Lebanon Community Theatre to perform classic 'Hello, Dolly!'
It's more like "Hello Again, Dolly!" for four key principals in Lebanon Community Theatre's production of the classic musical "Hello, Dolly!"
Opening night is Thursday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m.
Carol Saltzer, who's been very active at LCT as a performer and director, steps into the title role as Dolly Gallagher Levi. Kevin L. Biddle co-stars as the wealthy Horace Vandergelder, Dolly's love interest. Renee Myers Moro is portraying hat-shop owner Irene Malloy. The director is Brad Stocker.
Saltzer, Biddle, Myers Moro and Stocker all worked together in "Hello, Dolly!" nearly 30 years ago during Lebanon Valley College's summer dinner theater. Saltzer and Biddle are reprising their roles, and Stocker is back in the director's chair.
"It's been so much fun reliving this part after so many years," Saltzer said. "After 30 years, you have a new perspective on the role and the story. We are definitely enjoying this experience."
Stocker says "Hello, Dolly!" ranks as one of his favorite musicals. It's a show he knows well.
"I just love this show," he said prior to a recent rehearsal. "It's a nice story about life. This is actually the fifth time I've done this show."
The cast — ranging in age from teenagers to middle-aged LCT veterans — has been working hard during several weeks of evening rehearsals. Stocker says LCT's adaptation of "Hello, Dolly!" will stay true to the original.
"Oh, absolutely," Stocker says of his goals for the show, "and making (the cast) comfortable because it's such a broad range of ages."
Based on the play "The Matchmaker" by Thornton Wilder, with a Tony Award-winning book by Michael Stewart and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, "Hello, Dolly!" opened on Broadway in 1964 with Carol Channing in the title role. It captured the 1964 Tony Award for Best Musical.
In the storyline set at the turn of the century, Dolly Levi is a widow and an eternal matchmaker with a big heart. She succeeds in matching up young couples, but her biggest challenge is to get married herself. She targets the grumpy and rich Vandergelder, but only after talking to her late husband, Ephraim, and asking for his blessing to re-marry by sending a sign.
The LCT cast features Stephen Carpenter as Cornelius Hackl, Bethany Stutzman as Minnie Fay, and Baird Erb as Barnaby Tucker. The cast also includes Missie Bates, Tyler Bradley, Kris Finkey, Lisa Forgotch, Jen Gruver, Vicki Hartman, Ben Kapp, Jay Kern, Cassandra Martin, Ashley Oyster, Emma Peyton, Jeff Peyton, Robin Stuzman, Austin Telenko and Shawn Woodhouse.
"Hello, Dolly!" features memorable Broadway songs like "Put On Your Sunday Clothes," "It Takes a Woman," "Before the Parade Passes By," "It Only Takes a Moment," and the iconic title song, "Hello, Dolly!"
Assisting Stocker are Marcus Sprecher, musical director, and Catherine Achenbach and Laurie Miller Peterson, choreography.