Back to the Article|
by BWW News Desk
The Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre continues its 49th season with Jerry Herman’s sensational musical Hello, Dolly!, running July 8th through July 18th. Based on Thornton Wilders’ play, The Matchmaker, Hello, Dolly! won an impressive 10 Tony Awards in 1964 .
The coveted role of Dolly Gallagher Levi was greatly expanded for the musical version from the original play, The Matchmaker. The list of Broadway’s leading ladies to play this powerful role include: Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Pearl Bailey, Ginger Rogers, and Betty Grable. Barbara Streisand took over the lead for the 1969 film version directed by Gene Kelly, with a supporting cast that included the great Louis Armstrong, as well as future stars Tommy Tune and Michael Crawford.
Making her Lyceum debut as meddling widower Dolly Gallagher Levi is Jo Ann Cunningham. Ms. Cunningham’s impressive resumé includes the Broadway production of Anna Karenina and the role of Mrs. Anna in Broadway’s The King and I opposite the legendary Yul Brynner. Her Off-Broadway credits include The Show Must Go On with Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt as well as The Swan Song and Ladies of the Corridor. Her many National Tour credits include Into The Woods, Meet Me In St. Louis, with Debbie Boone and Carousel opposite both John Raitt and Robert Goulet.
“Along with her impressive credentials, Jo Ann possesses a certain star quality that makes her absolutely perfect for this role” says Artistic Director Quin Gresham. “We feel so honored to have her here.”
Playing the pivotal role of Horace Vandergelder, the well-known unmarried, half-a-millionaire is Ron Wisniski in his Lyceum debut. Ron’s National touring credits include Beauty and the Beast, FDR in two tours of Annie and TinTypes. Off-Broadway Ron has performed in George Abbott’s Frankie, A Most Secret War, and Ibsen’s Pillars Of Society. His other credits number more than 100 plays and musicals in theatres nationwide.
Gresham observes that “Ron Wisniski is one of the funniest actors I have ever seen on stage. His comedic timing is second to none.”
Another notable actor appearing on the Lyceum stage for the first time is Matt Gibson. Matt was recently seen on Broadway in the Tony Award winning production of Gypsy starring Patti LuPone. Along with his Broadway credentials Matt has been seen regionally in Miss Saigon, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular and West Side Story.
“With memorable songs such as “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “It Only Takes A Moment” and of course “Hello, Dolly!”, the brilliant score by the amazing Jerry Herman was the most requested show in last year’s audience survey and they won’t be disappointed with this production!” says Steve Bertani, Managing Director.
“Hello, Dolly! is a delightfully funny musical about finding love for the first and last time,” says Director of Marketing Jackie Buckley. “The whirlwind of adventures contained in Dolly are what makes this show one of our most beloved musicals.”
The cast features Jonathan Cable as Ambrose Kemper, Pearl Thomas as Ermengarde, Clark Ausloos as Barnaby Tucker, Sharon Malane as Minnie Fay, Ashlee LaPine as Mrs. Irene Molloy, Cary Mock playing Rudolph/Judge, Anne Marie Bills as Ernestina, along with the talented ensemble of J.P. Qualters, Stephen Petrovich, Ricardo Rique-Sanchez, Darrell T. Joe, Mason McCloud, Leo Sheridan, Galen Crawley, Liz Ali, Michael Brennan, Robin Beach Steinhaus and Debbie Krischman Davis. The Hello, Dolly! production team is made up of Peter Reynolds - Director, Sarah Case – Choreographer, James R. Woodland – Musical Director, Andrew Hull – Scenic Designer, Randy B. Winder – Lighting Designer, Garth Dunbar – Costume Designer. The Production Stage Manager is Tony Dearing. Assistant Stage Manager is Emilee Buchheit.
For tickets call 660-837-3311 or visit www.lyceumtheatre.org.