Wednesday , 20 June 2018

McKinney Summer Musicals Says “Hello” in a Big Way

Saturday was opening night for McKinney Summer Musicals’ (MSM) production of “Hello, Dolly!” and what a production it is. Once again, director and choreographer Kevyn Robertson has put together a talented cast of capable actors who manage to be engaging and exuberant throughout the enchanting musical.

Based on The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder, “Hello, Dolly!” tells the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a meddling, widowed, matchmaker who has been hired to arrange a marriage for the widowed half-millionaire Horace Vandergelder. Dolly, however, has other plans. She has come to the conclusion that Horace and his fortune will make the perfect mate for her and sets out to plant seeds of doubt in Vandergelder’s mind about Irene Molloy, the pretty young widow Dolly has picked out for him.

The musical’s female characters delight audiences in the glamorous feathered hats and beautifully adorned gowns that have become synonymous with the production and MSM’s Dolly, right here in McKinney, Texas, doesn’t disappoint. As she descends down the practically legendary staircase, resplendent in her red dress, she draws the audience easily into her charming, well sung version of the song we all know and love to hear – “Hello, Dolly!”

Tracy Reese Lastrapes, as Dolly is a skilled actress and vocalist, who seems perfectly at home on stage. Lastrapes, who is currently the children’s and youth choir director at Stonebridge United Methodist Church, has an impressive resume of accomplishments, including national tours, regional theatre and television.

MSM’s talented cast of characters also includes McKinney resident Noelle Chesney as the widowed Mrs. Malloy. Ms.Chesney’s vocal talents are quite evident, particularly in “Ribbons Down My Back”.  Also the music director for the production, she holds a doctoral degree in music and is the Director of Music Ministry at Trinity Presbyterian Church in McKinney.

MSM veteran, Don High, as the curmudgeonly Vandergelder who insists he would never, ever marry Dolly, comes across as a likeable guy who is somewhat endearing, despite his line that he is, “rich, friendless and mean, which in Yonkers is as far as you can go.”

Although not quite flawless, the choreography is fun, fresh and light. Members of the various choruses give the musical numbers vitality and look like they are enjoying each and every moment on stage.

“Hello, Dolly!” was first produced on Broadway by David Merrick in 1964, with Tony Award winner Carol Channing as the lead. The production also won the Tony Award for Best Musical and nine other Tonys. The original cast album  was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. The show has become one of the most enduring musical theatre hits, enjoying three Broadway revivals and international success. It was also made into a 1969 film that was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

The very family friendly “Hello, Dolly!” continues July 14, 15, 16 at 7:30 p.m. and on July 17 at 2 p.m. at McKinney Boyd High School auditorium. To purchase tickets in advance click here.  Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

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