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Family affair for theatre company

PUBLISHED: 19:11 13 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:32 03 March 2010

AWARD-winning Stage Door Theatre Company's production of Hello Dolly will be a real family affair.

The young and talented cast get on really well with each other – which is not surprising as a number of them are related!

Among those with family connections taking part in Hello Dolly, which opens at Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion on March 20 for a four-night run, are husband and wife Ian and Anita Lord, and Anita's brother David Hastings.

AWARD-winning Stage Door Theatre Company's production of Hello Dolly will be a real family affair.

The young and talented cast get on really well with each other – which is not surprising as a number of them are related!

Among those with family connections taking part in Hello Dolly, which opens at Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion on March 20 for a four-night run, are husband and wife Ian and Anita Lord, and Anita's brother David Hastings.

Then there's brother and sister Chris and Alison Sparrow, mother and son Peggy and Jeremy Moore, and Peggy's sister Jackie Mehan.

"The company is like a big family anyway – and we all work really well together," said Ian, who also acts as publicity officer for the group.

Hello Dolly! is one of the best-loved Broadway musicals and is Stage Door's first production of this year and promises to be a stunning show.

Sponsored by The Evening Star, the comedy musical bustles with life and brilliant songs as it tells the story of matchmaker Dolly Levi who has been hired to arrange a marriage for the widowed half-millionaire Horace Vandergelder.

But Dolly has other plans. She has herself been recently widowed and come to the conclusion that Horace and his fortune will make her the perfect mate.

The ensuing story – music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Michael Stewart – is a delightful mix of comedy and song as Dolly's meddling in the matchmaking leads to mis-matches, while two of Vandergelder's employees, Cornelius and Barnaby, add to the partner-swopping confusion.

Like most musicals, it all turns out all right in the end – if not in quite the way the characters expected.

Former professional dancer Anita Lord stars as Dolly and her skill as a dancer and choreographer are put to good use, while Chris Sparrow is Vandergelder, the mean tempered, miserable man who is the object of Dolly's affection.

Chris played the role of Chitterlow in Stage Door's Half a Sixpence show last year and has also appeared in Crazy for You and Scrooge the musical, as well as being co-host of the company's Seaside Specials.

Jonathan Oldfield plays the part of Cornelius, the hapless Chief Clerk for Vandergelder, with David Hastings as Barnaby.

Stage Door broke new ground with an interpreted performance for the deaf with their last show, and interpreter Ivan Osbourne will be signing again during the performance on the second night.

Hello Dolly! opened at the St. James Theatre on January 16, 1964, with Carol Channing playing the lead. It ran for 2,844 performances and briefly held the record for the longest-running Broadway production.

During the run, Dolly was also played by Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, and Grable. The 1969 film version featured Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau.

n Tickets for the opening night, March 20, are £8.50 adults and £5 children, but two for the price of one on both categories. Concessions £7.50. On March 21, all tickets £7 and children £5. March 22 and 23, adults £8.50, concessions £7.50 and children £5. Box office: 01394 282126.

WEBLINKS: www.stagedoorfelixstowe.co.uk

www.eveningstar.co.uk


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