Over Thanksgiving break, I was invited to watch a Mayfield production of Hello Dolly! by my best friend who was a part of the production. As some of you may know, the musical’s title character and protagonist, is a meddling matchmaker, much like a certain someone we’re reading about currently at the moment. As I watched the musical, similarities between Emma and Dolly struck me particularly. Both take pleasure in meddling and domineering others as matchmakers. However, since the musical is based off a farce written in the 30s, I feel as if Dolly’s meddling is far more exaggerated. Not only is she matchmaker, but she also partakes in other sidelines such as teaching mandolin and dance, and upholding a law practice, all of which are mentioned in a song appropriately named “I Put My Hand In.” Also unlike Emma, which seems to chastise Emma’s manipulations as self-serving, Hello Dolly! supports such behavior. (Spoiler alert! But this shouldn’t be much of a surprise at all.) Thanks to Dolly’s meddling, all of which is successful and further contrasts Emma’s unsuccessful matches, everyone finds true love and live happily ever. With this ending, Dolly comes off as more of a generous and kindhearted character.
As for the performance itself, I feel as if Westridge could have pulled off a better production, but that thought probably originates from my bias. On the other hand, the show did have lots of charm, particularly in the actors’ stage presence and lively spirits. My friend totally rocked it as Irene Molloy, a widowed hat shop owner and one of the many people who benefit from Dolly’s matchmaking services.
Additionally on another note, I even saw a few Westridge people there!