‘Hello Dolly!’ kicks off 102nd theatre season at Erie Playhouse

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at 5:07 PM
‘Hello Dolly!’ kicks off 102nd theatre season at Erie Playhouse by Nathan Brennan
Photo: Nathan Brennan

To kick off their 102nd theatre season, the Erie Playhouse is pulling out all the stops.

Starting on Sept. 14, the musical “Hello, Dolly!” will grace the Playhouse stage to start the 2018-2019 season with flair.

This classic show, now in the rehearsal process, centers around matchmaker and “woman who arranges things” Dolly Gallagher-Levi and her quest to find a wife for grumpy “half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder. However, little does she know that she herself will end up falling for him instead, with plenty of hijinks, jokes and toe-tapping musical numbers along the way, such as “Before the Parade Passes By” and “Put on Your Sunday Clothes.”

As if that wasn’t convincing enough, the show even has a connection to Edinboro: Dr. Kathleen Golden, a professor in the communication, journalism & media department, also stars in the show as a part of the ensemble. 

Golden describes the show as high caliber, with plenty of talent: “It has all the bells and whistles of a classic musical: comedy, lots of dance, amazing costumes, great choreography and strong leads.” 

One of those leads is Karen Brennan, who is returning to the Playhouse stage after 9 years to play the title role of Dolly. 

That ought to be a lot of pressure, returning after a hiatus to play such a coveted role; Brennan noted herself that a lot of people will come to this show ready to sing along with all the songs, which has made her a bit nervous. She is mostly excited though: “It’s more excitement than anything! I’m honored to be playing [Dolly].”

Indeed, the theme of “classic” comes up a lot when discussing “Hello, Dolly!,” and that can bring a lot of pressure on the actors; however, all they need is a seasoned leader to guide them in the right direction. 

They have found this in the “Hello Dolly!” director, Richard Davis, who is no stranger to the Playhouse stage. 

He, like others, is aware of Dolly’s acclaim, but is nonetheless excited. “It is such a classic; it’s entertaining, and it’s fun to watch something that’s a lot of fun.”

After all, that’s all it comes down to: putting on a fun show for the audience and having a blast while doing it. “It’s like playing in the sandbox: working with your friends, having a lot of fun, and doing a great piece of theater,” said Davis.

“Hello, Dolly!” will play at the Erie Playhouse on Sept. 14-15, 20−23 and 26−30. The showing times are at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 pm on Sunday. Ticket prices range from $12-$20.25. 

Nathan Brennan can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com

Tags: arts, theatre

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