Pioneer Theatre Company will present the record-setting Broadway hit, Hello, Dolly! as the closing musical for the current season. Hello, Dolly!, based on the Thornton Wilder play The Matchmaker, went on to earn over ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score for authors Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman. The turn-of- the-century romance, bursting with music and energetic dance will run from May 13 through May 28, 2022.
“I’ve wanted to bring Hello, Dolly! to our stage ever since I arrived in Salt Lake City over ten years ago,” said PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg, who will direct and choreograph this production. “I’m excited to see this energetic and iconic musical come to life, especially with the outstanding cast we’ve assembled.”
Dolly Levi is a widow, matchmaker, and also a professional meddler who ‘arranges things.’ Everything changes when she decides that the next match she needs to make is to find someone for herself! Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Hello Dolly! is boisterous and charming from start to finish, featuring such memorable songs as “Before the Parade Passes By,” “It Only Takes a Moment,” “It Takes a Woman,” and-of course-the title number.
“Dolly Levi is one of the strongest and richest starring roles for a woman ever written for the musical theatre,” said Azenberg. “Our Dolly Levi will join the ranks of Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Pearl Bailey, Mary Martin, Barbra Streisand, and more recently, Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters.”
Paige Davis leads the cast as Dolly Levi, the widowed matchmaker who sets out to find a wife for the grumpy half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder, although it soon becomes clear that Dolly intends to marry Horace herself. Davis is a Broadway actress and Emmy-nominated television host who has a long career in theatre. Broadway highlights include Babette in the first national touring production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the title role in the national tour of Sweet Charity, and Gloria in the Tony Award®-winning hit comedy, Boeing! Boeing! Davis’ longest running association has been with Broadway’s Chicago, having played Roxie Hart in multiple turns on Broadway, and on the national and international tours. The popular host of TLC’s former home improvement show “Trading Spaces,” Davis is also well known to Utah audiences from ten years as the television spokesperson for R.C. WILLEY, the regional chain of furniture stores.
Kris Coleman plays Horace Vandergelder. Coleman is a graduate of Hampton University. His theater credits include the role of Hal Miller in Jersey Boys (Broadway and Las Vegas), Narrator in Passing Strange, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Dreamgirls, Sister Act, Once On This Island, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Television credits include: “Billions” (Showtime), “The Big House” (ABC).
Horaces’s two clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, are played by Alexander Mendoza and MICHAEL J. RIOS, respectively. Dolly refers the clerks to Irene and Molly when they decide to take a trip to New York and pretend to be rich. Mendoza was last seen in The Phantom of the Opera World Tour, where he understudied/performed the role of Raoul. Other credits include the First National Tour of Sister Act, the North American Tour of Mamma Mia!, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and more. This is his PTC debut. Rios’ credits include tours of Hello, Dolly!, Disney’s Newsies, Cats, and The Wizard of Oz. He was also in the Disney+ production of Disney’s Newsies: A Broadway Musical.
Kelly McCormick plays Irene Molloy, a widow who owns a hat shop in New York City, and who initially captured Horace’s heart. Her shop assistant, Minnie Fay, is played by Dori Waymer. McCormick returns to PTC, where she appeared as Fantine in both productions of Les Misérables (2007, 2013). Her Broadway credits include Carousel and Broadway National Tours include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Les Misérables, and The Sound of Music. Waymer’s regional credits include A Wonderful World (World Premiere), Cinderella, A Grand Night for Singing, Hello, Dolly!, All Shook Up, Avenue Q, Godspell, and The Little Mermaid.
Playing Horace’s weepy niece Ermengarde is HANNAH BALAGOT. MYLES WOOLSTENHUME plays Ambrose Kemper, the young artist who wants to marry Ermengarde but to whom Horace objects because Ambrose’s vocation does not guarantee a steady living. This is Balagot’s PTC debut, while past performance credits include West Side Story (International Tour, Barrington Stage, North Shore Music Theater), Dr. Seuss: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Grand Ole Opry), and Anything Goes (Moonlight Stage). Woolstenhulme was seen on the PTC stage in both Mamma Mia! and Newsies, and danced professionally with SALT Contemporary Dance Company for five years.
Ensemble Equity members include Lucy Anders, Kyle Caress, Lenny Daniel, ANDY FRANK, Akina Kitazawa, Mandy McDonell, and ALEX Joseph Stewart.
The rest of the cast includes KELSIE ENGEN, ELIZABETH FALK, REBA JOHNSON, SERENA KOZUSKO, Evan Latta, NIKI RAHIMI, MAKENA REYNOLDS, Peter Surace, PRESTON TAYLOR, AATHAVEN THARMARAJAH, CADEN TUDOR, and FYNN WHITE.
For this production, the part of the Judge in Hello, Dolly! will be played by a rotating cast of Utah celebrities: look for Salt Lake County Health Department’s DR. ANGELA DUNN; BEN WINSLOW from Fox 13 News; Provost and SVP of the University of Utah DR. MARTELL TEASLEY; Principal Broker at Urban Utah Homes & Estates BABS DELAY; and Utah State Senator LUZ ESCAMILLA to all demonstrate their talents on stage alongside our professional cast.
AZENBERG directs and choreographs this production. In addition to being PTC’s Artistic Director for the last ten years, Azenberg has directed PTC productions of Alabama Story, “i,” Sting’s The Last Ship, Les Misérables, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Newsies, Sweet Charity, The Play That Goes Wrong, this season’s Something Rotten!, and more. Azenberg is joined by frequent PTC contributor Lenny Daniel as Associate Choreographer. Daniel was in the Broadway cast of Cats, and has appeared in multiple PTC productions such as Sting’s The Last Ship, A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Sweet Charity, and this season’s Something Rotten!.
Musical Director Phil Reno returns to PTC after leading music in PTC’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Will Rogers Follies, Chess, and Sweet Charity. On Broadway, Reno was musical director for Something Rotten!, Elf the Musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers, and more.
Scenic Designer James Noone returns to PTC after designing 2019’s Cagney. Broadway: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Jekyll and Hyde, Class Act, The Persians, and more. He has designed national tours and at leading regional theatres across the country. Other PTC productions include The Last Ship, Grease, Much Ado About Nothing and more. TV: Designed “The Tale of Sweeney Todd,” “Candide,” “Passion,” “Camelot,” along with “Company,” and “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” for HBO.
Costume Designer Eduardo Sicangco designs for this production. He is a stage designer and illustrator for Broadway, opera, and film. His work is widely recognized and has been included in the Lynn Pecktal book Costume Design: Techniques of Modern Masters. SICANGCO was a student of National Artist Salvador Bernal at the Ateneo de Manila University. He later became Bernal’s protégé at the Cultural Center of the Philippines where Sicangco designed Le Carnaval for Ballet Philippines. He has an MFA in stage design from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Sicangco was a Master Teacher of Design at NYU until 2004 and has thirty-two years of scenographic work in American theaters and various international design.
Lighting design is by Cat Tate Starmer. Starmer is making her debut at PTC. Recent designs include Steel Magnolias at the Guthrie Theater; 1984 and Murder on the Orient Express at Alley Theater; Hurricane Diane at The Old Globe; and off-Broadway’s Georgia Mertching is Dead at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Cat is a professor at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross of the Arts.
Sound Designer AARON HUBBARD and Hair and Make-up Designer SAMANTHA WOOTTEN, who are both resident to PTC also design for this production.
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