Pictured: (left to right) Marcela Luna, Alexander Siegal, Kristen Washington, Anita Tellez-Mansy, Sean Pugerude, Timmothy Murphy, Andrew Hawkins, Aaron Frazier (Katy Carlson (PVI Parent))

All reviews are written by Cappies student critics and edited by Cappies adult mentors prior to publishing.

Nora Ogunleye, a student at Pope John Paul the Great High School reviews ”Hello, Dolly”, performed by Paul VI Catholic High School , as part of The Cappies Critics and Awards Program.

Looking for matrimony made in heaven? Thinking about trading your paint brush for a pair of dancing shoes? Well just call on Dolly Levi, the town’s personal busy body who excels in the area of elegance as well as meddling who came alive in Paul VI Catholic High School’s astonishing production of “Hello, Dolly!”

“Hello, Dolly!,” based on Thornton Wilder’s "The Matchmaker," was first introduced to the Broadway stage in 1964, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical along with nine other awards. The plot revolves around twentieth century matchmaker Dolly Levi who takes on the challenge of trying to find a match for Horace Vandergelder, a half-millionaire, and it just so happens that she is on the market. Simultaneously, unbeknownst to Vandergelder, the two shop clerks, Barnaby and Cornelius, impulsively decide to close the shop and find an adventure in New York that involves stuffed whales and chaste kisses while their boss is out of town.

Paul VI did not disappoint in their glitzy presentation of the well-known numbers of the production, especially depicted in the energetic numbers “Before the Parade Passes By” and “The Waiters' Gallop” that utilized every actor’s talent. The cast, extravagantly adorned with bright colors and historically authentic props, came together to work scene changes, although quite slowly, in a way that allowed them to never break character. Dance numbers were well-executed as each character emitted genuine passion that was fueled by the emotion of the play itself.

As Dolly Levi, Sean Pugerude was the definition of professionalism and elegance. Pugerude was steadfast in her solid diction and striking facial expressions that provided for a strong character that was utterly natural and never failed to brighten the stage with every entrance. Passion was evident in Pugerude’s eyes in numbers such as “Hello, Dolly!” and there was not a single moment where Dolly’s signature charm or wit was muffled.

Daniel Rozmajzl (Cornelius) and Connor McAlevy (Barnaby) stole the show the moment they hit the stage to present the audience do’s and don’ts. The chemistry between these two characters was almost tangible, and there was not a moment where their comedic timing, inflection, or funny remarks didn’t leave the audience in stitches. Casey Enochs (Irene Malloy) did a phenomenal job of portraying the innocent, love-struck character with her beautiful voice and stunning smile alongside her hilarious partner Minnie Fay, portrayed by Patty Kelleher, whose lovely harmonies and comical dialogue shined throughout the show’s progression especially depicted in the number “Motherhood March.”

The orchestra was in tune and extremely pleasant to the ear, but at times a bit overbearing during certain songs. Except for a couple of unheard lines, the ensembles were clear, energetic, and introduced the aspect of audience interaction within many of their performances. Scene changes, though long and seemingly tedious, were mostly smooth as the extravagant sets were moved from scene to scene.

Paul VI Catholic High School’s production of “Hello, Dolly!” left the audience with smiles, many giggles, and even a tear or two, proving that “It Only Takes a Moment” to fall in love with their production and regret the day you were ever forced to say goodbye to Dolly.