By Mindy Mateuszczyk
Hello, Dolly! is now performing at Lyric Arts Main Street Stage. It’s a delightful voyage into the classic musical theatre genre. Beth King, is a successful and endearing Dolly Gallagher Levi who moves the story ahead with wit, charm and solid acting.
Alyssa Wyatt, as Irene Malloy, delivers pitch perfect vocals. Her convincing rendition of “Ribbons Down My Back” is worth the price of admission alone.
Also not to be missed are Kerry Fager as Barnaby Tucker and Justin Anger as Cornelius Hackl. This duo hits the mark with their comedic timing. Both have been in previous shows at Lyric Arts and have proven their worth time and again. Anytime their names are on the billing, it’s a good bet the show will be a worthwhile venture. Fager has the opportunity to show off his impressive dancing skills in the quaint, “Dancing.”
There are a handful of all-company numbers that have the ensemble also showing off their dancing chops. While there were moments when the stage felt a bit small for the number of actors twirling, the overall effort in “The Waiter’s Gallop” is enthusiastic with legs high kicking and props flying, albeit in highly choreographed manner.
The set was simple but vibrant with one of the more interesting elements being a cut-out in the floor of the upper riser from which Barnaby and Cornelius would appear and disappear. This represented the basement of the hay and feed store owned by Horace VanderGelder, the half-millionaire whom Dolly has her sights set on marrying.
The banter between Dolly and VanderGelder builds throughout the show as she works to convince him that marrying her over less suitable prospects is the best option.
While there are some disjointed and even outlandish — but amusing — moments in this musical, there’s a reason it is considered one of the most enduring shows of Broadway. With it’s feel-good musical numbers and farcical mishaps, Hello, Dolly! at Lyric Arts is worth the trip out in the cold as it will warm your heart. Overall, the cast and crew turn in a lovely performance that reflects on the possibilities of love and all the hope and joy that can accompany it.
A little Bit About Mindy: Mindy Mateuszczyk is a journalist with the Minnesota Sun Press Newspapers with a particular passion for musical theatre and live performance. Previously, Mateuszczyk has lived and worked in the Boston suburbs, southern California, Salt Lake City and upstate New York.