Thursday, June 1, through Saturday, June 10
The Black Box Theatre, 1623 Fifth Avenue, Moline IL
One of the most beloved stage musicals in the history of American theatre, composer Jerry Herman's iconic Hello, Dolly! enjoys a June 1 through 10 run at Moline's Black Box Theatre, this Tony Award-dominating classic a treasure trove of show-tune staples and one of the most successful productions in the history of Broadway.
A musical filled with charisma and heart, Hello, Dolly! fnds its titular character Dolly Levi a widow, matchmaker, and professional meddler – but everything about Dolly's world changes when she decides that the next match she needs to make is to find someone for herself. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, composer Jerry Herman's stage classic is boisterous and charming from start to finish, and features such memorable songs as “Before the Parade Passes By,” “It Only Takes a Moment,” “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” and, of course, the unforgettable title number.
Hello, Dolly! debuted at the Fisher Theater in Detroit in 1963 and moved to Broadway in 1964, winning 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical – a record that held for 37 years. The show album Hello, Dolly! An Original Cast Recording reached number one on the Billboard chart in June of 1964, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. To date, the musical has enjoyed four Broadway revivals and phenomenal international success, and it was also made into the 1969 film that starred Barbra Streisand and won three Academy Awards, also scoring a nomination for Best Picture. Since the stage show's debut, Dolly herself has also been hailed as one of the strongest and richest starring roles for a woman ever written for the musical theatre, with famous Dolly Levis of the past having included Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Pearl Bailey, Mary Martin, Barbra Streisand, Bernadette Peters, and 2017 Tony Award winner Bette Midler.
Directing Hello, Dolly! for her venue is the Black Box's co-owner and artistic director Lora Adams, whose recent directorial offerings have included All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, My Brother's Gift, and Veronica's Room. “Many people have wondered how we would do a big musical on the Black Box Theatre stage," Adams says. "When I started as an actor I did Minnie Fae at Wilson Street East Dinner Playhouse in Madison, Wisconsin, which was a smaller stage than BBT, so I knew it could be done.” Her show boasts music direction by C.J. Parker, with additional members of Adams' creative team including rehearsal pianist Jonathan Turner and choreographer Madeline Rhodes.
Portraying Dolly Levi is area favorite and Augustana College's assistant professor of theatre arts Shelley Cooper, who previously starred in her self-written, one-woman show La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas at the Black Box, and whose Augustana directorial credits include Cabaret, The Threepenny Opera, and Into the Woods. Additional members of the talented Hello, Dolly! ensemble include Doug Kutzli as Horace Vandergelder, Tristan Tapscott as Cornelius Hackl, Jacqueline Isaascon as Irene Malloy, Mukupa Lungu as Minnie Fae, and Reader reviewer Roger Pavey, Jr. as Barnaby Tucker, with the cast completed by Lucy Dlarmini, Jennifer Cook Gregory, Robert Gregory, and Tyler Henning.
Hello, Dolly! runs at the Moline Theatre from June 1 through 10, with performances Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m.; Saturday June 3 at 2 p.m.; and Saturday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $16, and more information and tickets are available by calling (563)284-2350 and visiting TheBlackBoxTheatre.com.