'Hello Dolly!' is a beautiful glimpse of the past

Courtesy photo The "Hello Dolly" cast performs at Longwood Gardens.

The Brandywiners were finally able to get their production of 'Hello Dolly!' on the boards on Saturday after a gully washer with showers of lightening strikes on Friday cancelled the show. The work got or fairly well as only about 200 people showed up for the performance. The Friday night tickets will be good for any performance where they have seating, and an extra performance was added for Monday, July30, with many of Friday's attendees saying 'I'll see you on Monday.' They will be in for a treat, as The Brandywiners have produced another delightful musical.

'Hello Dolly!' tells the story of brassy matchmaker Dolly Levi who is supposedly finding a mate for Horace Vandergelder but has decided to land him for herself. It is one of those feel good musicals that got its initial spin by the interpretation given it by comedienne Carol Channing of the gravel voice and off-beat regional accent. Sue Hornung as Dolly Gallagher Levi is a blend of Channing, Martha Raye and her own little charming quirks. She really knows how to sell a song, while the interchange between her and Dolly's soon-to-be husband Horace Vandergelder, as played with thunder and bad temper by Tom Hornung, Dolly's husband in real life, make them a formidable team.

Another impressive tear were the delightfully young hat shop assistant Meghan Hindmarch as Minnie Fay and Chris Trombetta as Barnaby Tucker, a hardware clerk in Vandergelder's Feed Store. Both of them are outstanding dancers and sing beautifully along with a winning light hearted air.Mrs. Irene Molloy, the bored proprietor of a hat shop was amusing as she ordered the most expensive items on the menu while dining with the flat broke clerk, Cornelius Hackl, played with naÏve earnestness by Alexander Bowditch. Other amusing performances were given by Jenny Torgerson as Vandergelder's niece, Ermengarde, who has loud non-stop weeping, Jeff Gorcyca as Ermengarde's frustrated suitor Ambrose Kemper and Alexandra Greene as the fake heiress Ernestina Money

Special kudos go to choreographer Jody Anderson, for her clever group dances one with the ladies and their parasols and another with the phalanx of waiters,stage director Cal Brackin for his fast paced movement of the huge cast, and music director Don Smith, who kept the pit orchestra at a fast clip without overwhelming the singers. The show will be given this coming weekend on Aug. 2 through 4 at Longwood Gardens. For tickets call 800-388-6965.For their 80th Anniversary show, The Brandywiners are golden.

Ticket deals As if it isn't enough to be attending The Brandywiner's production of 'Hello Dolly' at Longwood this weekend, there are some special deals for ticket holders to the musical. They are The Bistro on the Brandywine -$25 Fixed Price meal; Bite of Italy - $20 Fixed Price Dinner; Brandywine Prime - $25 Fixed Price Dinner; Chadds Ford Restaurant -15 percent off dinner; Kennett Square Inn – 15 percent off dinner; and Longwood Family Restaurant – 15 percent off dinner. Other offerings are La Verona – Champaign Toast; Portabello's –Free Tuscan Salad; Savana Bistro – Champagne Toast; and The Gables at Chadds Ford – Free Dessert. Let's go – they are all within 10 minutes of Longwood Gardens.

Museum The Brandywine River Museum has scheduled eight additional days for tours for 'The Art of Andrew Wyeth' as all previously scheduled dates have sold out. Conducted by docents, the tour includes a visit to Andrew's newly opened studio, a docent led tour featuring 'Three generations of Wyeth Art' in the Brandywine River Museum collections and lunch in the museum restaurant overlooking the Brandywine. Tours will be given every Tuesday through Nov. 13. Better hurry and sign up so you don't miss out.

The tour lasts from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and costs $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $20 for museum members. For reservations call 610-388-2700 or go online at www.brandywinemuseumshop.org. The museum also offers tours the Kuerner Farm which inspired nearly 1,000 works of art by Andrew Wyeth, as well as the N.C. Wyeth House and Studio.

Victoria For the third year in a row, Victoria Wyeth, granddaughter of Andrew Wyeth, is giving her best for art. Recently she was splattered with paint at the Center for the Creative Arts in Yorklyn to raise money for art scholarships for children. She joined fourth, fifth and sixth graders as they splatter painted works in the style of Jackson Pollock. Their creations done on wood boards will be used as table centerpieces for CCArts' annual fund-raiser on Sept. 29. As they used house paint, just imagine the cleanup needed!

Dance Media Theatre will host a dance marathon with performances by six Dance Academies on Thursday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. The schools on stage will be Academy of International Ballet/International Ballet Classique, Broadway Bound Dance Academy, MM2 Modern Dance Co., Touch of Class Dance Studio, Sangha Space, and Sun Mi Cho. For a good view of what dancers are studying, call 610-891-0100 for tickets and information.

Portobello's On Monday, Aug. 6, Chef Bret Hulbert of Portobello's Restaurant in Kennett will present his 'Taste of Kennett' menu at Celebrity Kitchens in Wilmington. It is a yummy sounding menu that features mushrooms,hummus, lasagna, an enticing salad and steak with mushroom kabobs. Does that not sound good? Call 302-427-2665 for reservations for a night out.

Park The free concerts held rain or shine on Wednesday nights at Anson B. Nixon Park are about to finish. The last one at 7 p.m. will be Aug. 8 with Cabinet, that weaves a pleasing medley of bluegrass, country and folk styles. Supper will be available from Portobello's Restaurant.

Myrick The free Thursday night concerts at the Myrick Center of the Brandywine Valley Association have two more to go. On Aug. 2, singer/songwriter Nancy Mucala and Kennett's own Calabrese Sisters will serenade with some of their original songs. Cripple Creek, a talented group of high school musicians from the Reading area will give their interpretation of Celtic classics. The concerts are at 7:30 p.m. It is recommended that you bring a lawn chair or a blanket.

Kennett Flash Swearingen & Kelli –The rich, soulful sound of veteran songwriter/singer A.J. Swearingen will blend with the silky vocals of Jayne Kelli as they perform emotive harmonies ranging from outlaw to romanticism. Aug. 3.

A Tribute to Jerry Garcia: the Michael Morrow Band – Jersey boy has perfected his singing style for two decades, appearing with all the top country/folk stars and headlining festivals and fairs. His tribute to Jerry Garcia has won universal acclaim. Aug. 4

Theatre N at Nemours 'Bill W.' – This is the acclaimed documentary about William G. Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, a man who was included in TIME Magazine's '100 Persons of the 20th Century.' This tells how Bill, a hopeless drunk near death from his alcoholism, found a way out from his own addiction and found a path for others to follow. Aug. 3 at 8 p.m., Aug. 4 at 5 p.m. and Aug 6 at 12:30 p.m.

'Peace, Love and Misunderstanding' –A New York lawyer takes her two teenagers to her mother's farm for a weekend that turns into a summer stay. Mixed reviews. Aug. 3 at 2 p.m., Aug. 4 at 2 and 8 p.m. and Aug. 5 at 7:15 p.m. and Aug. 6 at 7 p.m.

'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' - This Stephen Spielberg film starring Richard Dryfus has a normal family man go a little obsessed after seeing some traveling lights. He is drawn to a desert area where he is certain something special is about to happen, and it does. Aug. 7 at 8:45 p.m.

Greater Glory' –The true story of the Christeros War when the Mexicans, risking everything, rose up against an atheistic government. Actors include Eve Langoria and Peter O'Toole. Aug 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Ballet in Cinemas: 'La Bayadere' –Aug. 5 at2:30 p.m.

Caryl Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.

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