Theater review: HCTO brings matchmaker to life in ‘Hello, Dolly!’

Suzy Oliveira

Ashley Gardner Carlson (T/Th/S cast) plays Dolly Levi in HCTO’s newest musical, “Hello, Dolly!” The production runs through Nov. 19.

“HELLO, DOLLY!” through Nov. 18, Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem (801-226-8600 or haletheater.org); running time: 2 hours, 15 minutes (one intermission)

OREM — Dolly Levi is to the 1890s what Facebook is to 2017: the social medium of its day.

And, similar to your favorite Instagram account, there’s a lot to like about Hale Center Theater’s “Hello, Dolly!” that runs through Nov. 18.

Back when social introductions and matchmaking were a lot more complicated than stalking an online profile, Dolly was the woman to know. Arranging things — or flat-out meddling — was her specialty, whether it was in dates, dance lessons or furniture. The musical highlights the fast-talking, crazy-making, jack-of-all-trades who finds herself in a web of romances that need her impeccable touch.

Dolly starts off with a matchmaking assignment for Horace Vandergelder, Yonkers’ prestigious half-millionaire. Dolly’s lined him up with Irene Molloy, a New York City milliner and widow. But, for reasons only a matchmaker could skew, Dolly really intends the ornery Vandergelder for herself.

When Vandergelder heads to New York City for the day, his store employees, lovelorn Cornelius and penny-pinching Barnaby, decide to play while the cat’s away and have a well-deserved Big Apple adventure of their own. Through a twist of fate — which Dolly, of course, had a hand in — Cornelius instead falls for Irene Molloy and Barnaby for her assistant Minnie.

Actresses who step into the role of Dolly have big shoes to fill. With Carol…

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