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Hello Dolly

Hollis Resnik, Chicago's first lady of theatre,
as Dolly Levi in Amish Acres current
eight week production

Hello, Dolly!

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The South Bend Tribune

News Release
Theme buffet menu
Behind the Scenes
Dolly Doll Drive
Hello Dolly Photo Album

Visit other 1999 Season Productions

Batten down the hatches!
Dolly's back in town.

NAPPANEE, Indiana - Dolly Levi, perhaps the most famous woman in musical theatre history, is coming to Nappanee. Batten down the hatches! The world's most meddling matchmaker hasn't changed a bit. If there is a musical theatre actress hall of fame, it is Hello, Dolly! Nine actresses played Dolly on Broadway during its original record breaking run, including Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable and Pearl Bailey. That was before Phyllis Diller and Ethel Merman. Then came the movie with Barbra Striesand. Now Ms. Channing has long ago surpassed 4,000 performances and Yul Brenner's The King and I, even returning to Broadway in 1995 for a limited engagement that was extended into 1996. Where will it end? Like Shakespeare and Cinderella, it probably won't, and that's good for the next 1,000 years.

Amish Acres Round Barn Theatre will produce Hello, Dolly! on the Joseph Stein Stage July 7 through August 29, in the summer slot, reserved for the classics, that has already seen Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man and My Fair Lady.

Kisses for DollyPulitzer Prize winning author Thorton Wilder (Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth) wrote about as many versions of Hello, Dolly! as there have been different bigger-than-life Dolly Levi. The original story of a shrewd matchmaker who trickily claps onto her most eligible client for herself was a farce called A Day Well Spent, by John Oxenford, an Englishman, that was successfully produced in London in 1835. Austrian Johann Nestroy turned the English farce into a German-language version called Einen Jux Will Er Sich Machen (He Wants to Make a Joke.) Wilder wrote his first American version of the play in 1938, after being encouraged by another Austrian impresario touring America, entitled The Merchant of Yonkers, a theatrical bust. Undeterred, Wilder revised the play until it became The Matchmaker, and an instant success on Broadway in 1955, the same year the Round Barn Theatres marquee show, Joseph Stein's Plain and Fancy ran 461 performances. It is ironic that Stein has teamed with the musical team of John Kander and Fred Ebb to write a new musical based on Wilder's The Skin of Your Teeth, called Over and Over. The show opened in February of this year in Arlington, Virginia. Perhaps another Wilder play will yet see the lights of Broadway.

The cast of Hello, Dolly!But, as is often the case, the real story didn't start until a decade later when producer David Merrick teamed composer Jerry Herman, librettist Michael Stewart and director-choreographer Gower Champion to make a musical out of The Matchmaker. Hello, Dolly! became instant history, winning a record ten Tony Awards, a record that still stands, eclipsing My Fair Lady with 2,844 performances, not to be surpassed until Fiddler on the Roof. The reason the musical didn't win the Pulitzer Prize is simple; none were given that year.

The musical launched the careers of some of Broadway's most enduring talents. Tommy Tune; the towering dancer-turned-director/choreographer played Ambrose on film which costarred Michael Crawford, the original Phantom of Phantom of the Opera as Cornelius Hackl, a role originated on Broadway by Charles Nelson Reilly. Eileen Brennan, the stern Sergeant from Private Benjamin played the winsome Mrs. Molloy

David Burns, a vaudevillian made his musical debut as Horace Vandergelder.

One hundred to 200 eager fans lined up daily for many months at the box office. Incredible as it seems, the show was still running on Broadway when the movie starring Ms. Streisand opened in 1969. Hello, Dolly! was adopted by Lyndon Johnson as his campaign song with Ms. Channing singing the show's title song at the national convention, with an encore at the president's inauguration gala. "Like the Statue of Liberty and the Star-Spangled Banner, Hello, Dolly! is a national trust," declared Stanley Eichelbaum of the San Francisco Examiner.

The Hello, Dolly! theme buffet served on several Friday nights of the show's run assumes the imagined menu of the Harmonia Gardens on the night that Dolly Levi made her triumphant return down the red staircase, creating, with little dissent, the most magical scene in Broadway history. Delmonico steak heads the entrees, named New York's first restaurant that opened its doors in 1835. Tavern fare was all that was available until then.

The Turning of the Century Season has been designed to showcase some of Broadway's strongest female characters. Certainly among the most notable events of this closing century, along with two World Wars, space flight, telephone, automobiles, computerization and, now, the Internet, that Women's suffrage was not passed until 1923! The coming of Dolly Levi, Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun, and Tootie in Meet Me in St. Louis, the inner strength of American women is symbolized. Although northern Indiana and Midwest audiences see a nearly fairy tale in turn of the century New York City, the Yonkers of Horace Vandergelder "the well known half-millionaire," is more recognizable.

