BWW Review: HELLO, DOLLY! at ASU Gammage
From the first note of the overture, Hello, Dolly! is sublime. The costumes are exquisite, the choreography is executed perfectly, and the vocals are divine. The show is charming, magical, and captivates the audience with razor sharp delivery; the precision is astounding.
Betty Buckley is phenomenal as Dolly Levi. She is energetic, poised, hilarious, and every other adjective that can possibly be used to describe her. She moves gracefully and commands the stage. Her entrance into the Harmonia Gardens brought the audience to their feet - one of the many, well-deserved standing ovations the cast received on opening night. Buckley has earned her status as a Broadway legend and it is inspiring to see her in action.
Horace Vandergelder is a loveable curmudgeon, played perfectly by Lewis J. Stadlen. He blends humor with a surly demeanor, but it is clear that Vandergelder does not want to be alone. Stadlen has a wonderful singing voice. His rendition of "Penny in My Pocket" is playful, yet showcases the ambition of his character. The chemistry between Buckley and Stadlen is wonderful. It is clear that they enjoy working opposite one another.
As Cornelius Hackl, Nic Rouleau, is superb. His voice is stunning and he moves well. His comedic timing is impeccable, especially when he is playing off Barnaby, played by Jess LeProtto. The duo brings energy and humor to the proceedings, while also providing believable romance. LeProtto is an excellent dancer. He moves with grace, precision, and boundless energy. Rouleau and LeProtto are not to be missed. Analisa Leaming plays Irene Molloy, the "wicked" millineress. Leaming has a lovely voice and stage presence. As Minnie Fay, Kristen Hahn, is lively and well-matched with LeProtto. The quartet does not disappoint and is definitely among the highlights of the production.
The ensemble is spectacular! Most of the choreography is quite simple - the exception is "The Waiters' Gallop - but, is executed perfectly. The "Gallop" is heart-pounding, amazing fun. Several times throughout the evening, the audience could not contain the applause. The musical numbers are everything musical numbers should be. The horse-drawn carriage, the train, and the rotating stage are ingenious elements of the technical production that the cast executes perfectly. As each scene and musical number unfolds, the audience is captivated. The cast is replete with stellar singing voices, dancing ability, humor, energy, and character.
There is so much to love about Hello, Dolly! It is a literal parade of awesomeness, with amazing technical elements, stellar performances, and severe costume envy. The national tour of Hello, Dolly! runs through Sunday, January 13 at ASU Gammage. Tickets can be purchased here. "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" and get on down to see it "Before the Parade Passes By"!
Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes