BWW Reviews: HELLO DOLLY Presented by the Leawood Stage Company
Hello Dolly is currently playing at the Leawood Stage Company located at the Amphitheater at Ironwoods Park in Leawood, Kan. The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder is the basis for the 1964 production that won a record 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Jerry Herman wrote the music and lyrics for Hello Dolly and Michael Stewart wrote the book. Chris McCoy directs and choreographs the Leawood production.
Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi is a matchmaker in the turn of the century New York City. She has been involved in setting up Horace Vandergelder of Yonkers, New York with a new bride. She also is attempting to persuade Horace to accept Ambrose Kemper, played by Aaron Fink, the man who wants to marry his weeping niece Ermengarde, played by Lakin Allen. It is not long before the audience becomes privy to Dolly's real scheme, to marry Horace herself.
Valerie Dykes gives a wonderful performance in the lead role of Dolly Levi. Her voice is magnificent and she has a powerful stage presence. Her rendition of Hello Dolly with the waiters was one of the highlights of a splendid evening.
Dennis Maddux portrays Horace Vandergelder, the grumpy proprietor that Dolly sets her sights on. Maddux has a strong powerful voice that is delightful to listen to, and he demonstrates a fabulous skill at acting. Maddux has appeared with the Olathe Civic Theatre Association in Company and with She and Her Productions in Jekyll & Hyde among others.
The large cast is very lively, the dance numbers energetic and fluid, and their voices blend marvelously. Hello Dolly continues through July 26 at the amphitheater and admission is free.