Hello, Dolly! Evergreen show is back on stage

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Matrimony, music and meddling all meld in Hello Dolly, the spring production from the Kings Langley Light Opera Company which begins its run tomorrow, Tuesday.

There will be performances at the Kings Langley Community Centre in the Nap daily until Saturday, with weekday performances beginning at 7.45pm and two shows on Saturday scheduled for 2.30pm and 7,30pm.

Although it’s hailed as one of the classic Broadway blockbusters of the 1960s, the origins of the Hello Dolly storyline are much older.

The story of a meddling matchmaker and her schemes to engineer marriages, including her own, dates back to the first half of the 19th century.

There were two recorded stage versions before American author Thornton Wilder picked it up in the 1930s. His first attempt was a flop, but when he gave it a facelift and returned in the 1950s with The Matchmaker audiences were much kinder.

It wasn’t long before Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart developed it into an award-winning musical which also became a big cinema hit in 1969.

The central role of Dolly Levi was originally written for Ethel Merman, and although she eventually made her mark on the show the first star was Carol Channing.

Among others to set their seal on a show which includes toe tapping songs like Put on Your Sunday Clothes, Before the Parade Passes By, It Only Takes a Moment and the classic Hello Dolly was female impersonator Danne La Rue.

Gilli Morris-Monk has taken directing and choreography duties for the Kings Langley show, with Clive Swan as musical director.

Tickets are priced from £10 to £14 with concessions for pensioners and students and half price admission price for children under 16..

Call 01442 268839 for box office details or visit the society’s website at www.klloc.co.uk.