Hello, Dolly!

Sally Struthers

Winner of 10 Tony Awards includ­ing Best Musical, Hello, Dolly! is one of the most enduring Broadway classics, and it comes to the Lutcher Theater for two shows on Wednes­day, March 26, and Thursday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $65-$35 and can be purchased at the Lutcher, online at lutcher.org or by phone at (409) 886-5535.

Emmy-award win­ner Sally Struthers stars as the strong-willed matchmaker Dolly as she travels to Yonkers, N.Y. to find a match for the ornery “well-known unmar­ried half-a-million­aire” Horace Van­dergelder. Featuring an irresistible story and an unforgettable score including the title song, “Put on Your Sunday Clothes,” “It Only Takes A Moment,” and the show-stopping “Before the Parade Passes By,” Hello, Dolly! has been charming audiences around the world for nearly 50 years.

It was first produced on Broad­way in 1964, Hello, Dolly! has become one of the most enduring musical theatre hits, enjoying three Broadway revivals and international success. It was also made into a 1969 film starring Barbra Streisand that was nominated for seven Academy Awards. The show’s album Hello, Dolly! An Original Cast Recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.

Texas native Paige Wheat is a member of the cast who says her grandfa­ther, who lives in Beaumont, purchased a front-row ticket when he found out his grand­daughter was going to be on the tour.

“This is my first time on tour — ever,” said Wheat. “I’ve done Holly, Dolly! before, just not on a tour. It’s an adventure like nothing else.”

“The more and more I do this show, the more I realize it’s a perfect musi­cal,” said Wheat. “It doesn’t need a lot of interpretation to make it a good show. It’s called Hello, Dolly!, so whoever your Dolly is kind of makes the show what it is, and Sally is phe­nomenal. She is a firecracker who makes sure that everyone is having a good time and takes it upon herself to make sure she has the audience in the palm of her hand. If you are a fan of hers, I think it’s neat in a different ele­ment. A lot of people don’t realize she has done theater. A lot people assume she’s done just television and film.”

Who is this Dolly character? She’s s widow in her middle years who has decided to begin her life again — a matchmaker, meddler, opportunist and life-loving woman. And Struthers is spot on.

Of course we all know Struthers as “Gloria” in the groundbreaking television sitcom, All in the Family, which then got a spinoff on CBS. Her last two television stints were Still Standing on CBS and the highly acclaimed Gilmore Girls on CW.

For Wheat, who grew up in Hous­ton then went to the University of Michigan, she gets to return home to Texas and perform. “Everybody else has had friends and family from all over the country coming, so I am really excited to have my people at the show,” said Wheat, who now lives in New York. “I know my grandfather has been very excited.”

For more information about the performance, view hellodollyontour. com.

The Luther Theater is at 707 Main Ave in Orange.

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