For the legendary role of Dolly Levi, Amish Acres has engaged "Chicago's Leading Lady" Hollis Resnik to star in Hello, Dolly! Ms. Resnik is that rare breed of performer that is equally comfortable with classical, dramatic, comedic and musical theatre roles. Her resume includes works as diverse as Shakespeare and Sondheim, Ibsen and Lloyd Webber, Chekov and Cole Porter. Ms. Resnik is the recipient of an unprecedented 7 Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Windy City's equivalent to the Tony, for acting. She spent two years on tour as Fantine in Les Miserables, performed at New York's famous Public Theatre as Amy in Wings and had a recurring role in ABC Television's Cupid as Linda, the restaurant owner. A frequent performer at Marriott's Lincolnshire Theatre and the world renowned Goodman Theatre, Hollis is a recent artist-in-residence at The Court Theatre Rep in Chicago, where she performed the role of Regina in The Little Foxes. Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis featured Ms. Resnik as Mary Todd in their production of Abe Lincoln in Illinois. A popular cabaret singer, Hollis can be heard on both Second City Diva's CD's and enjoyed long runs as Patsy in Always, Patsy Cline and Edith Piaf in Piaf which earned her the prestigious Sarah Siddons Leading Lady Award.

Round Barn Artistic Director Jerry O'Boyle will share the stage with Ms. Resnik in the role of Horace Vandergelder. O'Boyle and Resnik met during a production of Into the Woods at Marriott's Lincolnshire Theatre. "For several seasons now, we have been looking for the right project for Hollis," says O'Boyle. "She's easily the busiest actress in the Midwest and we're very fortunate that she will be coming to Nappanee. I'm confident that Hollis will be the quintessential Dolly. She has that rare ability to take a larger than life role and make it immediately accessible to an audience. She has all the best qualities of the most famous Dolly's; she can sing like Streisand and clown like Channing."

Rounding out the cast are Round Barn regulars Robert Geils, Margaret Eilertson, Brian Madrigal and Jessica Harrigan Texidor who also serves as Choreographer for the show. Scott Saegesser will provide the costumes and perform the featured role of Barnaby Tucker.

The show will be directed by David Callaghan, a newcomer to Amish Acres. David currently teaches at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois and brings diverse directorial experiences to the helm of the production. Also making his Round Barn debut is set designer Jonathon Sabo. Mr. Sabo's work will be familiar to Michiana theatregoers for his work as resident designer for Bethel College in Mishawaka.

Hello, Dolly!
Theme Buffet
Harmonia Gardens Restaurant
New York City, New York
Where Dolly Levi Belongs!

Minnie Faye's Fresh Fruit Compote

New England Clam Chowder

Waldorf Salad

Jewish Rye Bread

Delmonico Steak
from Manhattan's Oldest Restaurant,
founded in 1825, described as
not merely an ingestion, but an observance.
Shrimp and Garlic Pasta

American Fried Potatoes

Harvard Beets

Dolly Levi's Turn Your Life Upside Down Cake
Crème' Brulé
New York Style Cheese Cake

Champaign for everyone!

Bowls of "chocolate covered peanuts, unshelled,
that's the expensive kind," on each table.

Dolly Doll Drive a Success

"Hello, Dolly!", doll drive

Cousins Brandi and Carlie present the dolls they chose
for the
Hello, Dolly! Doll Drive to Summer and Angie

Through the production of Hello Dolly!, Amish Acres has found a creative way to help the community. Each person who purchases one adult ticket and presents a new doll at the box office will receive one adult ticket free. All of the dolls will be given to Family Christian Development Center in Nappanee. Family Christian Development Center is a non-profit organization that serves residents of the Wa-Nee Community Schools area. The mission of the Center "is to see lives transformed and the life of the community enhanced by encouraging the oppressed, defending the cause of the weak, and maintaining the rights of the poor by bringing together the resources of the caring community as a demonstration of the good news of Christ."

Each year the Center holds its annual "Christmas Jubilee" in December. During the Christmas Jubilee, parents from low-income homes are invited to the Center to pick out a toy for each of their children for Christmas, and gift-wrapping supplies are provided. Groups and individuals donate all the toys that are available for the parents to choose. Any toys that are left over are then given to local emergency services departments and day care center. Toys are also kept at the Center through out the year to help children whose belongings have been destroyed, such as fires and tornadoes.

Theatre goers who bring a new doll to Hello Dolly! can be sure that their gift will give a child will have many hours of needed enjoyment and fun. Family Christian Development Center, which opened its doors in 1996, is located at 151 S. Locke St., in Nappanee. Other services provided by the Center include referral to appropriate Elkhart County agencies, emergency assistance with food and rent, and a new program to help rehabilitate ten owner-occupied low-income homes in the communities of Nappanee and Wakarusa. The local Hansel Head Start classroom for four-year old children is located in the building. The Center is open daily, 9 am to noon, and 1 pm to 4 pm Amish Acres Round Barn Theatre in Nappanee is located on U.S. Highway 6, 1 mile west of S.R. 19. The box office is open daily 9-5 and till 8 pm Tuesday - Saturday. For more information call 1-800-800-4942. Two cousins in Nappanee, Brandi (far right) and Carlie (center) donated dolls they specially chose and have reported back that they loved the performance of Hello, Dolly! their grandmother took them to see. They presented the dolls to Angie and baby Summer of Amish Acres Marketing Department.

At this point 22 wonderful dolls have been collected that will make many girls happy this Christmas when their parents choose one at the Family Christian Development Center Christmas Jubilee.

Visit other 1999 Season Productions

A Grand Night for Singing
Annie Get Your Gun
Meet Me in St. Louis
Plain and Fancy

  2006 Round Barn Theatre Season
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2007 Musical Theatre Season

2007 Season

April 17 through June 3

Plain and Fancy 2007
Plain and Fancy
May 1 through October 27

Pump Boys and Dinettes
Pump Boys and Dinettes

June 12 through July 22
Thoroughly Modern Millie
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July 31 through
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