Hello, Dolly! hits the stage at MHS

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Hello, Dolly! hits the stage at MHS

Allie Giordano

Allie Giordano

Allie Giordano

Left to right: Barneby Tucker (Andrew Dacunto), Minnie Fay (Becky Ditzel), Cornelius Hackl (Nick D'Agosta), and Dolly Levi (Marissa Accordino)

Joe Zappa, Assistant Editor-In-Chief

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Every year, the high school musical draws a full crowd to the Baldwin Auditorium for two nights to witness an impressive display of musical talent, choreography, and artistry, and this year was no different.

Hello, Dolly! began with a bang, as the introductory songs “Call on Dolly” and “I Put My Hand In” introduced the crowd to the flamboyant personality of Dolly Levi, played with precision by senior Marissa Accordino. The lead female’s affected voice lent authenticity to the acting, and her singing commanded the attention Dolly deserves.

“I was shocked when I saw the cast list but really excited at the same time I knew I had a lot of rehearsal coming up, but I think it turned out really well,” Accordino said. “To prepare for the role I had a lot of memorizing to do, a lot of vocal training and a lot of practice. I spent countless hours rehearsing and dancing and making the role the best it could be. It was an amazing experience and was the most amazing part to play.”

Of course, Dolly’s attention-grabbing performances were greatly enhanced by the sensational sounds of the pit orchestra. In the opening scene, the student instrumentalists in the pit set the pace and tone for the play, performing a fast-paced and pleasant score to perfection. The dedication of these highly talented musicians raises the bar for Massapequa musicals, as not all districts are fortunate enough to have a group of students so talented and so passionate about music.

Another facet of the show that cannot be overlooked was the wardrobe. The mood of 1890s New York City was exemplified by the vibrant colors flaunted by the ensemble, as well as the various dresses worn by Accordino and fellow senior Alexa Arent, who played the thrill-seeking Irene Molloy.

Ms. Molloy is a beautiful widow seeking the heart of a wealthy man so that she can quit working at her famous hat shop in New York City. Arent’s voice was showcased in the classic ballad “Ribbons Down My Back,” in which Molloy sings of her willingness to attract a man through her lavish attire. 

“It was an absolutely amazing experience playing Irene Molloy,” Arent said. “She is such a fun and interesting character and it really allowed me to challenge myself to make it real. I’m glad I got to go out with a bang playing such a great role for my last performance at MHS, but it was also very sad. I am blessed to have been given such amazing opportunities on the MHS stage and it truly was a sad moment last night realizing it was my last. I want to thank everyone for making my MHS career such an amazing one.”

Senior Raymond Atkin played the role of the male lead, Horace Vandergelder. Vandergelder is an extremely wealthy businessman who wants a woman to complete his life and spruce up his home the way only a woman can, as he describes in the song “It Takes a Woman.” In the beginning of the show he seeks the hand of Ms. Molloy, for she is both beautiful and successful in her own right. 

The entertainment value of the production was greatly elevated by the comedic performances of seniors Sara Dramer (Ermengarde) and Andrew Dacunto (Barnaby Tucker). Dramer’s character is Vandergelder’s young niece who “just wants to get married” to Ambrose Kemper, played by senior David Sherlock. She let out a signature wail almost every time she stepped out on stage, and it never failed to score a positive response from the audience. Dacunto’s character is constantly afraid of the repercussions of his adventure in New York City, which often resulted in a high-pitched squeal equally effective in drawing laughter from the crowd.

After a series of crazy events created by the manipulative Dolly (who has had her eye on Vandergelder from the start) that culminate in the entire cast getting caught up in court, it is Vandergelder’s store clerk, Cornelius Hackl, played by junior Nick D’Agosta, who gets Molloy’s hand, and Vandergelder ends up engaged to Dolly. The end is satisfying for everyone, since the dreamer Cornelius gets the girl and his chance to start his own business, and Dolly gets what she wants as well when Vandergelder comes to the realization that she is the only woman for him.

Overall, Hello, Dolly! was a roaring success. It took comedic timing, musical talent, and dedication to create an effective show, and the Dolly cast, crew, and pit provided an excess of all three. The result was another memorable musical at MHS, and like the personality of its star, Hello, Dolly! will not soon be forgotten.

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