- HELLO, DOLLY
- Starlight Theatre – Kansas City, Missouri
- September 26, 2019
This has been one of the best seasons I’ve ever attended at Starlight and their final production of the season was no exception. It gave audiences a chance to revisit one of the most popular shows off all time, “Hello, Dolly.”
The show revolves around the life of Dolly Levi, played brilliantly by multiple Tony-award nominee Carolee Carmello, a widowed master-of-all-trades whose main endeavor is match making. She is currently meddling in the relationship between Ambrose kemper (Colin LeMoine) and his beloved Ermergarde (Laura Sky Herman). The young ladies uncle, the very rich Horace Vandelgerder (and equally excellent John Bolton) does not feel Ambrose is a suitable suitor. But when Dolly sets her mind to things…
A fun show with some spectacular dancing, “Hello, Dolly” is just coming off a recent Broadway engagement, with the dynamic Bette Midler, that won 4 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. The original production, which debuted 55 years ago, took home 10 Tony Awards.
The fun in the show is infectious, thanks to the amazing cast. When I mentioned that I was seeing this production, I was asked if Betty Buckley was playing Dolly. She wasn’t. And, as much as I love Betty Buckley (I saw her on Broadway in “Sunset Boulevard”) I’m so glad I was able to see Ms. Carmello in the role. Armed with a beautiful voice and great comic timing, she had the audience in the palm of her hand from her first appearance on stage. Mr. Bolton, who I saw on Broadway two decades ago in the musical “Titanic” has just the right amount of bluster to make Vandergelder lovable. The chemistry between the two is very visible. Supporting cast members, including Kansas City native Daniel Beeman (Cornelius) and Analisa Leaming (Mrs. Malloy), also give strong performances. And the “background” performers – townspeople, etc – are among the best dance ensembles I’ve ever seen.
“Hello, Dolly” runs at Starlight through September 29. If you don’t get to see it there, I urge you to see it when it hits your town. For tour information, please click HERE