By Rachel Levenstein
Hello Dolly! is a movie that I have grown up with, and so when my sister Deena invited me to go see the Beit Hillel Theater Workshop play, I was ready to judge. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. The backdrops, scenery and costumes were all beautifully done, seeming to effortlessly convey the culture of 1890 New York. The songs were all given a new rendition that were fun to listen to, accompanied by a four-part live orchestra made up of a pianist (Paul Salter), a percussionist (Abe Doron), a flutist (Esther van der Linden), and a trumpet player (Maayan Gur-Arie).
However the actors themselves were the stars of the night. I really enjoyed them all but will mention the ones I connected to the most.
Dolly Gallagher Levi was played by Gabrielle Shine, who has quite the set of lungs. She portrayed Dolly with just the right amount of sassiness, class, and humor that is associated with Dolly’s character.
Irene Molloy was played by the talented Aviella Trapido, whose voice and acting complemented both her and who ever else was on stage with her at the time.
Minnie Fay, was played by Sarah Lavin, the ever faithful sidekick who was somehow able to be the cute and innocent Minnie Fay one second, and sing with a powerful voice the next, and make both seem natural.
The dances were choreographed by Avichai Barlinsky, a former ballet dancer from South Africa who was able to put both a waltz and a tap dance routine in one show. Avichai, if I wore a hat, I would take it off to you.
This production was directed by Michael Berl who has been directing the Beit Hillel Theater Workshop since its inception 29 years ago. He spoke before the curtains went up, already putting us in the mood by giving personal credit to many of the people who have worked very hard to make this a wonderful production.
In short, and in conclusion, if you are looking for a fun show to which you can take your spouse, parent, child and/or friend, run to the computer, because it’s not going to be here next week.
Two performances remaining
There are two remaining shows: Tuesday and Wednesday, June 16 and 17 at 7:30 pm. Purchase tickets here.
Also, in honor of the theater’s 30th anniversary they will be producing the Sound of Music this upcoming Hanukkah. Stay tuned!
Rachel Levenstein is Deena’s sister. A high school student, Rachel is a multi-talented Jerusalemite with a wide range of interests including writing (mainly fiction), anime, swimming and lots of reading (if the cover is enticing enough).