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Theater Review Hello Dolly!
Broadway show at Averitt Center this weekend
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Need some help with your love life, or with life in general? Then maybe seeing Averitt STARS’ production of Hello, Dolly! will give you some ideas on how to live life to the fullest.
    Local actress Sydney Marsh in her first starring role as the 19th Century New York widow and matchmaker Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi takes the stage with panache and confidence, as she dishes out advice and meddles in everyone’s life. The audience finds themselves roaring with laughter at the meddlesome
Dolly’s attempts at bringing together hearts that are otherwise incompetent at sealing the deal of wedded bliss.
    As wealthy owner of the feed and seed store in Yonkers, Mr. Horace Vandergelder played by Jeff Akins proves a perfect foil for the antics of Dolly. Playing the perfect grumpy old man, he hires Dolly to find him a wife and ends up tangled in Dolly’s cleverly woven web.
    The two bumbling buddies Barnaby and Cornelius are enjoyable as  two clerks in Vandergelder’s hay and feed store, who set out on an adventure in New York City and vow not to come back to Yonkers until they have kissed a girl. A strong singer, Michael Bevill is well cast in his role as Cornelius Hackl, which requires quite a bit of physical comedy and a couple of heartfelt songs for which  he has plenty of voice. Michael Hernandez as young Barnaby Tucker provides great facial expressions and well-timed comedic bits.
    Stephanie Dittmer, playing Irene Molloy, the widowed proprietress of a hat shop, has a well-trained voice, perfect for the song “Ribbons Down My Back.” Her straight acting style is complimented by the perky impertinence of her shop assistant Minnie Fay, played charmingly by Rachel Godbee. The pair end up as a foursome with Barnaby and Cornelius.
    The simple props are used with professionalism as the cast takes you from the streets of 1890s New York City to a simple general store in Yonkers. In the transition from the restaurant scene to a courtroom, Dolly remains down front, hilariously devouring the turkey as if it were her first meal in weeks while Judge Faye Sanders Martin makes a cameo appearance, ordering Vandergelder to jail as she calls him an “Old Goat.”
    Though there were some minor sound glitches on opening night, the actors showed their true talents by continuing as if nothing had happened.
The production is playing at The Emma Kelly Theater, home of the Averitt STARS, Statesboro’s only non-profit theater, Friday through Sunday. Tickets are still available by calling 912-212-2787.
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