The Erie Playhouse’s 2018-2019 season opened earlier this month with “Hello Dolly!”
The Broadway hit, which runs through Sunday, is about Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi, who works as a matchmaker in New York.
Set in the late 19th century at the turn of the 20th century, Dolly is leaving New York City to head to Yonkers, N.Y., to find a suitable match for Horace Vandergelder, whom she calls in the show, “a half-a-millionaire” while helping Ambrose Kemper, who is in love with Horace’s niece, Ermengarde, and wants to marry her.
Dolly meddles with everyone’s life throughout the show and watches as everything that she wanted in the show comes to fruition. The music is very upbeat and matches the mood of every character on the stage.
The show opens up with “Overture/Call on Dolly” with the entire ensemble while Dolly is being introduced as she hands out business cards to further the idea that Dolly is the all-around woman with many different job descriptions.
Later in the show, Horace, who owns a store in Yonkers, introduces us to his two store clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker. The two men provide a lot of the light-hearted comedy.
Both men decide to travel to New York City, meeting Irene Molloy, who is intended to marry Mr. Vandergelder, and her assistant Minnie Fay.
Trouble ensues with both men and the show goes on to end with everyone happy and where they should be.
The show has so much energy and crowd members were applauding after every musical number. Seamus Clerkin, a sophomore social studies middle level education major at Gannon University, who plays Ambrose Kemper in this production, said that “Hello Dolly!” is a show that, if nothing else, brings joy to the audience.
“It is a single day in the life of all the characters, and they are living life to their fullest,” Clerkin said.
“In a single day, they all feel happiness, enjoy the funny aspects of life and experience love. The show reminds us that it’s ok to be happy and enjoy ourselves and others around us.”
Even though “Hello Dolly” has only one more weekend there are other shows coming up this season at the Erie Playhouse.
The next show which opens Friday, Oct. 12, is “Miss Nelson is Missing,” another musical, this one is based on a book series by Harry G. Allard Jr. November will bring “Terms of Endearment.”
December will bring a musical favorite, “Matilda,” which is Roald Dahl’s creation about a little girl with extraordinary powers. To learn more about the Playhouse visit https://www.erieplayhouse.org.