Review On Hello, Dolly!


Thomas deMartino

Thomas deMartino

Registered Critic


There is much to both marvel at, and revel in, with this production: the ornate, lavish and detailed costuming is a virtual feast for the eyes, and the dance numbers are a spectacle of color, energy and poise (“The Waiters' Gallop” in Act II is a particular show-stopper, with Jon Michell stealing scenes as the manic-yet-charming head waiter Rudolph.) But the sonorous music brought to life by the skills of the performers (including the unseen, indispensable live orchestra) is the true wonder. Baldwin's stunning vocal skills shine in the tune, “Ribbons Down My Back”; Klega and company charm with the not-quite PC ditty, “It Takes A Woman” (a distinct throwback to a time before women's suffrage); and Curtis-Switzer is marvelous and melodious as Cornelius, with a beautiful rendition of “It Only Takes A Moment” with Baldwin, as well as in “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” with Wayne, Crisafulli, Gomez, and the remarkable ensemble. Without question, though, the scintillating star of the show is Adriana Sanchez, portraying the titular Dolly. Patrons may recognize her from other productions at the Gem, such as last year's “Follies”, and the quite popular annual “Holiday Gem” (portraying the bombastic Mrs. Claus): but it is doubtless that she brings all her talents to bear in “Dolly.” Not only does she breathe life into classics such as “I Put My Hand In” and “Hello, Dolly”, but her love for the character and passion for the role of a determined woman finding her path through helping others – sometimes whether they like it or not — makes Dolly a lovable, charming and endearing persona… someone, perhaps, even to aspire to.

Thomas deMartino
Theater critic for The Orange County Tribune. Film enthusiast and recovering comic book collector, engaging in snarky commentary and punditry. Spends free time video gaming and competitive light saber fighting. Yes, seriously.