Northern Echo 14th May 2010
"AND what do you do for a living, Mrs Levi?” asks Ambrose Kemper (Nicky Tones) in the first scene of this delightful musical comedy.
“I am a woman who arranges things . . . I meddle,” replies Dolly.
It’s the turning point of the 20th Century as we race off on a whirlwind trip around New York following the adventures of America’s most loved matchmaker Dolly Levi.
We must, of course, go via Durham with Durham Musical Theatre Company which can boast a history of more than 100 years of musical experience.
Hello Dolly is full of memorable songs including Ribbons Down My Back, Before the Parade Passes By, Elegance, Hello, Dolly!, It Only Takes a Moment and So Long, Dearie.
Delia McNally has the big entrance as Dolly with her rapid-fire delivery, a decent US accent and a great singing voice. She’s off to Yonkers to meet a well known half-amillionaire, Horace Vandergelder (Anthony Smith).
Lots of flouncing around in hats ensues – there are a lot of hats in this production – and we meet Cornelius and Barnaby. Both Graeme Walton and James Manning make this double act uniquely funny with their superb athletic antics.
I loved Paul Maddison’s quirky head waiter Rudolph Reisenweber too, especially as he took part in the Waiters’ Gallop, a fabulous cast of young energetic dancers and some excellent choreography by Kathleen Knox and Janet Dixon.
Katy Walton gave Irene Molloy not only the best hat, but the best voice too. Also a memorable performance from Emily Wright as the milliner’s assistant, Minnie Fay.
But I’ve saved the best for last – the orchestra. Musical director Steven Hood has my final word – “brilliant”.
by Helen Brown
Hi Delia - We are still singing tunes from 'Hello Dolly' which we thoroughly enjoyed Wednesday afternoon.
Honestly Delia you would think I was completely O T T if I explained our reaction and enjoyment of the show. You certainly were 'that wonderful woman'.
We see musicals on a reasonably regular basis and I am not exaggerating when I say I do not think I have watched a more talented, well put together show - ever! Congratulations to you and everyone involved.
As we were coming out of the theatre a chap commented to us that he had seen many shows all over the country and at times had paid almost £100 a seat and could not remember enjoying any of them as much as he had enjoyed 'Dolly' Which were our thoughts too.
I have tried several times to watch the film and just did not like it - we couldn't take our eyes off this performance. You are a STAR. Good luck for the rest of the run.
I came to see your production of Hello Dolly last night and just wanted to contact you to say what a FANTASTIC production.
As a member of a musical society I know how much work goes into producing a show, both on stage and off. It was slick and professional with wonderful scenery and fabulous singing, a most enjoyable performance.
I will look forward to your next show. Congratulations.
by Susan Kemp
Congratulations on another brilliant show, at least I did not cry this time!
Would like to mention what brilliant performances Graham and James gave. It was a very uplifting show I sang along with most of the songs quietly.
I am returning to see the show again on Saturday afternoon.
by Cherry Bartell
What a marvellous show - as usual.
My wife Lesley and I spent a wonderful afternoon at the Gala for Hello, Dolly! and would like to pass on our congratulations and thanks to all of the cast for putting so much hard work and dedication into what was an amazing spectacle.
by Stuart Wright
Official Sponsor of Hello, Dolly!
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