Goodbye Dolly


Emily Ishler

The cast preforming the scene “Sunday Clothes” during the show.

Becky Mignot, Staff Writer

Members of the “Hello Dolly” cast behind the scenes. Photo courtesy of Audrey Shaner.
Members of the orchestral pit posing for a picture. Photo courtesy of Emily Ishler.

Mar. 30, 2023 marked the opening night of the Thespians spring musical “Hello Dolly”. This became the second musical directed by State High’s Erik Clayton after the retirement of Jill Campbell. The musical comedy is set in 1890’s New York City, as it follows Dolly Levi (Madeleine Christopher), match maker extraordinaire as she meddles in the love lives of many.

Throughout the musical, Dolly’s latest clients are introduced. Well known half-a-million Horace Vandergelder (Al Eburne) of Yonkers New York being one of them. He goes to Dolly in hopes of her being able to find him a wife. At the same time, a young artist named Ambrose Kemper (Spencer Hardyk) is also seeking out Dolly’s help.

Ambrosse is in love with Horace’s niece, Ermengarde (Genavieve Clayton), but Horace just won’t approve. Dolly’s scheme quickly grows bigger involving Ireene Malloy (Mariele Wassom), a New York hat maker and Horaces employees Cornelius Hackl (Luca Snyder) and Barnaby Tucker (Avery Jones).

The grand sets and costumes magnify the bold and captivating life of Dolly Levi as she assists her newest clients on their path to love while covering up her own plans for love.

The day before opening night, State High classes had a short homeroom to preview the show. Underclassmen saw it streamed, while seniors got to see a live preview in the auditorium. The cast performed three scenes from the show, including “I Put My Hand In, It Takes a Women”, and “Sunday Clothes”. The fantastic performance by the crew encouraged many people to show up the following night.

Sophomore Audrey Shaner who is a dance captain, choreographer, and part of the crew, shared her excitement after opening night. “Opening night was exciting and sad because I stayed after school and was the first one there. I was playing music and getting ready and there were people coming in one at a time and everyone’s dancing and singing. It’s just so fun,” Shaner said, “Obviously there [are] so many nerves. It’s very different to hear people make the jokes and the audience is laughing – it’s a different thing. I could not stop crying because I was like oh my gosh it’s my choreography in the show.” 

The enthusiasm didn’t stop there. Before opening night, Senior Avery Jones described the show.

“It’s just big and very fun, it’s just quite fantastic. I’m really excited for dancing. Thespians, ever since I’ve been in it, has never had so much choreography going on,” Jones said. 

The play was also accompanied by a pit orchestra playing live music during each scene. Senior Jackson Milinovich described the pit experience. “You get to be a part of the performance and putting on a show for people which is great, but you don’t get to watch the show which is kind of a bummer because you want to see the actual show and all the work you put in,” Milinovich said.

Many numbers and scenes were performed throughout the show but some stood out more to cast members. 

“I love sunday clothes that’s my favorite or when Madi [Madeleine] sings or when Genavieve is on stage because she is my best friend,” Shaner said.  

The support from the cast and crew for each other was as heartwarming as the performance. Their hard work and incredible effort was seen, appreciated and met with standing ovations each night. 

Although the graduating seniors will not be a part of future shows there is still excitement for what performances the thespians have in store for next year and the years to come.