Staples Players greet “Hello, Dolly!” with a warm welcome


While most students are still adjusting to their new classes and soaking up the last rays of sunny weather, members of Staples Players are belting out audition pieces and picking up complicated dance steps in preparation for the upcoming fall production of “Hello, Dolly!”

The Tony Award-winning show, which will open Nov.14, boasts big musical numbers — such as “I Put My Hand In” — and promises lots of laughs.

“It centers around a busybody, matchmaker type who arranges her friends and the people around her into clever situations and relationships during a day trip to New York City,” Joe Badion ’15, who is double cast as a painter named Ambrose, said.

According to members of Players, even the atmosphere surrounding the auditions and callbacks mirrored the lighthearted spirit of the show.

“Being a freshman, I was a little intimidated to be amongst a lot of upperclassmen,” Brooke Kessler ’18 said. “But in the audition room, everyone was really supportive and helpful.”

Both underclassmen and upperclassmen agree that the audition process has been particularly enjoyable this year, hopefully foreshadowing a successful show in November.

“The audition process has been pretty normal, if not less hectic than most, which is surprising since it’s such a big production,” Claire Smith ’15, who will be starring as Dolly Levi, said. “Honestly, I think everyone is just excited about the show.”

And in typical Players fashion, students assure that the competitiveness of the audition process is more friendly than cutthroat, ensuring that no matter who gets which role, every member is supportive of the production and those who work on it.

“Even if I don’t get in, I am looking forward to seeing how the production comes together,” Kessler said. “Based on the past shows that I have seen, I know they will do an amazing job.”

Despite the group’s flair for the theatrical, tensions run low behind the scenes.

“There’s no crazy drama,” Smith said. “We’re just ready to start the rehearsal process again.”

Badion agreed that the rehearsal process is definitely something to look forward to.

“It’s nice to be back in the swing of the Players year with something fun to do every day after school,” he said.

Players anticipate that with all of their hard work, “Hello, Dolly” will be a showstopper.

“It’s funny and full of sight gags and quickly-timed wit,” Smith said. “[It has] Big songs, costumes, and dance numbers. It’s definitely family friendly.”

Cast members say they look forward to getting to know their characters and working on the elaborate musical numbers.

“I’m looking forward to the chance to dance a lot because I’ve been rather deprived of good dance work since ‘A Chorus Line’ two years ago,” Badion said. “That’ll be fun for sure.”

If the Players’ excitement is any indication, “Hello, Dolly!” is off to a winning start.