Students staging 'Hello Dolly!'

March 12, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- The cast of Greencastle-Antrim High School's upcoming school play said "Hello, Dolly!" could be the most fun they have had on stage.

And knowing the fun will end soon has left a bittersweet feeling among the cast.

The students have been together almost daily since January rehearsing for opening night April 3.

With all the interaction on stage and off, being in "Hello Dolly!" has made the students into a family, senior Malorie Olivier said.

"Senior or freshman, lead role or chorus, we are one big family," she said. "And while what family isn't a bit dysfunctional, we have become so close that leaving each other in April will be hard."

When everyone gets along so well, it can make both the joy and the sadness much stronger, Olivier said.

There are only few weeks to go until opening night and the students said they are not thinking of what they will do when the play is over. Rather they are clocking extra hours to put on an entertaining show.


The key to a great play, is great casting, said senior Ethan Goldbach, who plays Cornelius Hackl. Not one student would trade their part for another, each said.

"I love my character," said Olivier, who plays Ernestina Money.

When choral director Martha Fuchs and stage director Jennifer Gabler announced the school would revive the play that Barbara Streisand made famous, many students were clueless to the play's music or plot.

"I had no idea what "Hello, Dolly!" was, I knew it was famous, but that was it," said senior Amy Crider, who plays Ermengarde Vandergelder.

"Hello Dolly!" tells the story of Dolly Levi, a matchmaker who weaves a group of Yonkers residents into a web of romantic complications in her plot to woo "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder.

Since getting familiar with Jerry Herman's and Michael Stewart's stage musical, the students said they have fallen in love.

"The music is really funny and the dancing is great," Goldbach said. "It is just fun."

Senior Brittany Lackey, who plays Dolly Levi, said the music makes the show.

"Oh yeah," Crider agreed. "The music takes what is funny from the (dialogue) and expands on it."

Despite all the laughs among the cast, Goldbach said nailing the difficult music and hitting the comedic highs is quite challenging.

So are the students ready for an audience?

"No way," they said collectively.

"It is all chaos until the week of," Goldbach said. "But it always falls into place."

Fortunately, the cast said, it has two amazing directors to push them.

Junior Sallianne Crawford, who plays Irene Molloy, said Fuchs and Gabler do not rest until the students get it right.

"They don't push us for them, they push us because we are the ones who will look bad in front of everyone if it is wrong," she said.


What: "Hello, Dolly!"

Where: Greencastle-Antrim High School Auditorium, South Ridge Avenue

When: April 3-4 , 7:30 p.m.; April 5, 2:30 p.m.

Info: Tickets cost $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors

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