A winning combination of a slick script and musical adaptation, excellent singing, acting and dancing, and overall superb production elements including fabulous costumes, staging and choreography lifted this world premiere of Hello Dolly! in concert to "WOW" level.
Sandi Patty definitely was born to be Dolly Levi, and Gary Beach slipped so easily into Horace Vandergelder it’s a wonder he ever was anything else. James T. Lane, portraying Barnaby, served as the narrator who at the top of the show invites us to “imagine 1891” and scoops us into the whirl of events leading to the ultimate matchmaking and the real value of money.
Love embraces us from all corners of the stage, artfully utilized to create a panorama stretching from Yonkers to New York City and back with zippy production numbers and soulful ballads as soliloquies. At every turn there’s a surprise, the best of which is attentiveness to the dialogue, which usually gets lost in fully staged versions.
The versatile cast of eleven leading characters and seventeen supporting actors/singers/dancers was joined by the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus for the most rousing “Hello Dolly” heard by this reviewer. Maestro Jack Everly and the ISO players delivered brilliantly. Bravo to everyone involved. Jan 13-15 at the Hilbert Circle Theatre and The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts.