Oct. 30--New Bern Civic Theatre brings a classic musical to its Pollock Street stage next week, with the first of eight performances of "Hello, Dolly."
Shows are Nov. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees Nov. 10 and 17.
Admission is $17 in advance, $19 at the door, with students and active duty military admitted for $10.
The show is directed by Don Elmore and produced by Karen Pierson, both theater veterans. Brandon Banks provides the musical direction.
Katherine Tuttle has the lead role as one of the most memorable musical stage characters ever, as Dolly Gallagher Levi, with a cast of more than 30 actors.
"I am more than a little excited about this show," said Elmore, who is celebrating his 40th year in theater. "This show has great songs that have become very familiar over the years. They are songs that you can leave the theater singing and humming. The period costumes are beautiful. They are very Victorian and that is because 'Hello, Dolly' is set in one of my favorite time periods, the 1890s -- 1898 to be exact."
The show celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, and Elmore wanted to "give it a fresh look, while maintaining the integrity and familiarity of the original. People who are familiar with the show have certain things they expect to see when they come to a production of this show. When I designed the set, I decided to set the entire show within the confines of a 'Grand Central Station' and transport the audience to the various locals with minimal set adjustments and lighting effects. I think we have done a good job of updating things while maintaining the traditional elements folks expect in this show."
"Hello, Dolly" opened on Broadway in 1964, starring Carol Channing as Dolly. It was an immediate hit and won 10 Tony awards that year, including the Tony for Best Musical.
"It is just a fun show. It's a love story. Actually it is four love stories a rolled into one plot," Elmore added. "It is also very funny. Dolly Gallagher Levi is a strong woman who is a survivor. So although it is about a lady living back in 1898, it is very relevant today."
The local cast has about 38 actors, many of whom are familiar faces.
"I was extremely blessed to have so many talented people interested in being part of this show," Elmore said. "Katherine Anderson Tuttle is playing Dolly, and as I have said from the day she auditioned, she was born to play this part. Local theater veteran John Baldwin plays the gruff, grouchy, but loveable Horace Vandergelder and does a great job with the part. Relative theater newcomer Peyton Jenkins is in the role of Cornelius Hackl. He does a wonderful job as our younger leading man. He is playing opposite Michelle Roys, who is playing Irene Molloy. Michelle is a familiar face to local theater audiences, too. Folks will be captivated by her beautiful voice. We also have Alex Winn and Chelsea McCotter in the cast as Barnaby Tucker and Minnie Faye."
Elmore also praised his young talent off stage.
Brandon Banks, 19, is music director and Zoey Chittick, 17, is the choreographer.
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