August 4 - August 22
at the Patchogue Theatre
- CAST & CREATIVE
Before the Parade Passes by, catch a real classic as Dolly Levi and her loveable matchmaking art takes the stage in this lavish and stylish production. This Tony Award winning musical first opened on Broadway in 1964, and became the longest running musical for its time. An adorable and fast paced show, Dolly takes us through a series of comic, romantic entanglements, with all ends meeting at the magnificent Harmonium Gardens, “in a world outside of Yonkers,” turn of the century Manhattan, where you’ll hear its show stopping signature song. Adapted from Thornton Wilder’s the Matchmaker, this true treasure is worth a top notch revival. Come fall in love with Dolly.
|LESLIE ALEXANDER (Mrs. Dolly Gallagher
Levi) most recently completed the North
American Tour of Fiddler On The Roof. She appeared
on Broadway in The Boy From Oz starring
Hugh Jackman, as Josie Mann and Marion
(u/s). She was also in the original Broadway
cast of Mamma Mia! Also in New York, she was
in The Transport Group’s The Audience (Drama
Desk Award). Favorite roles include Rose in
Gypsy, Lady Macbeth with the Shakespeare
Festival of Dallas, Sylvia Fowler in The Women,
Anna in The King and I, and Louise in Always,
Patsy Cline. Cast albums include The Boy From
Oz and Hats! Leslie’s TV appearances include
Phyllis on ABC-TV’s “One Life To Live,” Macy’s
Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Tony Awards,
and “As The World Turns.” A native Texan, she
now resides in NYC and is a proud member of
AEA, SAG, and AFTRA.
|SCOT PATRICK ALLAN (Ensemble/Dance
is happy to be back on the Gateway
stage after a few years hiatus; past credits include
Evita, 42nd St, Thoroughly Modern Millie,
Sweet Charity and A Christmas Carol. Scot spent
last year on the Broadway Revival Tour of Grease! playing Eugene and understudying American
Idol winner Taylor Hicks as Teen Angel. Other
tours include Thoroughly Modern Millie, (u/s
Jimmy Smith), Grease! starring Frankie Avalon
(Eugene). Regionally he has performed at the
Pioneer Theater Co., McCarter Theater, Forestburgh
Playhouse, Riverside Theater Works of
Boston, and he spent the last holidays season
singing with The Twelve Irish Tenors. Scot appeared
in and served as associate choreographer
on Handel’s Messiah Rocks featuring the
Boston Pops and starring Tony award winner
LaChanze and Tony nominee J. Robert Spencer
which was filmed for PBS and is due to hit the
road this fall. Many thanks to Robin, Jessica,
Mary and all of my Gateway Family and Renee
at AAA. Oh Ya, and my real family too: love you
Mom, Dad, Linds and all you Kennys...
|KELLI JOELLE BARTLETT (Ensemble)
recent graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the
Arts at CAP21, some of Kelli’s favorite roles
include Fastrada in Pippin, Lulu in Cabaret and super cheerleader Brandy in CHEER
WARS! (Richard Rogers Award). Much love to
Jim & the entire BLOC family, Nana, and my
wonderful family and friends.
