BWW Review: HELLO, DOLLY! at Des Moines Performing Arts: Back in Iowa, Where it Belongs!
Hello Des Moines! It's time to put on your Sunday clothes because Hello, Dolly!" is here for one week only at the Civic Center as part of the Des Moines Performing Arts and Willis Broadway Series. If you don't have tickets yet to this show, get one before "Hello, Dolly!" leaves Des Moines. This production does a beautiful job of paying homage to the original production yet finding ways to make it their own.
The show is right back where it belongs. Jeff Chelsvig shares in his program notes "Hello, Dolly!" was first presented at the Civic Center in 1982 staring the late Carol Channing. It even made world news when Channing was staying at the Hotel Savery and requested that they replaced the newly installed sealed window in her room with an old fashioned type that raised and lowered. The hotel agreed and replaced the window. In 1996, the show returned with Channing as part of the 1st season ticket package.
If you are unfamiliar with "Hello, Dolly!", the show revolves around Dolly Levi, a widow and matchmaker, who has decided that she is going to marry widower Horace Vandergelder. There is only one issue, he is on his way to New York City to propose and get married to Irene Molloy. He leaves his store to be run by two of his clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker who decide to close the store and go to New York to meet girls.
One of my favorite parts of the show was the sets and costumes designed by Tony Award winner Santo Loquasto. The sets were stunning. Santo does an amazing job of finding a balance of classical and modern. He honors classic sets with his use of some of the most beautiful backdrops I have ever seen. For people who are used to more modern sets, he has given some fantastic intricate sets. There was one moment that his set made me gasp and took me back to my childhood. But he doesn't stop with the sets. He designed one of the most gorgeous dresses I have ever seen in the show. This dress in on full display during the title song "Hello Dolly."
Leading the show for its Iowa stop on the tour is Jessica Sheridan. While she may not be a household name to the general public, she has a theatre resume that tells you that her performance is one you will not soon forget. I must give her credit as she went from getting a measly few claps on her opening entrance in the show to a roaring applause after the title number of the show. Her voice had a brassiness to it that played well with her character. She gave a performance I will not soon forget.
Nic Rouleau also gave one of the most memorable performances of the night as Cornelius Hackl. I appreciate how well he played all the comedic nuances of the character. While he did the comedy well, he also brought heart to the character. He made the 30 year old who has never kissed a girl relatable to every person in the theatre. The heart he brought to the character was most present during "It Only Takes a Moment."
I could go on and on about this production, but I feel doing so would ruin the show. What I can say is the sets, costumes, and cast make this production worth the price that I paid for my ticket. This will be a production I won't soon forget, and may be the best revival of a musical that I have ever seen. Hello Dolly will continue it's stop in Des Moines through April 14. To find out more about the show, or to purchase tickets visit Des Moines Performing Arts at https://desmoinesperformingarts.org/events/1819-hello-dolly/
Up next as part of Des Moines Performing Arts Series is Andrew Lloyd Webber's "School of Rock."
Des Moines Performing Arts has also announced their line up for the 2019-2020 Willis Broadway Series. Take a peek at the line up below.
Season Ticket Package
"Mean Girls" October 15-20, 2019
"Jesus Christ Superstar" January 14-19, 2020
"Come From Away" January 28-February 2, 2020
"Anastasia" February 25-March 1, 2020
"My Fair Lady" March 17-22, 2020
"The Band's Visit" May 12-17, 2020
"Irving Berlin's White Christmas" November 19-24, 2019
"Bandstand" December 13-14, 2019
"Bernadette Peters in Concert" April 4, 2020
"Riverdance" May 1-3, 2020
"Wicked" June 17-July 5, 2020
"The Book of Mormon" July 28-August 2, 2020