Dolly Levi, the meddlesome matchmaker made famous by Carol Channing on stage and Barbra Streisand on film returns to the stage Feb. 3–6, when Scottsdale Musical Theater Company presents “Hello, Dolly!” at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, Arizona.
A musical adaption by Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart of Thornton Wilder’s “The Matchmaker,” “Hello, Dolly!” first opened at the St. James Theatre in 1964 and was made into a movie in 1969. That the play is still popular is quite evident: Bette Midler recently announced that she’ll be returning to Broadway in 2017 to play Dolly in a major revival.
The SMTC production will be directed by David Hock, with choreography by Bill Hotaling and musical direction by Curtis Moeller. The orchestra will be conducted by Kevin Hayward.
Playing Dolly is Brandi Bigley, new to SMTC. She has also appeared as Katie Holmes in “The Tomkat Project” at Stray Cat Theatre and Young Sally in “Follies” for Theater Works. Additional credits include Violet Newstead in “9 to 5” and Vi Moore in “Footloose” at the Hale Centre Theatre, Anita in “West Side Story” and Little Edie in “Grey Gardens” at the Tempe Little Theatre, and Evelyn Nesbit in “Ragtime” and Muriel Eubanks in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at the Mesa Encore Theatre.
Arizona native Alex Gonzalez takes the part of Horace Vandergelder, a wealthy widower and client of Dolly’s. Gonzalez, who recently played Emile de Becque in “South Pacific” at the Fountain Hills Theater, has appeared in many FHT productions, beginning in 1991 as Jacey Squire in “The Music Man.” He also appeared in “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Annie Get Your Gun” at the Palms Theatre.
A familiar face to SMTC audiences, Matt Newhard returns as Cornelious Hackl, Vandergelder’s chief clerk and a young man seeking adventure. Newhard has recently starred in three SMTC productions as Leo in “The Producers,” as Harold Hill in “The Music Man” and as the Emcee in “Cabaret.” Other credits include Tony Wendice in “Dial M for Murder” at Desert Stages Theatre and Max in “Lend Me a Tenor” for Desert Foothills Theater.
Michael Schauble, recently seen in SMTC’s “Sondheim on Sondheim,” is Barnaby Tucker, an assistant to Vandergelder. Additional cast members include the following: Lauren Koeritzer appears as Irene Molloy, a beautiful widow who owns a hat shop and seeks to remarry. Sarah Cassidy appears as Minnie Fay, a naïve young woman who works as Irene’s assistant. Karylin Veres plays Ermengarde, Vandergelder’s young niece. Addam Donada is Ambrose Kemper, a struggling young artist seeking to marry Ermengarde. Alexus Poulette plays Ernestina Money, a client of Dolly’s.
Joining the ensemble are Nicole Bond, Allyse Bridges, Ryan Clark, Yael Cohen, Hillary Conrad, Todd Corbeil, Matt Earnest, Maile Griego, Danica Heinkel, Devra Hock, Brenna Jackson, Shelby Jensen, Kelsey Metz, Ashley Nebeker, Beth Pargas, Ryan Parker, Thom Ratke, April Rideout, Katherine Rosinski, Chloe Rozalsky, Scott Snedden, Roy Thielen and Jessica Zink.
Tickets for “Hello, Dolly!” are available online or by calling 602-909-4215.