|STEVE BRADY (Horace Vandergelder) is happy to be back at “camp Gateway” for the 4th time, having appeared in The Fantastics, Urinetown, and as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Last year he toured the world with West Side Story, and appeared on Broadway in Inherit the Wind and at off-Broadway regional theaters around the country. High paying but inconsistent TV gigs range from “Different Strokes” to “Seinfeld” to “Law and Order.” Thanks to the Allan Family, and Susan for all of the support!|
|DANIELLE CARLACCI (Ermengarde) is thrilled to be returning to the Gateway stage after completing her freshman year at Boston College where she is a member of the cheerleading team and pursuing a BA in theatre. Her favorite Gateway roles include Nellie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun and Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Danielle has been seen on “iCarly” and “The Naked Brothers Band” as well as dancing for the New York Knicks at MSG. She would like to thank Robin, Jessica and Michael for all of the amazing opportunities, John who makes her no stranger to a height different in love and her beautiful family and friends!|
|AMBER CARSON (Ernestina) thinks it is marvelous to be making her Gateway Playhouse debut! Some memorable NYC credits include: Cyclone and the Pig-Faced Lady (NYMF), Liberty-The Musical (La Vie Productions), The Deciders-A Political Rock Musical (FringeNYC), and Joshua-The Musical (Theatre Row-Studio Theatre). National Tour/Regional: The Full Monty (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Phoenix Theatre), Godspell (PEG), and A Christmas Carol (NTC). LOVE to the Gateway Playhouse family for including me in this experience, and to my own family/friends for the constant support. To my ladies-Omne Trium Perfectum! Enjoy the show!!!|
|TAYLOR COLLINS (Ensemble) is excited to be performing at Gateway Playhouse this season. Hailing from upstate NY, he is pursuing a degree in Musical Theater at Pace University in Manhattan. Off-Bway: Chautauqua! (The Public Theater). Regional: South Pacific (Quisisana Music Resort); Enjôleras in Les Miserables (Cohoes Music Hall); Miss Saigon (Cohoes Music Hall). NYC Reading/Workshop: Quanah (Tanaka) with Larry Gatland , Tony and Marcia Milgrom Dodge. Tour: American Music Abroad’s Red Tour of Europe (Soloist). He would like to thank his family and friends for their love and endless support.|
MATTHEW CROWLE (Cornelius Hackl)
is grateful to be back at Gateway Playhouse after playing George in last season’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone. He performed in the Broadway company of Monty Python’s Spamalot, and with Tommy Tune in the national tour of Doctor Dolittle. Off-Broadway, he was seen in Take Me Along, and has worked regionally at The Arkansas Rep, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Marriott Lincolnshire, and Cherry County Playhouse. He currently resides in Chicago where, in addition to performing, he’s a tap instructor, privately tutoring several of the young performers in the Chicago company of Billy Elliott - The Musical.
|RACHEL RHODES-DEVEY (Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her Gateway Playhouse debut with Hello Dolly! Rachel is a recent graduate of Oklahoma City University, where some of her favorite roles included Jo March (Little Women), Petra (A Little Night Music), and Cleo (The Most Happy Fella). Regionally, Rachel has been seen at Maine State Music Theatre, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Forestburgh Playhouse, and The Mac-Haydn Theatre. Much thanks to the gang at Judy Boals, Inc and love to her family for their never-ending support.|
WADE ELKINS (Ambrose)
was last seen in Altar Boyz in Bellport. In NYC, he has been seen at New York Theatre Workshop and The Public Theater. Regionally, he has performed roles including Frankie (Forever Plaid), Motel (Fiddler on the Roof), Amos (Battlecry), and Michael (Smokey Joe’s Cafe). Upcoming projects include Harry in the NYMF success Gay Bride of Frankenstein and the movie Jake and the Man Purse. Much love and thanks to God, my wonderful family, beautiful friends, Diesel, and Joan Lader.
RYAN KOERBER (Ensemble)
(Ensemble) Is so excited to be back at Gateway and working with another great cast! Gateway- Holiday Spectacular (‘03,’05,’08), Carousel, Evita, Aida, Oliver!, A Christmas Carol, The Will Rogers Follies (Freddy), and Beauty and the Beast (Chip). Ryan is currently in Gateway’s Dora the Explorer as Baby Jaguar. NYC- Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. (Disney Pilot Production). Ryan has been a student of The Gateway Acting School for 7 years and of Stage Door School of Dance for 6 years. Thanks to Robin, John, Scot, and the entire cast & crew of Dolly! Break-legs!!
