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BWW Review: HELLO, DOLLY! Back Where She Belongs at Beef & Boards

Now on stage at Beef & Boards through May 15.

BWW Review: HELLO, DOLLY! Back Where She Belongs at Beef & Boards A huge draw of live theater is the touch of nostalgia, that craving for the classics and a different era. That is exactly what you can expect at HELLO, DOLLY!, now on the stage at Beef & Boards. This timeless musical brings you the heartwarming charm of years gone by, complete with swirling period costumes and jaunty tunes.


HELLO, DOLLY! is a beloved musical for a reason. It has an inherent charm that is sweet, simple, and unassuming. Who can resist a plot that features secret adventures and conniving trysts that end in love?

A clear highlight of this production is its star, Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi, played by Suzanne Stark. Her portrayal of this quick-witted and silver-tongued matchmaker is such fun to witness. She shows how a woman of gumption can take her destiny in her own two hands, as long as she has a business card handy.

Another notable of the night was David Schmittou as Cornelius Hackl. Cornelius may be a bit of a bumbler as head clerk to Horace Vandergelder (Ty Stover), but his bumblings all come back to a heart that is true and a thirst for something new. His physical humor was well-matched by his counterpart, Barnaby Tucker (David Buergler). They are quite the pair as they go off to strut their stuff in New York City. Oh, and make sure to kiss a girl!

The musical as a whole has many worthy moments, but by far my favorite scenes take place at the Harmonia Gardens. Dolly is resplendent as she makes her grand return in a dazzling scarlet gown. All of the tangled white lies come to a hilarious head in one place, and it is completely engrossing. Not to mention there are dancing waiters interspersed to provide both comedic transitions and a dazzling series of choreography.

HELLO, DOLLY! is an endearing musical that makes you want to tilt your head and put on a smile. It's full of sweet moments and enduring humor that you won't want to miss.


Suzanne Stark was fabulous as Dolly Levi, the headstrong widow and matchmaker. As she sang "I Put My Hand In" early in the show, it was clear she already has the audience firmly in the palm of her hand.

Director Eddie Curry capitalized on the delectable humor and really made the show come to life. Previously outdated sexist elements were brushed over with a wink and a smile, keeping the audience's focus on the delightful, idealistic aspects of the show. Each and every performer carried themselves with the elegance and decorum that becomes a polished period musical.

Choreographer Ron Morgan's well-oiled choreography was as clean and sharp as ever. The waiters were a clear high point for me (special kudos to Danny Kingston), mixing physical comedy with well-footed dance from the spectacular male chorus. The full dance break of act one showstopper "Dancing" was also wonderfully realized sequence.

The tight orchestra was heard at their very best under the exacting baton of Musical Director Kristy Templet. Similarly, the full range of vocal harmonies were expertly covered by the relatively small cast.

While Michael Layton's economical, well-integrated design made clean use of the available space and aided storytelling with the creation of various locations, it is the costume design of Amy Gaton that really sparkled. The chorus graced the stage in delicious citrus pastels for most of the show with a few changes for Harmonia Gardens. Of course, Dolly made a grand entrance to the Harmonia Gardens restaurant in a glittering gown, finally changing to the quintessential red for the matrimonially themed finale.

Lovers of traditional musical comedy are sure to enjoy Hello, Dolly!. A new generation of theatregoers are also sure to fall under Dolly's spell at Beef & Boards through May 15th.

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