By her own admission, Dolly Levi is a meddler. The principal character in the classic musical “Hello, Dolly!” is a schemer, a matchmaker, an entrepreneur and a woman who loves life. This month, the Theatre Company is preparing to perform “Hello, Dolly!” – its 20th summer production since the founding of the program.
“The timing of our production couldn’t be better,” said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak. “The revival of “Hello, Dolly!” is on Broadway this summer and stars Bette Midler. For theater lovers who can’t make the trip to New York, we’ll offer a production equally as entertaining and perhaps even more meaningful as they watch a future generation of Broadway stars!”
“Hello, Dolly!” was composed by Jerry Herman and opened on Broadway in 1964, winning 10 Tony Awards – a record it held with South Pacific for over 30 years.
The Theatre Company production will feature over 50 Tulare County students, including Kaley McConnaughey, who plays the larger-than-life Dolly.
“It’s a challenge to maintain Dolly’s energy,” she says of the character who confidently meddles her way through every scene. “An hour before the show and even when I’m off stage, I never disconnect from her.”
Kaley, who recently graduated from Redwood High School and who starred in many Theatre Company productions, will attend Oklahoma City University in the fall.
The university has a respected theater arts program and counts as its alumni numerous acclaimed performers, including Kristin Chenoweth.
“Hello, Dolly!” will be directed by Bethany Rader, the Theatre Company’s new director.
“Since this is a new show for the Theatre Company and my first show as director, I have been so impressed by the cast,” she said. “The production pace is unbelievable – with only five weeks to prepare the show, which has a tremendous amount of difficult musical, dance and character development work. Yet, the cast seems to take it all in stride, working so hard at making our vision come to life! It is truly an honor to work with these students.”
For information on the upcoming production of Hello, Dolly!, call the Theatre Company at (559) 651-1482.
Hello, Dolly! runs July 21-22 & 27-29!