Hello Dolly! at the Massey Theatre (Royal City Theatre) [Guest review by @jarrahpenguin]

It Only Takes a Moment to Fall in Love with Hello, Dolly!

Royal City Musical Theatre has a difficult job every year:pulling off a big, bright, bold version of a classic musical that will live upto the high expectations set the previous season. Last year’s production of The Will Rogers Follies captivated, so Iwas really looking forward to this year’s show: Hello, Dolly! It did not disappoint.

Hello Dolly (Massey Theatre)

Colleen Winton and David Adams – photography by David Cooper

Hello, Dolly!,which first premiered on Broadway in 1964 starring Carol Channing, is anambitious choice of show, requiring impressive big dance numbers and comictiming from the actors. It tells thestory of Dolly Gallagher Levi (played by Royal City Musical Theatre alum andfamiliar Vancouver theatre face Colleen Winton), a matchmaker whose goal is tomarry the wealthy Horace Vandergelder (David Adams) and send his moneycirculating among the people like rainwater, the way she was taught by her latehusband.

In the process, Dolly also matches up Horace’s head clerkCornelius with the widow Mrs. Molloy, Cornelius’ assistant Barnaby with Mrs.Molloy’s assistant, and Horace’s niece with a struggling artist.

Colleen Winton is superb as Dolly, making the audience rootfor her at every step of her mad-cap quest to love again “Before the ParadePasses By”. Adams, who starred with Winton in RCMT’s production of South Pacific 18 years ago, is also astrong, yet very funny presence.

Dustin Freeland as Cornelius and Sayer Roberts as Barnabymake a great comic dancing team – when Dolly teaches them to dance so they cantake Mrs. Molloy and her assistant to dinner, the resulting number (“Dancing”)is one of the highlights of the show.

It takes a cast of more than 40 – including a dancingensemble, singing ensemble, and chorus of children – to pull off. And Artistic Director Valerie Easton madesure they did pull it off, while also putting a unique RCMT stamp on theproduction, this time in particular with the set design.

The set, designed by Omanie Elias, is made to look like aseries of paper cutouts. It was an ingenious way of tying the whole showtogether, being light and notable but not distracting.

Hello, Dolly! Runs until April 28 at the Massey Theatre inNew Westminster. It runs just under 2.5 hours including intermission. I highlyrecommend seeing it. You can buy tickets online here.


My guest reviewer Jarrah Hodge attended Hello Dolly! on media tickets provided and wrote this review in exclusive for Hummingbird604.com. Jarrah Hodge is the founder and editor of the Canadian feminist blog Gender Focus and has written for the Huffington Post, Bitch Magazine Blogs, and the Vancouver Observer. She’s a fan of politics, crafts, boardgames, musical theatre, and brunch.

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