North Central College - Naperville, IL

Community actors star in “Hello, Dolly!”

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Molly Durava as Ermengarde, Alyssa Digges as Dolly, Ian Emerson as Ambrose
Molly Durava as Ermengarde, Alyssa Digges as Dolly, Ian Emerson as Ambrose

North Central College presents the Tony Award-winning musical comedy “Hello, Dolly!’’ as its final Summer Music Theatre production of the season. Actors from the community will sing, dance and bring to life the classic music and irresistible story of the meddling matchmaker Dolly Levi.

Six performances will be staged at 7:30 p.m. July 29-30 and Aug. 5-6 and at 2 p.m. July 31 and Aug. 7 in North Central’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $15/adults and $10/students and senior citizens; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

The family-friendly show is directed by Susan Craig-Olsen, North Central lecturer of theatre, with musical direction by composer Jonathon Lynch.

Based on the play “The Matchmaker” by Thornton Wilder with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, “Hello Dolly!” tells the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, who has been hired to arrange a marriage for the widowed half-millionaire Horace Vandergelder. Dolly, however, has other plans. Also recently widowed, she comes to the conclusion that Horace and his fortune will make her the perfect mate. So when Dolly arrives in Yonkers, N.Y., she immediately begins to plant seeds of doubt in Vandergelder’s mind about the pretty young widow she has picked out for him, while also arranging matches among others in this delightful story.  

Director Craig-Olsen invites music and theater lovers to “come see this fast-paced, funny, feel-good show that celebrates love and life with sweet-spirited energy. Exuberant dancing, lavish costumes and classic songs make this production a must-see!”

“Hello, Dolly!” was first produced on Broadway in 1964, ran for nearly 3,000 performances and garnered 10 Tony Awards that same year. Among its classic musical numbers are “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Ribbons Down My Back,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “It Only Takes A Moment,” “So Long, Dearie” and, of course, “Hello, Dolly!”

The cast for “Hello, Dolly!” includes (part: name, hometown):
An additional 43 actors will perform as dancers, townspeople and waiters.
Dolly Levi: Alyssa Digges of Urbana, Ill.
Horace Vandergelder: Ken Kaden of Naperville
Cornelius Hackl: Dave Laib of Joliet
Barnaby Tucker: Brett Bush of Clarendon Hills
Ambrose Kemper: Ian Emerson of Naperville
Mrs. Irene Molloy: Erin Christine Walsh of Downers Grove
Minnie Fayand: Sara Geist of Naperville
Ermengarde: Molly Durava of Naperville
Ernestina Money: Heidi Buyck of Woodridge
Rudolph: Jared Grebner of Washington, Ill.
Mrs. Rose: Eunice Ayodele of Aurora
The Judge: Tom Paulsen of Wheaton
Stanley: Mark Yacullo of Naperville

The North Central College Spring and Summer Music Theatre shows have long been a chance for families to perform together. This summer’s shows continue that tradition and are among the many ongoing programs hosted at North Central College to enrich and broaden the academic and cultural outlook for the College and community. For a comprehensive schedule of North Central's new 2011-2012 fine and performing arts season, art exhibits, lectures and other musical and theatrical productions, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).