|CHRIS LeBEAU (Ensemble) is delighted to be spending his first summer at the Gateway Playhouse! He hails from Holliston, Massachusetts and attended Syracuse University for Musical Theatre. Tour: The Producers (Leo u/s); NYC Reading: Babes in Arms w/ Rosie O’Donnell (Dick); Regional: 42nd Street at Westchester Broadway Theatre, Crazy for You at The John W. Engeman, as well as All Shook Up and The Producers at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. He would like to thank his family and friends for their endless love and support.|
|ASHLEY MCKAY (Ensemble) is honored to return to Gateway! She was last seen here in Hairspray (Ensemble). B.F.A. in Musical Theatre (Dance minor) from MVC. Favorite past credits include Disney Cruise Line (Main Stage Swing/ Dance Captain, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), High School Musical (Sharpay Evans), Kiss Me Kate (Lois Lane), and Nunsense (Sr. Mary Leo, 4 times and counting). “Big thanks to Robin, Paul, Michael and everyone involved, but biggest thanks to my family and Sean – for always believing in me.” Proud member of Actor’s Equity Association! Please visit www.ashleysmckay.com.|
|KEVIN METZGER (Ensemble) was last seen in Hairspray (Ensemble) in Bellport. Previous credits: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Andre U/S, Theatre by the Sea), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Media Theatre and Forestburgh Playhouse), All Shook Up, The Producers, High School Musical (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse), Urinetown, Pippin and Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods (CAP21). This fall, Kevin will be seen as Harold on the first national tour of ‘SWonderful: The New Gershwin Musical. Proud graduate of NYU’s CAP21 and the Orange County High School of the Arts. Love to family and friends…LYLAS! www.kevinmetzger.net.|
|RYAN NEARHOFF (Barnaby Tucker) was last seen in Altar Boyz in Bellport and also appeared in the Sacramento Music Circus production of Altar Boyz last summer. Other credits include: High School Musical (Atlanta TOTS), Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (Cabrillo Music Theater), Anything Goes (Williamstown Theater Festival), and the national tour of Almost Heaven: The Songs of John Denver. Ryan is originally from Southern California where he received his BFA in Musical Theater from California State University Fullerton. “Thank you to my loving and supportive family, the great production team at Gateway, and to Lolly...the pinch of my passion.”|
|JERRY O’BOYLE (Rudolph Reisenweber) is hoping he is completely unrecognizable from his last appearance here; Jerry played Edna Turnblad in Gateway’s Hairspray, a role he was honored to play for four years on the national tour and internationally. A native Chicagoan, he has performed at many of the fine theatres in the midwest. He would like to thank Robin for casting him in a role within his own gender. Jerry performs in Hello, Dolly! without body padding.|
|PATRICK O’BRIEN (Ensemble) - Patrick is thrilled to be making his Gateway Playhouse debut! Past credits include- The Sound of Music (North Fork Community Theatre), Guys and Dolls (North Fork Community Theatre), The Crucible (McGann-Mercy High School), and Once Upon A Mattress (McGann-Mercy High School). In September, Patrick will be a freshman at McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead. Patrick would like to thank the cast for being so caring, and for welcoming him to the playhouse! Enjoy the show!|
LILLY TOBIN (Minnie Fay)
is thrilled to be
making her Gateway debut! NYC: Sadie,
Sadie (Sadie), Limelight: The Story Of Charlie
Chaplin (Victoria/Doreen) reading for La Jolla
Playhouse. Regional: Fiddler On The Roof (Chava) at The Engeman Theater, A Christmas
Carol, McCarter Theater, My Fair Lady, Fiddler
On The Roof (Chava) Ogunquit Playhouse,
Into The Woods (Little Red), Biloxi Blues (Daisy),
Pirates Of Penzance (Isabel) Saint Michael’s
Playhouse. Other credits include ..Forum (Philia), Oklahoma! (Ado Annie), You Can’t Take It With You (Essie), On The Town(Hildy).
TV: Michael And Michael Have Issues, Comedy
Central. Upcoming: National Tour of The Grinch.
Love to Mum & Dad.www.lillytobin.com
SIMON TRUMBLE (Ensemble)
was last seen
in Hairspray (Ensemble) in Patchogue. Originally
from Berkeley California, Simon graduated
from the American Academy of Dramatic
Art (AADA) in Manhattan, and performed
regionally before venturing into the midwest
to pursue a bachelor’s degree in theatre and
dance from Otterbein College in Ohio. Some
favorite roles include Paul in A Chorus Line,
Danny Zuko in Grease, and Nathan Detroit
in Guys and Dolls. Simon would like to thank
Robin for remembering his name and
bringing him back to Bellport, his mother
for her unwavering support, his brothers at Pi
Beta Sigma, and Polly for the little things that
make all the difference.
