2009 - Hello Dolly!

Hello Dolly!
Witham Public Hall.
Witham Amateur Operatic Society.
October 26 to 31.

THIS show was a first for me and I loved it!
From the overture onwards, new musical director, Gerald Hindes, wielded a firm hand over his hard-working pit ensemble, with very pleasing results. His principle singers needed little more than a nod, so proficient were they, too.
Particularly tuneful was Rachel Clapp, who played Mrs Molloy. Her romantic duet, It Only Takes A Moment, with Matthew Lezc¬nar's appealing Cornelius, had the audience enthralled. Kim Anderson's portrayal of the title role embodied everything that is best in musical theatre. Through her charismatic presence, clear, well-phrased diction and charming body language, she was, rightly, the centre of attention through¬out.
Director Val Massey and choreographer Nikki Mundell¬-Poole delighted with their ambitious routines like Danc¬ing and Waiters' Gallop. Staging was slick, apart from a too-quick pedestal removal and the action moved at a fabulous pace.
Elsewhere, among the large cast, smooth-singing Nick Clough was curmudgeonly male lead, Horace, to the core. Clarke Edwards made a cheerful Barnaby and Liz Watson's voice and body made the very most of minor character Ernestina Money!
The hard-working Chorus took movement direction well. Some of them, however, need¬ed more singing strength, as was evident in the auditorium Parade.



NODA Report

Director Val Massey Musical Director Gerald Hines
Choreographer Nikki Mundell-Poole

It was good to see the very detailed information in the programme including a very explanatory synopsis and also other facts & figures relating to the history of famous female & male stars who over the years have played “Dolly” in either Broadway or West End productions.
Kim Anderson as Dolly in this production looked exactly right and was beautifully costumed - a very demanding role which Kim took in her stride with gusto.
Nick Clough as Horace Vandergelder was word perfect and gave an excellent character here. Both Kim & Nick’s dialogue & musical numbers were very strong.
Rachel Clapp as Mrs Molloy had a pleasant singing voice and again looked the part.
Matthew Lezcnar as Cornelius Hackl had a good range in his singing voice and Clarke Edwards as Barnaby Tucker excelled in his dancing numbers.
I felt the large chorus numbers were variable with at times not much volume coming through. The waiters gallop was fast and well performed.
The back cloths were very impressive and gave good effect, and the sets were colourful.
Costumes were excellent and looked immaculate.
There were a few overlaps with the stage still being set as the curtain went up which I am sure was sorted during the run.
I felt the company did well, with perhaps not such a big cast as I have seen here, and this show does demand a full on style most of the time.
A classic show which I am sure the audience appreciated.
Well done to Val,Nikki and Gerald for all their efforts.