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Benet Academy Says “So Long, Dearie” to “Hello, Dolly!”

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Benet Academy Says “So Long, Dearie” to “Hello, Dolly!”

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Benet Academy said “Hello, Dolly!” as it greeted the ten time Tony Award winner into its musical repertoire in January. Directing the musical were award winning directors, Mr. Brian Wand and Mrs. