Meet Alyssa Wyatt, who is performing as Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly!. Read on to learn about the rehearsal process, how she is developing her character, and why you should take a chance on this show! LA: Where are you originally from?
AW: I grew up in Burlington, in the southeast corner of Wisconsin. It’s called Chocolate City because of the Nestle factory in town. When the wind blows just right, the whole town smells like chocolate.
LA: Why did this particular musical interest you?
AW: I’ve always loved the music of the classic musical theatre shows. It’s nice to return to my roots in musical theatre after spending a few years studying classical voice.
LA: For those unfamiliar with Hello, Dolly! can you tell us about the show?
AW: Hello, Dolly! follows Dolly Levi’s plot to marry the well-known half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder. She’s so adept at multi-tasking and setting things up that before you know it, several couples have fallen in love. Along the way there are plenty of humorous scenes with beautiful music and choreography.
LA: Talk about the character(s) that you play in Hello, Dolly! How have you developed this character?
AW: I play Mrs. Irene Molloy, a widow who owns a hat shop and gets wrapped up in Dolly’s plans. I like thinking about what has happened in her life that has led to her being who she is when we meet her in the show, but my view on who she is keeps developing through the other actors and how their characters interact with her.
LA: Talk about your fellow cast. How do you see their characters developing? Any that you are particularly amazed at?
AW: I feel so fortunate to be working with such a diverse and talented cast. Every time we rehearse, I see their characters responding to each other and continuously developing into unique personalities. It is especially fun to see the progression of Cornelius and Barnaby from the moment they decide to have an adventure through each of their missteps and challenges. I also find it amazing how Dolly secretly pulls all of the strings until everything just seems to fall into place.
LA: What are some of the most impressive elements of Hello, Dolly!?
AW: I just love the way it all ties together, from some of the intricate harmonies to the swirl of dance steps. It is definitely a large task to put all of these pieces together. I cannot wait to see how it all fits on stage with the set, costumes, and orchestra.
LA: What is your favorite number of the show?
AW: I think “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” is one of my favorite numbers. The words are so upbeat and hopeful.
LA: What is your favorite musical (in theater) to watch?
AW: I have always been a fan of the classic musicals by Rodgers and Hammerstein. I also appreciate the spectacle of musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the team of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg. Stephen Sondheim also writes some really gorgeous music.
LA: What is your all-time favorite karaoke song?
AW: Honestly, I don’t think I have a favorite karaoke song. The last time I sang karaoke was probably in middle school when Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys were first popular.
LA: What was the first musical you ever saw on stage?
AW: I think the first professional musical I ever saw was Cats in Chicago when I was in high school.
LA: What is your favorite thing about Lyric Arts?
AW: I love connecting with the other actors in a place that really encourages a sense of community and fun while we build this musical together.
LA: Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
AW: I started performing in musicals in sixth grade and became hooked. I performed every chance I could at school and at community theatres. Because I loved music so much, I went to the University of Minnesota for Music Education and Vocal Performance where I studied classical voice and opera. Now I teach choir and AP Music Theory at Forest Lake Area High School. With whatever free time I can find, I like to read, disc golf, and play volleyball. I am also managing to find time to plan my wedding. It is a busy life, but I feel blessed and enjoy (almost) every minute of it!