Hello, Dolly Delivers the Laughs

Shea GuntherMaher

As a neophyte to theatre-in-the-round, I’ve been eager to experience Music Circus in downtown Sacramento’s Wells Fargo Pavilion. As you may know, theatre-in-the-round describes a theater venue where audience seating surrounds a central, circular stage. There is no traditional “backstage” so the actors must enter and exit through the aisles and step out into the corridor for costume changes.

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This week I had my first Music Circus experience at the opening show of Hello, Dolly. Arriving a few minutes late, my mother and I stood in the corridor and witnessed the performers transition between scenes. It was so fascinating to observe the actors prepping by flashlight and crewmembers swiftly helping them dress – like seeing the inside of the honeycomb.

I was even more impressed by watching them perform, creatively rotating across the round stage to address all sections of the encompassing audience. In addition, the set designs were very creatively designed, using simple structures to imply setting changes without obstructing the audience’s view of the action. The transition between sets was so smoothly accomplished as the actors diverted your attention to scenes carried out in the aisle-ways. The story was in a constant state of motion, which kept things visually engaging and exciting.

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Although I hadn’t grown up with the story of Hello, Dolly, like my mother had, I found myself easily drawn into the storyline and laughing along with the slapstick comedy throughout. Plus, who doesn’t love a classic story of unexpected romance in the midst of elaborate matchmaking schemes? Hello, Dolly was a true delight and I’d highly recommend it for a musical treat over your holiday weekend!

Tickets are available at CaliforniaMusicalTheatre.com