THE marvellous meddlings of Dolly Levi were brought to life in LAMA’s 140th anniversary performance ‘Hello Dolly!’
From the first to the last number, the cast performed each song with energy and flair.
Elinor Hay proved well up to the challenge of playing the indomitable and scheming lead, Dolly Levi, producing copious business cards suitable for every occasion, and spouting suspect Latin phrases and witty come-backs with perfect timing.
The prime target of Dolly’s meddlings, the notorious half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergerder, was played by Nigel Orkney, who provided an ideal grumpy and blustering foil to Dolly’s irrepressible enthusiasm, while Rebecca Adam set ears ringing with her wails as Horace’s love-sick niece Ermengarde.
Some of the funniest moments in the performance came from Dolly and Horace’s constant bickering and it was a joy to watch Nigel’s face grow redder as he tried to escape Elinor’s web of words, insisting if she was the last woman on earth, he wouldn’t marry her.
Charlie Sinclair made for a charming and lovable Cornelius Hackl, while Thomas Cape captured the wide-eyed innocence of whale-loving Barnaby Tucker perfectly.
Together, they kept up the energy and enthusiasm of the show from the moment they embarked on their New York adventure with “Put on Your Sunday Clothes.”
Similarly, Laura Spence, playing Minnie the prim but nosy shop assistant provided a good match to the more world-weary young widow Irene Molloy, played by Lorraine King.
The waiters and chefs at the Harmonia Gardens deserve special commendation for their performance in the waiter’s gallop while the talent within male ranks of the chorus shone in the title number ‘Hello Dolly’.
Sets were innovative and interactive with the set of the Harmonia Gardens in particular providing a perfect backdrop for Dolly’s glamorous re-entry into the New York social scene.
Likewise, the costumes helped to bring each number to life from Dolly’s dazzling gold dress to the waiter’s red tails.
The entire production was supported through live accompaniment, led by Douglas Clark, which gave weight and volume to the big numbers.