Welcome, Dolly, to the Drury Lane home where you belong.
Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba was magnificent as Dolly Levi during the Oct. 24 opening night performance of “Hello Dolly!” Delivering a modern twist on the classic musical, she shows the audience a slightly less brassy and more vulnerable side to the industrious Dolly. She does everything she can to keep going and find hope in a world that, at times, has been filled with loss, disappointment and sadness.
This matchmaker has just the right business card in her purse to hand to anyone with any sort of problem, while keeping her dream alive “Before the Parade Passes By,” which she sings with full pipes and infectious determination.
As is true in today’s economy, a person needs to adapt to the changing times and circumstances, and Dolly does just that.
Based on Thornton Wilder’s 1955 play, “The Matchmaker” with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Michael Stewart, Director Rachel Rockwell works her magic in creating a fabulously entertaining production that is perfectly suited for the Drury Lane stage in Oakbrook Terrace.
David Lively plays the grumpy, lonely and rich Horace Vandergelder, the man Dolly has set her eye on to make her own match.
Jeff Diebold plays the 33-year-old Cornelius Hackl, a clerk who has yet to kiss a girl. He and his fellow clerk, the 17-year-old Barnaby Tucker (played with great fun and gusto by Lee Slobotkin) set out to find female companionship.
The two clerks find all they are hoping for in hat shop with Irene Molloy (Emily Rohm) and her innocent and adorable assistant Minnie Fay (Maggie Portman).
The iconic return of the one and only Dolly to the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant, where the title song is performed, is fabulously preceded by a rush of waiters donned in brilliant red jackets dancing, juggling and performing all kinds of acrobatics as they anticipate her staircase entrance.
With a stunning art nouveau set by Kevin Depinet, beautiful costumes by Theresa Ham, energetic and ambitious choreography by Rockwell with Laura Savage (who also plays Ermengarde) and wonderful orchestration led by Roberta Duchek, this show is an ideal holiday outing for adults as well as families.
“Hello Dolly!” runs through Jan. 5, 2014, at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace. For tickets and information contact the box office at 630-530-0111 or visit the Drury Lane Theatre website.