BEZALEL MANEKIN as Horace Vandergelder and Sandy Cash as Dolly in ‘Hello, Dolly!.’ (photo credit: BRIAN NEGIN)
BEZALEL MANEKIN as Horace Vandergelder and Sandy Cash as Dolly in ‘Hello, Dolly!.’ (photo credit: BRIAN NEGIN)
Musical production 'Hello, Dolly!' is coming to Jerusalem
 

Has personal matchmaking gone the way of the horse and buggy? Not if you ask Dolly Gallagher Levi, the meddling matchmaker at the center of Hello, Dolly! – the classic musical theater rom-com that opens January 4th at Jerusalem’s Gerard Behar Center (Beit Ha’am).

The production is being presented by Jerusalem’s Encore Educational Theatre Company.

“Dolly makes it her business to find love for everyone, including herself, and she does it in the most hilarious way possible,” said local actress and singer Sandy Cash, who will be taking on the role of Dolly. “Dolly is intent on becoming the second wife of a widower and half-a-millionaire from Yonkers. Even though Horace Vandergelder, played in our production by actor and comedian Bezalel Manekin, is famously hard as nails, against Dolly, he doesn’t stand a chance.”

Hello, Dolly! is based on Thornton Wilder’s 1954 play, The Matchmaker (itself a revision of his 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers). The show premiered on Broadway in 1964, with Carol Channing as Dolly and went on to become one of musical theater’s most enduring hits. Along with the Academy Award-winning film version starring Barbra Streisand, the show recently celebrated its fourth Broadway revival, with Bette Midler wearing Dolly’s iconic red dress.

Comedian Carol Channing poses at the 26th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, California January 3, 2015. (credit: REUTERS/DANNY MOLOSHOK)Comedian Carol Channing poses at the 26th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, California January 3, 2015. (credit: REUTERS/DANNY MOLOSHOK)

What is behind the musical's enduring appeal?

According to stage director Aviella Trapido, Dolly’s long-lasting appeal is based on the way it achieves a balance between three ingredients at the heart of the genre: script, song and spectacle. “The dialogue allows the audience to see how the characters grow, so the audience is literally cheering by the time the curtain falls,” she said. “And the score includes production numbers like ‘Put On Your Sunday Clothes’ and ‘Before the Parade Passes By’ that use dance and movement to create a love letter to New York at the turn of the 20th century.”

Music director Paul Salter, who prepared the cast during rehearsals, will be on hand to conduct the live orchestra during performances. Sharing staging credit with Trapido is the show’s choreographer, Batya Feder.

Encore founder and Hello, Dolly! producer Robert Binder can claim much of the credit for this theater company’s reputation for putting on visually beautiful shows. Trained in costuming at Yale Drama School, Binder makes sure that the look is both rich and right for the time period, building new costumes for the principal actors and strategizing the multiple costume changes needed for the 30-member ensemble. Set design by Roxanne Goodkin-Levy and lighting by Eli Kaplan-Wildmann round out the creative team behind the actors, singers and dancers on stage.

As the play’s character Irene Malloy (played by Rivital Singer) says to Dolly, “The world is full of wonderful things! Come along!”

Hello, Dolly! will have five performances, on January 4, 5, 11, 12 and 18th. For tickets, visit www.encore-etc.com/order-tickets or call 054-578-9006.



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