Hello, Dolly showcases young talent

Tammie Tamara

Tammie TamaraSection Editor

An energetic cast of both young and seasoned actors will bring Hello, Dolly! to life in Doner Auditorium Dec. 11-14.

Sophomore Alexis Bartholomew, a communications studies and theatre major, stars as Dolly.

“She’s one of those women that you just want to hate, but you can’t hate her because she’s so infectious. She has this beautiful personality, and she has so much charisma,” Bartholomew said.

As a matchmaker–or, to use the term of the late 1800s, a “marriage broker”–Dolly “just wants to get in your face and know everything about you,” she said.

This role is Bartholomew’s first lead in a musical at SDSU. She has particularly enjoyed working with older actors.

“The cast is very fun to work with,” she said. “I’m learning a lot from them–it’s a learning experience because they are all so talented.”

Though the rehearsal hours are many, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s totally worth it,” she said. “I go to rehearsal and it’s just free therapy. It’s time to just clear your mind and work at the product at hand. It’s a lot of work, but at the same time, it’s kind of a break, just being able to step into someone else’s shoes.”

The fact that this play is a musical adds to the work load–and the fun.

“The songs are a riot,” Bartholomew said. “Having music in there adds a whole new element and another whole realm of rehearsal. But it’s worth it. People love musicals.”

Director Nancy Wheeler said the best known songs are, of course, “Hello, Dolly,” and also “Put on your Sunday Clothes.”

“It’s a traditional show. It has a good storyline,” she said.

She has enjoyed working with the 35-member cast. “A lot of first-year students are both in the chorus and in leading roles. It’s been fun to get to know them,” she said. “It was a pleasant surprise with all the first year students.”

Freshman Kate Orlando, a CST major, was surprised when she was cast as Irene Molloy. “(When I tried out), I was so nervous, because I was just a freshman and I didn’t think I had a chance.”

Like Bartholomew, Orlando uses the older actors as models. She has most enjoyed “all the time I get to spend with the upper classmen.”

Ever since she watched Hello, Dolly! at age 13, Orlando has loved the play.

“The music is just so incredibly beautiful and the characters are developed so well throughout the show,” she said. “I never thought I’d get to be Irene.”

Irene, a widow though she is not yet 30, owns a hat shop where people come to look to her, attempting to verify the rumors that Irene killed her husband.

When she meets Cornelius Hackl, it’s love at first sight, and “by the end of the show they’re off together,” Orlando said.

This play corresponds well with finals week: “It would be a really great break. It’s two hours of pure delight,” she said. “Pretty much everyone gets a boyfriend or a girlfriend in the end. I think a lot of people would really enjoy it.”

Bartholomew predicts that the dancing routine performed by the waiters in New York’s Harmonia Gardens will be a hit.

“I think the audience is just going to eat them up,” she said.

Perry Anderson, Jr., a junior CST major, plays head waiter Rudolph.

“My character is always yelling at the waiters and running around really hectic,” he explained.

Since the waiter scene is one of the most-remembered scenes from any production of Hello, Dolly!, all the waiters have spent an extra hour every evening rehearsing the dance. The regular rehearsal with the whole cast follows from 7 to 10 p.m. every night.

The finished product is always something to be proud of, Anderson said.

“It’s always nice when you have everything polished,” he said. “It’s fun to see that come together.”

The show runs Wednesday through Saturday night at 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Students get in free with I.D. Adult tickets are $15.

#1.887665:477882713.jpg:hellodolly.jpg:Hello, Dolly!, a musical about an overzealous but endearing matchmaker, opens this week in Doner Auditorium. :