Sonoma Arts Live opens its 2018-19 season October 5 with “Hello, Dolly,” starring Dani Innocenti-Beem as one of theater’s most enduring characters, matchmaker Dolly Levi.
In another part demanding sass and soaring solos, Innocenti-Beem picked up San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics and Marquee Theater Journalists awards for playing Madame Rose in Sonoma Arts Live’s 2017 production of “Gypsy.”
Teaming up with the designated diva is director Michael Ross, who worked with her on “Gypsy.”
A dynamic team in a popular show is a great way to open the new season, says Jaime Love, the company’s executive artistic director. “You can’t get more classic than this Broadway masterpiece.”
Innocenti-Beem recalls playing Dolly her senior year in high school. “What did I know then? I look forward to seeing what I can bring to this wonderful, funny, strong, meddling woman now.”
And being able to do it in Sonoma? “It’s so nice to be back home where I belong!”
Horace Vandergelder, the man looking for the perfect match, is played by Tim Setzer, a TBA award nominee for his role as Herbie in “Gypsy.”
The top notch cast includes Danielle DeBow (pictured above) and Michael Scott Wells, who appeared in SAL’s recent sold-out run of “Always…Patsy Cline,” (also directed by Ross).
“Hello, Dolly!” was first produced on Broadway in 1964, with Carol Channing in the lead. It won a record-tying 10 Tony Awards that season, including Best Musical. The movie, with Barbra Streisand, is from 1969.
Based on Thornton Wilder‘s 1938 farce “Hello, Dolly!” is the story of strong-willed matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi who travels to Yonkers, New York to find a match for the miserly “well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder.
In addition to Innocenti-Beem and Setzer, the top notch cast includes Danielle DeBow (Irene Molloy), Michael Scott Wells (Cornelius Hackl), Schary Pearl Fugitt (Minnie Fay), Ryan Hook (Barnaby Tucker), Madison Lewis (Ermengarde), Alex Corey (Ambrose Kemper), Jennifer Schwarz (Ernestina) and George Bereschik (Judge/Rudolph). Ensemble players include Chelsea Smith, Emma Sutherland, Kitty Rutherford, Madison Griego, Molly Larsen-Shine, Ty Schoeneigh, Zach Frangos, Oscar Montelongo and Sean O’Brien. Sonoma audiences just enjoyed Danielle DeBow, Michael Scott Wells and Sean O’Brien in SAL’s sold out run of “Always…Patsy Cline,” also directed by Michael Ross.
The local production runs October 11-13 and 20-21, with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. on the Rotary Stage in Andrews Hall, Sonoma Community Center, 276 East Napa Street in Sonoma. Sonomaartslive.org. 866.710.8942.
Photos by Eric Chazankin