NEW ULM - "Hello, Dolly!" is a lively musical sprinkled with comedy that tells the story of a well-known widowed matchmaker named Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi.
Dolly makes an effort to marry a man named Horace Vandergelder, who is a successful miser in the hay and feed business. She wants to circulate his money among the people just like her late husband, Ephraim Levi taught her how to do. She does do some love match-making for others along the way, but does Dolly ever get her man?
People will just have to watch the play as it is performed by a cast of ninth through 12th grade students of New Ulm High School. The show will be performed at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21 at the DAC auditorium.
Waiters pose on the staircase.
Elegance in front of Harmonia Gardens.
Scene in the hat shop.
Dolly played by Olivia Blake.
The cast in a New York scene.
The show is led by Gary Maki, Shannon Stuckey and Gary Sassenberg, who are all co-directors of the show.
Sassenberg manages the choreography of the play. Stuckey is in charge of the staging, drama and musical accompanying aspects of the show. Maki coordinates all of the elements of the show and organizes the people who work on the show.
This musical play was chosen after looking at the students who may have been interested in being in the show, said Maki.
If You Go...
What: "Hello, Dolly!" musical play by students of New Ulm High School
When: Performances at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21
Where: DAC auditorium
Tickets cost $8 for students high school ages and younger and $10 for adults. People can buy their tickets at CashWise Foods and Hy-Vee in New Ulm. Doors open about one hour before the show begins.
"We looked at what the show offered as far as parts and as far as chorus numbers ... it's audience appeal ..." said Maki.
All in all, there are 75 students who are involved in the "Hello, Dolly!" cast.
The lead character of the show, Olivia Blake, 17, who plays the part "Dolly" was recently involved in a car accident that occurred on Saturday evening, Nov. 6.
She was traveling with her parents Chris and Sue Blake on Highway 68 when an oncoming Ford Taurus struck a deer directly in front of them. The deer went airborne and flew onto the hood of their vehicle.
The deer continued through the windshield and T-boned Chris in the face, proceeded to hit Sue in the passenger seat scratching her face and bruising her shoulder, then hit Olivia in the face who was sitting behind her mother in the back seat. The deer had enough momentum to go through the back window of their car.
Chris had broken bones in his sinus cavity, damage to both eye sockets, a broken nose and upper jaw bone. He will need a couple of surguries to realign the bones in his face.
Olivia reportedly had a broken nose, fractured cheek, swollen face and sprained ankle. She has a couple of weeks to recover before the show.
"She is so far indicating that she will be back," said Maki. "We are hopeful, but concerned. We do not have an understudy. She is planning on being at rehearsal on Thursday (Nov. 11)."
"We'd like to wish Olivia Blake a speedy recovery," said Kelsey Neigebauer, a student from Courtland who plays Minnie Fay in the show. "We know she'll pull through and have a great performance."
Rehearsals for the show have been held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and then also most Saturdays each week, said Stuckey. The orchestra meets on Sundays.
"The kids put in a lot of hours," said Stuckey, "Their rehearsals are two to three hours long (during the week) and then the Saturdays have been all day. Then they meet before school ... some of them ... but then, it's a big musical and there's lots of big numbers."
Some of the big musical numbers the cast has been working on include: "Hello, Dolly!," "Before the Parade Passes By," "Put on Your Sunday Clothes," and "Ribbons Down My Back."
"It's been a lot of work. We've been putting in a lot of hours, but it's really starting to come together and we're seeing how well we're doing and it will be a really good show," said Silas Sellnow, of New Ulm. He plays the part of Cornelius in the show.
The show also has "lots of dancing," Maki and Stuckey both said.
"Gary Sassenberg has done a great job ... about theater about what that means ... the arts," said Stuckey. "He's very respectful to the kids. He's just done a super job."
"It's a lot of fun. We've learned a lot of different things and we've learned a lot of new stuff from Gary Sassenberg. I'm really excited to see it all pull together," said Neigebauer.
The kids in this show have been very good to work with, said Maki and Stuckey.
"They have really positive attitudes, very respectful," said Stuckey. "It's a lot of work and they've really been great to work with."
Maki said many of the students are very busy with doing many other things besides rehearsing for this show.
He added that without the parents helping out with the production, they really could not do this show.
"It's been pretty crazy. It's been pretty time consuming, but pretty sweet," said Zack Jensen, a student from New Ulm who plays the part of Horace Van
dergelder in this show.
The character of Irene Molloy played by Anna Hildebrandt, who is also a student from New Ulm said, "It's definitely time consuming and takes a lot of dedication. You know the cast really wants to be there ... and that makes it all the better."
The musical calls for three different sets that roll on to the stage - one is a full New York City backdrop.
The set designer for the show is Lynn Heuchert. Set construction has been done by Kevin Maudal.
"Lynn does a great job with detail," said Stuckey.
The costume designer is Val Besser and Jerilyn Kjellberg is in charge of props for the play.
"I've never really done a show that I didn't like and this is another show I'm proud to be a part of," said New Ulm student Zach Holmquist who plays Barnaby Tucker in the musical, "All of the time and energy spent on this show has been very productive and I can't wait to see it performed."
Holmquist added that a special "thank you" goes out to their musical directors Mr. Maki, Mrs. Stuckey and Mr. Sassenberg for doing a terrific job. He also says "thanks" to the whole cast for keeping a positive attitude and making "Hello, Dolly!" a fun show.