Thursday, March 12, 2015

North presents showcase 'Hello Dolly!'

119 students involved in 'good ol' classic' musical

Wednesday March 11, 2015 11:57 AM

The Westerville North High School Theatre and Music Departments will say "hello" to spring with the musical Hello, Dolly!

Junior Taylor Crumrine stars as Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi
in Westerville North's production of Hello, Dolly!
The show will be performed at 7 p.m. today through Saturday, March 12-14, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 15 in the auditorium of the school, 950 County Line Road.

Director Kimberly Mollohan said she chose Hello, Dolly! because North has not recently done a "good ol' classic" and for personal reasons.

"When I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me the song, Hello, Dolly! and so it has been a favorite of mine since childhood. I felt that this year we had a wealth of talent that could play any of the roles," she said.

Some of those roles were filled by students who might not have usually auditioned for a musical.

"We needed some men with athletic capabilities for the dance numbers and so I approached the football team (to see) if they would like to do a little bit of 'alternative conditioning.' Five of them agreed to join our happy team and we're very happy to have such a unique addition to our cast."

Between the cast, crew and orchestra, 119 students are involved in the production.
Hello Dolly at Westerville North

Rehearsing in the winter proved to be a challenge for the cast because snow days cut into rehearsal time and several students came down with the flu or strep throat.

"But, now we are back in full voice and we're ready to go. We want to pack the house on opening night," she said.

Hello, Dolly! is the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a middle-aged widow who also is a meddling matchmaker and life-loving woman.

Set at the turn of the 20th century in New York, the rousing musical follows Dolly's adventures as she arranges romantic matches for her clients and, most importantly, a match for herself.

The lead role, Dolly, is played by junior Taylor Crumrine. She said the show is a vocal challenge.

"We've been working in vocal classes multiple times a week. Our vocal coach really pushed us to be the best we could be," she said.

Crumrine said before this role, her biggest part in a musical was 20 lines split over two scenes.

"It's a bit nerve-racking being the lead," she said. "It helps knowing that the company that's around me is so supportive. We all push each other to be better."

Kevin C. Vestal, a senior, is playing Cornelius Hackl, chief store clerk for Horace Vandergelder.

Vestal said Put On Your Sunday Clothes is his favorite song in the musical because of how electric it is.

"We create a train out of human bodies and it's quite an impressive feat. It's also a very vocally powerful number because the entire cast is in it. You're going to hear a strong wall of sound," he said.

Vestal said he found the romance in his role bit challenging.

"I'm so used to being the goofball. But in this show, I have to be very tender. It's important to find a balance between the two."

Not only is the musical romantic, but it's also "hilarious," according to senior Dalton Reyburn, who plays Horace Vandergelder.

"It's like a romantic comedy where a lot of the humor comes from the situations everyone finds themselves in when they are around Dolly," he said.

Mollohan said the show has a little bit of everything and that it's an endearing story because in essence it's all about love.

"It is a perfect night of enjoyment. I hope that audience members hum a tune out the auditorium door, and when the dance numbers happen, they are tapping their toes. It's a feel-good musical about the human spirit and love."

Tickets are $10 and all seats are reserved. Tickets can be purchased online at westervillenorth.com or at the school during lunch periods (10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.) through Friday, March 13. For additional ticket information, e-mail Amy Birtcher at BirtcheA@westerville.k12.oh.us.