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HELLO, DOLLY! next up for The Renaissance Players 6/10-26

One of Broadway's biggest musical hits ever - Hello, Dolly! - winner of 10 Tony Awards, is next onstage at Dickson's Renaissance Center as The Renaissance Players present the musical comedy by Jerry Herman, known to many as "the king of showtunes," running June 10-26.

Hello, Dolly! features a memorable score that includes "Put On Your Sunday Clothes," "Elegance", "Ribbons Down My Back", "Before The Parade Passes By" and the title tune. Marilyn Fair stars as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the Renaissance Players' production, leading a cast of local favorites in the production, including Carey Thompson, Jean Thompson, Linda Sue Simmons-Runyeon, Emma Jordan, Bryan Wlas (who does triple duty as the show's director and choreographer, as well as playing Ambrose Kemper) and Nathan Brown (who, in addition to playing Cornelius Hackl, also serves as the show's musical director).

The original Broadway show starred the legendary Carol Channing as Dolly, followed by a cavalcade of Broadway luminaries including Ethel Merman, Pearl Bailey and Mary Martin, to name a few. The 1969 hit movie starred Barbra Streisand as Dolly. Based on Thornton Wilder's play The Merchant of Yonkers, a farce that was later rewritten and revamped as The Matchmaker, the musical version was brought to Broadway in 1964 by famed producer David Merrick. The musical, with a book by Michael Stewart, included the lyrics and music of renowned tunesmith Jerry Herman, in what many believe to be his finest work. That year Hello, Dolly! won a total of ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, a feat thatwas not broken until 2001 when The Producers won twelve Tony awards. Also in 1964, at the height of the "British Invasion" on the music charts, Louis Armstrong's recording of the title song, "Hello, Dolly!" knocked out The Beatles from the Number One position on Billboard's Hot 100. The show album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.

Full of big sets, showy costumes and colorful characters, Hello, Dolly! follows the main character of Dolly Levi as she works her matchmaking charms on everyone around her, including herself. Bryan Wlas directs Hello, Dolly! and has been involved with the Renaissance Center's Theatre Department since 2005. He has directed several shows, including Once Upon a Mattress, The Homecoming, Night of the Living Dead and Annie Jr. Wlas has choreographed and performed in over 25 productions for the Theatre Department and was recently in the professional production of Breaking Up is Hard to Do in the Gaslight Dinner Theatre.

Musical director Nathan W. Brown, who has worked on more than 30 productions at The Renaissance Center, including Anything Goes, A Chorus Line, Cats, Oklahoma!, Annie, The Music Man, Children of Eden, Smoke on the Mountain and Once Upon a Mattress. Brown was recently seen in Breaking Up is Hard to Do in the Gaslight Dinner Theatre. Other Hello, Dolly! production credits include Nathan Ray (technical director and lighting director), Rachel Gallup (costume designer), Ray Dryden (sound designer) and Dylan Riekeman (stage manager).

Performances begin Friday, June 10, continuing through Sunday, June 26.  A special Father's Day lunch show is set for Sunday, June 19 at 1 p.m. and includes full buffet lunch, dessert and show. Tickets for that performance are: adults: $25; seniors: $22; and children: $18.

Curtain time for all other performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m., Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets: adults: $15; seniors: $12; and children (12 and under): $8. For further details, call (615) 740-5500. Visit www.rcenter.org for more information.



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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis