“Hello Dolly!” Proves to be an Awesome Experience for All

By Anupama Sethuraman and Sam Jankowski

Premiering the night of November 20th, “Hello, Dolly!” was a smashing success. The musical, according to choir teacher Mareena Boosamra-Ball, had one of the largest audiences in recent times.

This performance couldn’t have been possible without the help of RUHS’s many wonderful departments. Choir, stage crew, dance, drama club, art, orchestra, and a multitude of parent donations served as the backbone the backbone for the production.

The cast members included most of RUHS’s choir students, as well as some drama and band students. One of the interesting aspects of this show was that all of the fine arts departments were included. In addition to choir members being in the cast, selected band and orchestra students accompanied the entire musical in the pit. Furthermore, the primaveras, one of the dance groups at RUHS, danced in the musical. To top it off, the amazing sets were painted by the cast and crew as well as some art students.

The musical itself is set at the turn of the century, circa 1890, in New York. The main character, Dolly Levi, played at RUHS by Meghan Elliott and Ceci Martinez, is portrayed as a woman who likes to meddle in other’s affairs. Throughout the entire musical, she goes to great lengths to arrange four different marriages, one of which is her own to local “half-a-millionaire“ Horace Vandergelder, played at RUHS by Sean Finn. The entire musical is carried out with humor as well as great music and entertainment. Hello, Dolly!” was a musical that hadn’t been performed in a long time in Arizona, so our production brought with it lots of excitement.

The two students playing Dolly, Meghan Elliott and Ceci Martinez were both very excited for the performance. When we asked them about some of their thoughts about the show, they answered happily, even stating that they were “utterly elated!”. Ceci stated that though the “experience was out” of her “comfort zone” and she was “psyching” herself “out over thinking”, the acting brought with it an element of surprise, which ultimately for her, was a great feeling. Ceci enjoyed the songs “It Only Takes a Moment” and “So Long, Dearie” as well as “Before the Parade Passes By”, which Meghan also liked.

Other leads also talked to us about their experience. Monica Kiilehua, who played Irene Molloy, the young owner of a hat shop who experiences second love with a man named Cornelius Hackl, was happy to share with us some of her thoughts. She liked that the play put together friends and acting, and told us that she had fun learning the choreography to the song “Dancing”, though in her opinion, it was very hard. Her favorite song was “Elegance”. Sean Finn, who played Horace Vandergelder, also enjoyed “Elegance”.

In addition to the leads, the ensemble also had things to say. Sydney Perry thought that the “plot is very complex” and that it’s a “cool love story”. She liked singing in the musical, especially in the song “Put On Your Sunday Clothes”. Kayla Chandler liked “meeting new people” and the fact that a “live orchestra” was present. However, Kayla did express that the last week of rehearsals was indeed a “terror week”, in her words, and she was “nervous for” her “grades”. Though she was nervous, she also was excited! Her favorite scene was “The Waiter’s Galop”.

Crew Member Dylan G. had fun building sets and working behind the scenes for the shows. “I got paint on my hands doing stuff” he stated, referencing the amazing sets that were painted. He also had fun carrying the pit cover downstairs and collecting hay from Will’s backyard for the sets in the show.

All in all, the show turned out spectacularly, and comment from all of the members showed that they enjoyed being in it very much.

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