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'Hello Dolly' at Hayfield

Cappies Review

A dance teacher, lawyer, grocer, matchmaker, etc. all in one person. Who is this incredible jack of all trades? Her name is Mrs. Dolly Levi and she can solve all the world’s problems. On May 13, Hayfield Secondary School presented the classic musical, "Hello Dolly," a story about a well-meaning professional meddler, matchmaking the world and stirring up trouble in 1890s New York.

Hayfield presented a strong ensemble performance filled with energy and enthusiasm. Kristen Garaffo as the title character was totally charming as she went about her interfering with a wry smile and a gleaming eye. Her lovely voice was an asset to the songs of the production. James Messenger as the cantankerous Yonkers' half-millionaire Horace Vandergelder was ideal. Everything about his performance characterized the part, from his gruff voice and skulking walk, to his perpetual leering and grumbling.

Among the supporting cast, Danny Yoergus stood out as Mr. Vandergelder’s 33-year-old head clerk. His sweetly awkward bumbling was both amusing and endearing. Molly Dickerson was thoroughly enjoyable as the shop girl Minnie Fay. Also notable was Robbie Mack as the lovable Barnaby Tucker, whose dearest wish is to see the city museum’s stuffed whale.

In the show’s title song, "Hello Dolly," the male ensemble had a chance to shine. Dressed as a troupe of waiters, they danced, sang and smiled to perfection. Dancer AJ Guevara was a standout throughout the number with his obvious dance training. He impressed the crowd with flying Russian leaps, numerous turns and even a full split. He was truly enjoyable to watch.

Another wonderful achievement of the show was the beautiful costumes designed by Megan Carey. It is clear that a lot of time and effort went into the creation of clothes that were both visually appealing and period-accurate. Soft colors and pastels on the chorus contrasted noticeably with Dolly’s bright, warm tones.

In a well-known show like "Hello Dolly," a fresh and successful rendition can be difficult. Hayfield rose to the challenge and produced a result to be proud of. With vitality and exuberance, they stayed true to the show’s old-time flair, while contributing their own talents to a production where a love of theater was always present.