|EILEEN WARD (Mrs. Irene Molloy) Most recent credits include A Streetcar Named Desire, Guys And Dolls, Much Ado About Nothing, and Crimes Of The Heart at the New Harmony Theatre. Other credits include, 1776 and The Secret Garden at The Olney Theatre, National tour of The King And I as well as at The Merry- Go-Round Playhouse, and Camelot and Carousel at Stages St. Louis to name a few. Twice nominated for Helen Hayes Awards in Washington DC. Next up Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde for the Bristol Riverside Theatre.|
|HARDY WEAVER (Ensemble) Hardy is pumped to be spending his first summer at Gateway! He is a proud native New Orleanian and a graduate of Florida State University’s BFA Music Theatre program. Hardy was last seen on the National Tour of Cats (Skimbleshanks). Regional credits include Seaside Music Theatre, Le Petit Theatre, Tulane Summer Lyric, Dutch Apple, and Ann Reinking’s Broadway Theatre Project. This fall, Hardy will be playing the role of Bobby in the National Tour of A Chorus Line. BIG LOVE to all of my family and friends for their love and support, especially over the past year.|
KAREN WEBB (Ensemble)
Karen is thrilled
to be back for Hello, Dolly! after making her
Gateway debut in Will Rogers Follies during
the ’08 season! Recent credits include:
Nine (Westchester Broadway Theatre), Cats,
The Producers, Joseph…Dreamcoat (Beef &
Boards), Beauty and the Beast, Pajama Game (Mountain Playhouse), Cabaret, South Pacific,
The Full Monty (Show Palace), and Chicago (Peach State). During Will Rogers Follies, Karen
had the honor of performing for Tommy Tune
while he accepted his lifetime achievement
award at the 2008 Astaire Awards. Many thanks
to everyone at Gateway, Robin, Michael, Jay,
and my amazing family and friends from Ga to
NYC! Love y’all!
|CHELSEY WHITELOCK (Ensemble) was last seen in Hairspray (Ensemble) in Bellport. Other favorite regional roles include Roxie Chicago, Ado-Annie Oklahoma!, Adelaide Guys and Dolls, Bianca Kiss Me Kate, Brooke Noises Off. She also appeared in the ‘07-’08 National tour of Annie. “Love and thanks to the Gateway Family for bringing me back, the actual family for being the best, and Mikey whom I can’t wait to marry in October!”|
JOHN SHERIDAN (Director/Choreographer)
appeared on Broadway in Gypsy in 1961 with Ethel Merman and again in 1974 with Angela Lansbury (receiving a Theatre World Award for his performance as Tulsa), and in No, No Nanette with Ruby Keeler. He toured in the International,
London and Las Vegas companies of Hello, Dolly! with Mary Martin and Betty Grable respectively, playing the role of Barnaby. Off-Broadway credits include: Best Foot Foward with Liza Minnelli and Veronica Lake, Beggar on a Horseback at Lincoln Center, and A Tribute to Composer Jule Styne (at Mr. Styne’s request) at Manhattan Theatre Club. John has directed and choreographed for universities (including three Hasty Pudding shows at Harvard), Summer
theatres (including Hello, Dolly! starring Sally Struthers), ice shows at Rockefeller Plaza, corporate events, bios of Jacqueline Kennedy and Helen Keller, and produced cruise ship revues. He coached Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah’s skating in the film Splash, and is co-author of original circus musical.
CHRISTOPHER LANDY (Lighting Designer)
Chris is always thrilled to return the Gateway, where past designs include Beauty and the Beast, Oliver, Urban Cowboy, Phantom, Tommy (CT Critic Circle Award), Jekyll & Hyde, Showboat, West Side Story, Brigadoon, Cabaret, and Crazy For You. His theatre and opera credits include A Little Night Music for Goodspeed; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead for Long Wharf and Williamstown; Hay Fever, Princess Turandot and Angel Street for Westport Country Playhouse; Altar Boyz, Smokey Joe’s Café and Hot N’ Cole for Riverside Playhouse, Orfeo ed Euridice and Turandot for Virginia Opera and Madame Butterfly, Marriage of Figaro, Die Fledermaus and Rigoletto for Boheme Opera. Off-Broadway credits include Oedipus, Hotel Universe, Princess Turandot, Ivanov, and Retribution. Christopher works extensively in television and has recently received an Emmy Award for his work on MTV’s Unplugged Series. This past year Chris designed “Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon” for NBC, “The Emeril LaGasse Show” for ION, and several specials for Denis Leary. Design credits also include work for MTV, BET, VH1, Comedy Central, SpikeTV, MyNetwork, Style Network, AMC, Oxygen, NBA, CMT, and CNN among others. With a strong background in music and live events, Chris has designed many series for MTV including “Total Request Live,” “Unplugged 2.0,” “MTV’s New Years Eve, Choose or Loose,” “MTV’s Beach House” and countless specials. For the Oxygen Network he has designed their Custom Concert series with such artists as LL Cool J, John Legend, The Wallflowers, Sarah McLachlan, Macy Gray, Alanis Morissette, Patti Labelle, Tori Amos and Michelle Branch. Chris was the designer for Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” and “Important Things with Demetri Martin.” He also lit “ISAAC: for the Style Network and “Movies 101” for AMC. For news, he designed “Showbiz Tonight” and “Nancy Grace” for CNN, FoxNews Coverage of the Democratic and Republican Conventions and the MSNBC 2004 Election coverage for which he received an Emmy nomination. He holds an MFA in lighting and set design from NYU and runs his own design and production firm, Vibrant Design.
