Hello Dolly, like a favorite pair of well-worn jeans, or a comfort food, gives you the warm fuzzies and bring back great memories. Now playing at Beef and Boards, 9301 N. Michigan Road, it reminds me of all the musical classics I have enjoyed over the years, the fun, frivolity and, of course, singing and dancing.
When Dolly Levi, portrayed by Iris Lieberman, sets her sights, and matchmaking skills, on wealthy widower Horace Vandergelder, played by Mark Goetzinger, the hilarity ensues.
Lieberman and Goetzinger are well matched, especially during the fast-paced restaurant Harmonia, scenes. Their rapid-fire interaction, ripe with frustration on tight-fisted Vandergelder's part and full of doubletalk on Levi's side, are the best parts of the show.
Having included in the cast two of my favorite Indy actors, made this show even more enjoyable.
Goetzinger, A Christmas Carol, Treasure Island, is a solid, subtle, quiet talent showcasing his vocals impressively with It Takes a Woman, and So Long Dearie. I was impressed by Goetzinger the first time I caught him, at IRT, opposite another of my Indy favorites, Charles Goad in The Fantasticks. I make a point of seeing any show he is in, making him a "Destination Actor."
John Vessels, whom I have crowed about since I first encountered him in B&B's Smoke on the Mountain trilogy, is truly a treasure for the audience and the theater. Never out of character, Vessels gives every ounce of marvelous ability he can, and brought delicious energy to the various roles he portrayed, including Judge and waiters' captain, Rudolph. He is also a "Destination Actor."
What is that, you ask? It's a term I use to describe the actors that we, as theater and movie attendees, search for in a casting list. When we see they are in a particular show, we make a point of going to see it; they are our destination. We benefit from their performance and the actor directly influences positively to the show's bottom line. Everyone is a winner.
Beef and Boards is celebrating 30 successful years under the guidance of owner, Doug Stark. Hello Dolly proves Stark knows exactly what his audience wants.
You can now catch me weekly at 6:56 a.m. and 8:56 a.m. on 93 WIBC's Saturday Morning News Show, giving a quick Gotta Go list of things to do in the Indy area, including restaurants, events, theater and films.
If you have an event you would like reviewed, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Me, I'll be right here, remembering It Only Takes a Moment.
*Photos courtesy of Julie Curry Photography, www.juliecurryphotography.com
This post was originally published under "Gotta Go" in the West Side Community News in Indianapolis, and the West Indianapolis Community News.