idea what to expect. Knowing, I was going to see a Wagon Wheel production, as always, I knew it would be entertaining and professionally performed.
I figured correctly as Hello, Dolly was full of interesting costumes and wonderful set design. The musical numbers were well played and choreography was amazing. I would have to say the choreography was one of the strongest, most entertaining aspects of the show. My favorite and most elaborate piece was “Waiters Gallop” performed by the ensemble of the cast. The waiters were wonderful to watch with some comedy and some visually stunning dancing.
The musical follows the exploits of Dolly Levi, played by Kira Lace Hawkins, a matchmaker who decides that she will conspire to marry a Yonkers “half-millionaire,” Horace Vandergelder, played by Robert Joseph Miller, who has hired her to find a suitable bride. As she plots to improve her own lot in life, Dolly also elevates the prospects of the delightful cast of characters who surround her.
As shop owner Mr. Vandergelder is planning to go to New York City to meet his potential bride, he puts his two seemingly inept shop clerks – Cornelius, played by Rob Montgomery, and Barnaby, played by Kevin Clay – in charge of the store while he is away.
Bored of working all the time, Cornelius decides that he and Barnaby should travel to New York and have some fun. They then devise a plan to blow up some canned tomatoes to stink up the place and provide them with a good reason to close Vandergelders shop.
As they arrive in New York they find themselves in some sticky situations and even end up almost running into their boss at a hat shop. It is in the hat shop that the two clerks meet their love interests Minnie and Irene. After dodging the bullet with Horace, Dolly sets the two clerks up with Minnie and Irene and they go to dinner at the Harmonia Gardens which turns out to be a bit more chaotic than they had envisioned.
Great job to the whole Wagon Wheel family for the wonderful portrayal of Hello, Dolly! This production was filled with that Wagon Wheel crowd pleasing, style and charm that has kept fans coming back for 58 seasons! Hello, Dolly is playing now through June 13 and don’t forget up next is the highly anticipated Wedding Singer which plays July 17-27.