WILLIAM FOSTER MCDANIEL (Musical Director)
Mr. McDaniel returns to Gateway Playhouse
having previously served here as Musical
Director for Once On This Island, Ain’t Misbehavin’,
Fiddler on the Roof, Hello, Dolly!, Guys and Dolls, Showboat, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Mr. McDaniel began his career in musical theatre as pianist-conductor of off-Broadway’s long-running The Fantasticks. Other conducting
credits include Timbuktu, Bubbling Brown Sugar, House Of Flowers, Big River, Dreamgirls, Damn Yankees, Storyville, Dinah Was, A Wonderful
Life, Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Always...Patsy Cline, Cooking At The Cookery, Crazy For You, She Loves Me, Sophisticated Ladies and most recently The Women Of Brewster Place. Mr. McDaniel’s own compositions have received performances by the Philharmonia of Greensboro, the Savannah Symphony Orchestra,
The Bergen Philharmonic, the Mozart Society Orchestra at Harvard, and the Brooklyn
Philharmonic. Mr. McDaniel is a graduate of Capital University and Boston University, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Paris, France.
JOE MCGUIRE (Stage Manager)
has stage managed Broadway, Off-Broadway, Nationally and Internationally. New York credits include: Blue Man Group; TUBES, Beehive, The Master Builder, Closer than Ever, Sight Unseen, Tony and Tina’s Wedding, The Haunted Host with Harvey Fierstein. Last year he stage managed
Miss Saigon and The Drowsy Chaperone at Gateway. Currently Joe owns his own entertainment
production company My Friend Entertainment (myfriendentertainment.com) which produces live entertainment and video. He was creatively responsible for the Post 9-11 Re-Opening Celebration for the Statue of Liberty and has directed The New York Yankees Homecoming Gala for the last 10 years.
ROBIN JOY ALLAN (Artistic Director)
Not knowing what would sound interesting enough for a read, Robin would just like to give credit to the creative spirits and “way-showers” in her life who inspired her, taught her, supported her, lived a great example for her, and lit the journey as she sang, danced, played, taught, directed, cast and twirled herself through her varied life in the arts. Jane Jenkins, Denise Chamian, Michael Cutler, Jessica (O’S) Kelly, Bob Durkin, Chuck Carter, David and Joan Sheldon, Sally and Les Harris, Ruth and Stan Allan, Harry and Libby Pomeran and her brother, Paul Allan with whom she works daily to run the family business known as The Gateway. From her hands on theatrical experience on stage and off to her behind the scenes work in Film and TV as a Casting Director on both coasts, Robin has been fortunate to work with actors, directors, writers, and producers from today’s celebrities to tomorrow’s future stars. In her life bio she includes 16 years performing, 25 years casting and 30 years teaching, much of that overlaps, from her teens, on. The films “When Harry Met Sally,” “Lord Of The Flies,” “Parenthood,” and “Ghost” are on her casting resume as well as one-hundred and thirty-six Main Stage productions for Gateway. She feels blessed and hopes to continue to give back to the universe as much as she has been given. Robin lives in Brookhaven Hamlet with her amazing daughter Hayley and constant companions Lucy Dog, Mops and Momma Kitty.
PAUL ALLAN (Producer)
has been producing the seasons here at Gateway since the 1980’s. It’s hard to believe the number of shows, performers, staff, technicians, etc. he has come in contact with over the years, and the number of personal and professional friendships that developed and remain strong today. Paul’s grandfather (Harry Pomeran) was the first producer of Gateway in 1950, followed by his uncle (David Sheldon), his parents (Ruth and Stan Allan), and together with his sister Robin. Gateway has always been a family business, and each era has brought significant challenges particularly in the 80’s and 90’s when shows became more complicated and technically challenging. Additionally, the grounds changed, the buildings were modernized, and the facilities updated. In the most recent decade, the caliber of the artistic staff, performers, musicians, and technicians has risen to a level equaling and sometimes surpassing many Broadway shows. It has been difficult to find time to do other projects outside of Gateway seasons, but over the years Paul has been able to work in NYC on various shows in different capacities, run a touring company with shows traveling around the country and abroad, operate a sister theatre in Connecticut, act as consultant and facilitator for the restoration and reopening of the Patchogue Theatre, and maintain a set rental business - where Gateway scenery is used in theatres across the country after appearing on the Gateway stage. Paul appreciates, admires and honors his family’s dedication to the arts and is proud to help continue the legacy. Paul lives in Bellport with his wife Annmarie and their 2 children - Luke 5 and Alexa 3.
