"Hello Dolly!" - A Review
My lovely wife and I were lucky enough to be part of the large crowd that filled the auditorium at the Renaissance Theater this evening to see the final performance of the ARTS production Hello Dolly!
It was an excellent show, with a top-notch cast and numerous terrific performances! The first kudo has to go to the star of the show, Beth McVey. She was perfectly matched to the title role, with a wonderful singing voice, excellent comic timing and a true command of the stage. It was her show and she made it a great one.
Of course, she had lots of help, including veteran actor Bil Neal, who played the grouchy Horace Vandergelder with great delight. Also turning in great comic performances were the team of Stephen Vance (Cornelius) and Ryan Jackson (Barnaby) - they made a hilarious team and often had the crowd howling with delight. Shane Gue lit up the stage as Ambrose, and got several chances to show off his outstanding dancing skills.
But I don't want to leave out the leading ladies. Lara Donahoe was brilliant as Irene Malloy, as her powerful singing voice lifted the show to new heights. Brittany Hazeldine as Minnie and Sarah Hayes as Ermengarde were both wonderful as always - and both earned some great laughs in their roles. (Between you and me, I wouldn't be surprised to see both of them on Broadway someday.) And my pal Linda Reynolds was her usual incredible self - she's always fresh, funny and entertaining as all get out!
Everyone involved in the production deserves a bow, including the supporting cast, the tech crew and the directing team - they put together an outstanding show. The Music Direction by Bruce Rous was excellent, Kerri Easter's choreography was spot-on and great fun, and I am in awe of the direction by Danny Ray - he got the most laughs, the maximum emotional impact, and a terrific performace out of each actor. This show demonstrates why he's one of the best directors around.
What else can I say, except - bravo!