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Review: Capital Productions' HELLO DOLLY Celebrates The Exciting Return Of Live Theater

Capital Productions makes a comeback with their production of Hello Dolly!

Review: Capital Productions' HELLO DOLLY Celebrates The Exciting Return Of Live Theater

Capital Productions is bringing back live performances with the musical Hello, Dolly! This classic piece has music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart. It is based on Thornton Wilder's play The Merchant of Yonkers from 1930, which he renamed The Matchmaker in 1955. Hello, Dolly! first opened on Broadway in 1964 and was nominated for eleven Tony Awards, winning ten out of the eleven. It was revived four times with the most recent revival in 2017, starring Bette Midler as Dolly.

Hello, Dolly! directed by Amanda Faria, tells the story of a widowed matchmaker named Dolly Gallagher-Levi who is trying to find a wife for her half-a-billionaire friend, Horace Vandergelder. The irony is, she wants to marry him herself. In an attempt to distract Horace from being interested in other women, Dolly's business of meddling into other people's lives causes a big commotion. Hello, Dolly! is about finding love in unexpected places and learning to move on from grief in order to live your life to the fullest.

Susie Speidel leads the cast as the radiant Dolly Gallagher-Levi. She is the perfect fit for this role combining comedy, incredible vocal abilities, and intense emotion all in one performance. Speidel takes on breathtaking musical numbers such as "I Put My Hand In," "Hello, Dolly," and the outstanding Act I finale, "Before the Parade Passes By." Her presence onstage has the entire audience laughing hysterically, especially when she pretends to eat in the courtroom scene.

Review: Capital Productions' HELLO DOLLY Celebrates The Exciting Return Of Live Theater

Hello, Dolly! has a strong supporting cast, which makes the musical so powerful to watch. Wayne Miller is the ornery, uptight Horace Vandergelder. Dynamic duo Justin Binnix and Mike Mags play Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, Horace's chief clerk and his assistant. Jessica O'Brien portrays the role of the beautiful hat shop owner Irene Molloy, and Danielle O'Connor fits right into the part of Mrs. Molloy's young assistant, Minnie Fay. The rest of the cast stars Eliza Andrus as Horace's niece Ermengarde, Danny Durr as the artist and Ermengarde's lover Ambrose Kempner, Anthony Preuster as the maître d' Rudolph, and Lorraine DeMan as Dolly's hilarious friend Ernestina. The show also has a vocal and dance ensemble, who enhance every part of the show.

Musical director Daniel T. Neff leads the Hello, Dolly! orchestra, which is the glue that holds the show together. When the audience hears the first note, they are immediately overwhelmed with happiness to be back in a theater after such a long time. Each piece of the orchestra shines in notable songs including "Yonkers March," "Motherhood March," "Waiter's Gallop," and "Polka," also featuring Andrew Winan's choreography. These dance numbers and songs represent true musical theater and are the key ingredient to putting on a traditional show.

Review: Capital Productions' HELLO DOLLY Celebrates The Exciting Return Of Live Theater

This production of Hello, Dolly! would not be complete without its creative team. The scenic and technical design by Kyle Santopadre shows a backdrop of 20th century New York City and scenes from Horace Vandergelder's Hay & Feed store, Irene Molloy's hat shop, and Harmonia Gardens restaurant. Every set piece has props to go along with it arranged by Prop Master Izzy Mingino, whether they are hats from the shop, food placed on a skewer at the restaurant, or balloons from the 14th Street Association Parade. Meghan Reeves provides vibrant, antique costumes, which were specifically present during the songs "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" and "Elegance." Additional credit goes to lighting and sound operations by Sagan Modla, John Rocco, and Chris Rocco.

Capital Productions' Hello, Dolly! showcases everything a musical is and should be. An extraordinary, talented cast, extravagant costumes and musical numbers, excellent orchestra, and a great story that is retold live on stage. Anyone who is missing musical theatre right now should see this show and will immediately feel uplifted after watching it.

Tickets for Hello, Dolly! can be purchased by visiting the Capital Productions website at https://capitalproductions.org/. The show will continue performances next week on August 13 & 14 at 8pm, and August 15 at 3pm. The Henderson Theatre is located at 850 Newman Springs Road in Lincroft, NJ. For more information on Capital Productions, you can follow them on Instagram @capital_productions_, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CapitalNJ.

Photo Credit: Capital Productions




From This Author - Erica Handel

Erica Handel covers theater in Central New Jersey at venues such as the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Holmdel Theatre Company, and Count Basie Center for the Arts. She has interviewed Broadway st... (read more about this author)


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