The South Hampton Press"Hello, Dolly!" offers reminder of how pleasing Broadway used to be
By: LEE DAVIS
August 13, 2010
“Hello, Dolly!” currently appearing in a splendid looking and sounding production in the Patchogue venue of the Gateway Playhouse, is, in a bunch of ways that are evenly divided between positive and not quite so positive, a good-old, old-fashioned musical.
To be up-front honest, I freely admit to having a soft place in my heart and memory for old-fashioned musicals. I grew up with them, and it’s lovely to just relax into an evening of sweet melody and harmless jokes. But with all of this comfort, there’s one holdover from the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s that places a strain on any theater producing “Hello, Dolly!” Like dozens and dozens of musicals from these decades, whose producers first hired stars, and then hired creators who wrote shows around the star, “Dolly,” despite its birth in 1964—one of the last waning moments of the Golden Age of Musicals—is still a star vehicle, and whatever production of it arrives before the public today is haunted by the ghosts of the powerhouse stars who’ve appeared in it since its premiere.
And so, if Leslie Alexander, the Dolly of the Gateway’s current production isn’t a roaring, stage-consuming, cheers-creating diva, she’s a terrific trouper, who hits all the right notes and makes all the right moves. And she’s eminently, heart-warmingly believable as Dolly Levi, rather than Dolly Channing or Dolly Streisand or Dolly Grable. It makes for a comfortable evening.
And the show isn’t, after all, one long star turn. The saving graces of it are multiple and rewarding. There’s the very witty and clever and bright book by Michael Stewart that, in its straightforward, showbiz way, has all the jokes and the complications and the resolutions in the right places. It still stands up as the kind of book a musical deserves in this complex age—a sweet valentine to love that never becomes sticky.
And, too, there’s the Jerry Herman score—lovely without surcease. So what if most of the songs sound like something you’ve already heard, written by somebody else? They aren’t. They’re original in a non-threatening way, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
And, in Patchogue, the cast surrounding the star is true and talented down to the last chorus kid. These kids dance up several storms and energetically arouse another ghost—that of Gower Champion, who arrives in the form of the accuracy with which director/choreographer John Sheridan transfers the master’s dances to the Patchogue stage. They spin, they slide, they fly.
Wade Elkins, as a sort of Buddy Ebsen Ambrose Kemper, and Amber Carlson as the petite and tearful Ernestina, are charming and nimble. Eileen Ward, as Irene Molloy, the owner of both a women’s hat store and Barnaby’s heart, has a sweet presence and a glorious voice that turns “Ribbons Down My Back” into an embracing instant, and “It Only Takes a Moment” into a romantic parenthesis within the brash goings on. Lilly Tobin makes of Minnie Fay, her sidekick, a bright delight.
As Horace Vandergelder, the object of Dolly Levi’s affections and intentions, Steve Brady delivers a nicely timed comic performance, blustering and bellowing with fervor, and launching the show solidly as one of the trio of male philosophers in the jaunty “It Takes a Woman.”
Matthew Crowle is personable as Cornelius Hackle, the employee of Horace Vandergelder who is eager to leave Yonkers for a New York adventure. But Ryan Nearhoff is sensational as Barnaby Tucker, his companion in daredeviltry. Mr. Nearhoff is a dynamic dancer and a personality that fills even the far reaches of the Patchogue stage with energy and light.
Musical Director William Foster McDaniel keeps the proceedings moving with vigor, conducting a pit orchestra that brings back memories of a pre-amplified Broadway. Christopher Landy’s lighting is suitably happy and helpful. In sum, this “Hello, Dolly!” is a tender and tuneful reappearance of a more innocent and in many ways more pleasing Broadway than what we too often see today.
Dan's PapersReview: Hello, Dolly!
By: ROY BRADBROOK
August 10, 2010
When Jerry Herman wrote Hello, Dolly!, he wanted Ethel Merman or Mary Martin for the title role. But as it turned out, Carol Channing became the first to portray Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi. This much larger-than-life, self-proclaimed "meddler" widow, at the drop of her invariably beautiful hat, will produce from her capacious handbag a business card showing her availability and expertise in solving any problems. From finding an appropriate marriage partner to dance lessons to getting people out of jail, say "Hello" to Dolly.
