Hello Dolly Review
Crazy costumes, divine dancing, and amazing acting made Hello Dolly at Hammond High School on March 6, 2010 the epitome of “elegance”.
Hello Dolly tells the tale of Dolly Levi who wishes to marry the wealthy Horace Vandergelder to spread his money around
like rainwater just as her late husband, Ephraim Levi, encouraged her to. In
her attempts to do so, she also manages to set up several other characters.
Along the way, several confusing and hysterical plot events occur, such as
Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker plan to make tomato cans explode to give
them an excuse to close Vandergelder’s shop, Cornelius and Barnaby hiding from
Vandergelder in Mrs. Molloy’s hat shop, and Vandergelder being set up with the
vivacious Ernestina who wishes to dance the “Hoochy Koochy” with him!
The overall production was very impressive and it was clear that a lot of hard work
had gone into the acting, dancing, and technical elements. The acting, dancing,
and music were all very in sync as much of the movement matched to lyrics to
the songs. For example, when references were made to a train during “Put on
your Sunday Clothes” the cast created a human train with umbrellas for wheels. The
dancing overall was impressive, especially the choreography during “Waiters’
Galop”. The chorus lacked energy in a few of the group numbers, but the leads
and supporting characters all had excellent commitment to character and each of
them added their own flair to the show.
The leads were all fantastic and really anchored the show. Dolly Levi, played by
Taylor Washington, was confident and kept a strong character throughout the
performance. Horace Vandergelder, played by Eric Bricker, had a very strong
character as well and was especially impressive in “It Takes a Woman”. Cornelius
and Barnaby, played by Charles Freeman and Brian Nabors, were hilarious and
worked incredibly well with each other to create a unique duo. Irene Malloy,
played by Katy Patchan, and Minnie Fay, played by Adrianne DuChateau, were also
a strong twosome and interacted very well with each other. Minnie in particular
was spunky and fun and used a nasally accent that was spot-on for her
The supporting characters and ensemble played a huge role in the success of the
show. Ermengarde, played by Kyla Sokoll-Ward, was an excellent fake crier and
sustained her distinctive character throughout the show. Rudolph, played by
David Kaiser-Jones, had a very memorable accent in the restaurant scene.
Unfortunately, sometimes it was so overpowering that it made it hard for the
audience to understand what he was saying. The male chorus in particular was
exceptional and nailed all of their numbers, especially “It Takes a Woman”.
The tech elements of the show really added to the performance. The costumes fit in
perfectly with the time period and added aesthetic appeal. Dolly’s dress in the
Harmonia Gardens made her look like a true diva and made the song “Hello,
Dolly” even more extravagant. The creative use of one platform to represent
Vandergelder’s Hay and Feed Shop, Mrs. Molloy’s Hat Shop, and the Harmonia
Gardens Restaurant was an excellent way to consolidate the set. The stage crew
was very speedy in the set changes and helped move the scene changes along very
All in all, Hello Dolly was a superb. The
acting, dancing, and technical elements were all extremely impressive and made
for a delightful performance. It only took a moment to be wowed by this phenomenal