Hello, Dolly!

Date 21st March 2018
Society Dundee Operatic Society
Venue The Whitehall Theatre, Dundee
Type of Production Musical
Director Ross Leslie
Musical Director Richard Waghorn
Choreographer Ross Leslie

Report

Author: Roger D. Buist

It was nice to see Dolly Levi back in 1890 New York City and say “hello” to her again! Brought to the stage by the inimitable Lynn MacFarlane, a performer with great experience and incredible talent, she gave an outstanding performance as Dolly as she coaxed and wheedled her way through helping others to get what they wanted and what she herself wanted – to marry Horace Vandergelder – the well-known half-a-millionaire! Lynn’s Dolly was demure, bossy, coy, ambitious, totally appealing, and was a delight to watch unfold on the stage. In Horace, we had another player with a considerable amount of stage talent, Sinclair Ross, who brought the Hay and Feed Store boss, Vandergelder, vividly to life in an irascible, but loveable manner, His facial expressions when things went wrong for him were a delight to watch as he muddled his way through the chaotic situations caused by Dolly! Into this mix came Vandergelder’s two store clerks - Cornelius and Barnaby. Cornelius, effortlessly presented by a talented Matthew Miller, is the older of the two clerks, desperately wanting to kiss a girl; and Andrew Waghorn, a spirited, youthful, exuberant Barnaby, just wanted a good time – and, both guys worked well as a team. As the love theme progressed, the boys become embroiled with Mrs Irene Molloy, a hat shop owner and her assistant, scatter-brained Minnie Fay. Rebecca Waghorn (much enjoyed her “Ribbons” number), made a very pleasing and charming Mrs Molloy and, as her shop assistant, Kirsten Smith was totally immersed as the vague Minnie Fay. Helping the comedy element was Josh Smith as artist Ambrose and Nicole Grant was his always-weeping Ermengarde, both showing great terpsichorean talent. Kris Mordente was a resplendent Rudolf, whilst Jem Clark’s Ernestina was the required over-the-top performance. Dolly’s triumphant return to the Harmonia Gardens was beautifully staged and a joy on the eye and ear. The show’s “nightmare” number – the “Waiters’ Gallop”, came over as a frenzied, innovative piece of choreography. There were lots of lovely production touches and an amazing aspect of this was the fact that Director/Choreographer Ross also designed and built the entire stage set, which cleverly concealed the on-stage orchestra. Great choral ensembles in the “Sunday Clothes”, “Dancing” and “Parade” numbers. All too soon it was Cheerio Dolly!