Since the show debuted on Broadway in 1964, Dolly Levi has become one of the truly iconic and most demanding musical roles, often played by stars who are themselves larger-than-life. In addition to Carol Channing and Barbra Streisand, Mary Martin and Ethel Merman have all become formidable Dolly Levis.
Gateway productions, like many companies, have to function with no more than two weeks of rehearsal. For this show they also had to cope with being "Dollyless" until the week before opening night, because of circumstances outside their control.
A born trouper, Leslie Alexander stepped into the breach and performed the role with wonderful style and timing. The opening night audience, though they did not know this part of the story, gave her and a wonderful supporting cast a great standing ovation. Dolly is on stage for the vast majority of the show and in addition to a wide range of songs, including of course the rousing title song; she has to learn a lot of lines. Alone on stage and facing the audience, Dolly has several soliloquies about life and love as she talks to her dead husband and asks for a sign that he agrees with her decision to make a match for herself with the wealthy shopkeeper, Horace Vandergelder. Horace is played expertly by another Broadway veteran, Steve Brady as a great foil to Dolly and her machinations.
Going back to the characterization of Dolly; Leslie Alexander wisely does not set out to imitate Carol Channing but delivers a softer, less "in your face" Dolly. Full marks to a consummate professional in taking this great challenge and doing so well.
Dolly works hard to persuade Horace that she really is the one for him and that he should allow his weepy niece Ermengarde (Danielle Carlacchi) to wed the struggling artist Ambrose (Wade Elkins). Horace's chief clerk, Cornelius (Matthew Crowle) rebels from a life of serfdom and falls in love with Irene Molloy (Eileen Ward) the charming owner of a millinery shop. These partnerships and their vicissitudes add a lot to the show and all four of these young artists really make their mark with excellent singing and dancing.
Speaking of singing and dancing, this show is Jerry Herman at the top of his game. There are wonderful and memorable songs throughout ranging from the great production numbers, "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" and "Elegance" to the touching "It Only Takes a Moment" and of course the title song, which, when Louis Armstrong recorded it, toppled the Beatles from their fourteen-week No. 1 position in the charts!
Coupled with beautiful, evocative costumes from Marianne Dominy's wardrobe and John Sheridan's direction and choreography that pays homage to the great Gower Champion's original work, and the talented musical direction of William Foster McDaniel, this is a show to relish and to make you wonder how no one can create musicals of this caliber anymore.
The audience loved it and if you love the golden age of musicals, make sure you get a ticket for this production of Hello, Dolly!. I am sure that you'll come out happy and with at least one of these captivating melodies running through your mind as you drive home!
Hello, Dolly! is at the Patchogue Theater through August 22. Visit gatewayplayhouse.com for tickets.
Hello, Corny, nice to see you in 'Hello, Dolly!'By: STEVE PARKS
August 9, 2010
What can a director bring to "Hello, Dolly!" that could make the vintage musical new again?
He might retitle it "Whazup, Cornelius?"
Director John Sheridan didn't go that far. But with the endearingly dorky body language of Matthew Crowle as the beleaguered but eager feed-store clerk, the Gateway Playhouse production of "Hello, Dolly!" becomes as much Cornelius Hackl's story as Dolly Gallagher Levi's.
Not that the widowed turn-of-the-20th-century New York matchmaker has shriveled into a wallflower. She's as formidable as ever as played by Leslie Alexander. And her full-throated, title-song re-emergence from mourning remains a showstopping centerpiece. But for crowd-pleasing schmaltz, it's hard to top Crowle's "It Only Takes a Moment" valentine to his newly beloved.
A supporting cast - led by Steve Brady as the crotchety "half a millionaire" Dolly steers into her matrimonial corner - neatly fit their one-dimensional, love-is-all roles. (Credit Eileen Ward, Amber Carson, Wade Elkins, Danielle Carlacci, Ryan Nearhoff, Lily Tobin and Jerry O'Doyle, most recently Edna in Gateway's "Hairspray," as the maitre'd of Harmonia Gardens, where Dolly stages her grand re-entrance.)
The accompaniment of William Foster McDaniel's bigger-than-its-numbers orchestra takes you back to a simpler, bandshell era, when a transit ride cost a nickel.
