State High Thespians Presents “Hello, Dolly!”


Ryleigh Jones

Choreographer Kat Shondeck leads students in a line dance during rehearsal. Front left to right, Hadley M. Luka D., Sacha B. Anna R., Luke M., Audrey S., Madi C., Nate R., Issac V., Ben R., Sam W., JR T., Jason P., Adaunis S., Caroline P., Ethan W.

Eliana Kaufman, Staff writer

“Hello, Dolly!” (1964) is a golden age Broadway musical that takes place in New York in the late 19th century. It is set in Yonkers and Manhattan. Its leading lady is a matchmaker named Dolly Levi. While she is bringing couples together, Dolly Levi is also trying to seduce the stuffy half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder. From Mar. 30, 2023 to Apr. 2, 2023, State High Thespians performed the show.

Senior Avery Jones, current Thespians president, was excited about “Hello, Dolly!”, “There’s some amazing music, some amazing choreography and it’s quite a spectacle. It’s classic golden age broadway. Super big numbers, super fun songs, melodies, all that kind of stuff,” Jones said. “’Hello, Dolly!’ has been a really unique show so far in terms of set and the amount of people in it, the music and the choreography – it’s a lot bigger than a lot of the shows we’ve done in the past, just in the scope of it,” Jones said.

Jones also emphasized all of the hard work the cast and crew put into the musical. “Thanks especially to the leadership of Mr. Clayton who’s directing the show and all of the various members of the art department coming in,” Jones said. 

Senior Madeleine Christopher played Dolly Levi, the main character of the show. 

“It’s always fun to work with all the talented people that are in Thespians,” Christopher said, “We have such a fantastic cast this year, and that has been so rewarding and I’ve learned so much from everybody onstage.”

Eva Wilf, a junior, joined in the pit as a violist. This is her first year playing for Thespians. Wilf typically plays music from the classical, romantic, and modern eras, so playing in a musical has been a new experience for her.

“It’s a different balance of instruments, it’s a different type of music. Also, it’s more show tuney – there’s a lot of sharps, flats, it’s in cut time,” Wilf said. “It’s a different type of music that I’m not usually used to, which is hard to play. It’s a lot more bouncy, it’s got more of a jive.” 

Christopher prepared performance in numerous ways. “It has been really fun to dive into [the role of Dolly], however she talks a lot,” Christopher said, “Memorizing was definitely a feat, but I felt really proud of myself when I got it under my belt because it was a lot, and it was really a big challenge and I think diving into the character has been so much fun in a lot of ways. It’s been a blast.”