The opening performance of Hello, Dolly! has been moved from the anticipated March 15 debut to Wednesday, March 20. Performances will continue March 21 to 24.
Senior Lana Richards, who plays the infamous Dolly Levi in the show, is optimistic about the delay, but still has her concerns.
“I think it’ll be fun to just have a whole week of doing shows!” Richards remarks. “But I am a little worried that we might get burnt out or sick.”
Faculty members from all over the arts department decided on the musical sometime during the last school year, and it has certainly proven to be different from any other show or musical done at CHS.
“It’s not similar to any show I’ve done,” director and drama teacher Michael Jacobs says. “Last year’s Charlie Brown was the first musical I had directed by myself, and in Grease, which we did with [Monterey Peninsula College], I learned a lot about how to organize a musical.”
Jacobs sums the experience up with a positive flair: “It’s been a good challenge.”
Members of the cast acknowledge the uniqueness, as well as the difficulty, of the show at hand.
“It’s very old-fashioned,” says sophomore Cameron Poletti, who plays Cornelius Hackl, one of the largest male roles in the play.
Even Jacobs notes that Hello, Dolly! is demanding, off-handedly referring to the piece as a “huge musical.”
“I call it a ‘huge musical’ because it’s a classic,” Jacobs explains. “Musicals written in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s were huge… They had these huge sets, carousels and huge casts, but we don’t have that size yet.”
But the potential difficulties are not limited to the script.
Jacobs notes that it was mildly difficult to field a cast with a less-than-desired number of people auditioning.
“The show usually features many experienced dancers, so we’ve had to adjust,” Jacobs says.
Dancing remains a recurring theme in the concerns of the cast, but actors assure that it has no potential of heeding the show’s progress.
“We’ve had some trouble with some of the people learning the dancing,” Poletti adds. “Some of the dancing, choreographed by Lana Richards, is very, very challenging, but it’s looking very, very good.”
The members of the cast who compose this “huge musical” are certainly a motley crew, with performance experience ranging from well-seasoned Carmel Repertory Acting Players—or drama kids who like to refer to themselves as C.R.A.P.—to students new to the acting world. Math teacher Anne-Marie Rosen even makes an appearance in the musical as Mrs. Rose.
Sophomore Mojo Cody, who has acted previously but not with the CHS drama department, will be playing Ermengarde, and she certainly seems enthused to be in the show.
“I’m just so excited!” Cody exclaims. “I had to put acting on hold for a while, but this show is just so amazing, I couldn’t help but audition.”
These feelings are not isolated to Cody, and there seems to be an overwhelming feeling of optimism among members of the cast.
“The dancing and singing is just… a lot of fun,” junior chorus member Alex Moreland says. “Everyone’s so positive, and we’re all singing and dancing and learning as a group. It’s just amazing!”
Jacobs concurs, stating that the “whole idea of the show is to have fun.
”Nevertheless, possible setbacks still loom in the backs of the minds of the cast, but none are so drastic as to threaten the readiness of the musical for performance.
“In three weeks, we’ll definitely be ready,” Poletti says.