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Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi
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|Ambrose Kemper||WADE ELKINS|
|Horace Vandergelder||STEVE BRADY*|
|Cornelius Hackl||MATTHEW CROWLE*|
|Barnaby Tucker||RYAN NEARHOFF*|
|Minnie Fay||LILLY TOBIN|
|Mrs. Irene Molloy||EILEEN WARD*|
|Rudolf Reisenweber||JERRY O’BOYLE|
|Court Clerk||KAREN WEBB|
Townspeople, Waiters, etc.
|SCOT PATRICK ALLAN*, KELLI JOELLE, BARTLETT, AMBER CARSON, TAYLOR COLLINS, RACHEL RHODES-DEVEY, WADE ELKINS, RYAN KOERBER, CHRIS LEBEAU, ASHLEY MCKAY, KEVIN METZGER, PATRICK O’BRIEN, HARDY WEAVER, SIMON TRUMBLE, KAREN WEBB, CHELSEY WHITELOCK|
Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi
|Ambrose Kemper||HARDY WEAVER|
|Horace Vandergelder||JERRY O’BOYLE|
|Cornelius Hackl||SCOT PATRICK ALLAN*|
|Barnaby Tucker||CHRIS LEBEAU|
|Minnie Faye||ASHLEY MCKAY|
|Mrs. Irene Molloy||RACHEL RHODES-DEVEY|
|Rudolph Reisenweber||SIMON TRUMBLE|
|Musical Director / Keyboard I||WILLIAM FOSTER MCDANIEL|
|Trumpet I||DAN YEAGER|
|Trumpet II||RICH CRUZ|
|Keyboard II||JASON WHITEHEAD|
|Executive Producer||Ruth Allan|
|Associate Producer||Jeff Bellante|
|General Manager||Gale Edwards|
|Company Manager||Michael Baker|
|Assistant Company Manager||Keith Llewellyn|
|Administrative Assistant||Sarah Innes|
|Artistic/Casting Director||Robin Joy Allan|
|Musical Director||William Foster McDaniel|
|Original Broadway Set Design||Oliver Smith|
|Sets/Props||Broadway Bound Costumes Inc., New Orleans, LA|
|Costumes||Costume World, Deerfield Beach, FL|
|Lighting Designer||Chistopher J. Landy|
|Sound Designer||Shane Bourgeois|
|Assistant Lighting Designer||Nicholas Harris|
|Associate Casting/Artistic Director||Jessica Harrison|
|Production Photographer||Jeff Bellante|
|Musical Contractor||Jeff Hoffman|
|Sound Consultants||Dominic Sac, Cody Spencer|
|Box Office Manager||Laurie Parr|
|House Manager||Joanne Famiglietti|
|Group Sales||Claire Ward|
|Box Office Staff||Ashley Cooke, Nadine Hazard, Diane Koerber, Christina Montalato, Don Rebar,
Kyle Reitan, Linda Unger, Francesca Welhous
|Production Manager||Brian Loesch|
|Production Stage Manager||Joe McGuire|
|Technical Director||Jeff Taylor|
|Wardrobe Supervisor||Marianne Dominy|
|Master Electricians||Spencer Padilla, Jose Santiago|
|Shop Foreman||Mark Frederick|
|Scenic Artist||Dennis Berfield|
|Props Master||Scott Rygalski|
|Sound Engineer||Shane Bourgeois|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Megan Danielson|
|Assistant Technical Director||Steve Haase|
|Sound Technician||Don Hanna|
|Technicians||Charlie Bell, Jacob Forstein, AJ Lebbens, Alex Olsen, Brendan Smith|
|Wardrobe Assistants||Patrick Herb, Vanessa Pynn, Cee-Cee Swalling|
|Company Management/Admin Intern.||Cassandra Levey|
|Stage Management Interns.||Avianna Meck, Lindsey Sigler|
|Electrics Interns||Jennifer Atkinson, Colin Chauche, Justin Keenan Miller|
|Sound Interns||Sara Brown, Zach Ireson|
|Wardrobe Interns||Rachel Filbeck, Janine Loesch, Ariel Marcus, Amber Mallon|
|Props Intern||Kaitlyn McDonald|
|General Technician Interns||Ivy Conyers, Nick Jacobs, Kendall McNichols|
|Facilities Maintenance||Mark Frederick|
|Cleaning Staff||Eleodoro Sorto, Ray Tobia|
|Landscaping||HTM Landscaping Company|
|House Staff||Eric Burt, Ryan Hudack, Martin Maningo, Michael Ray, John Smaldone, Ed Wecera|
|Hospitality Consultant||Mike Taylor|
|General Counsel||Ann L. Nowak & Associates|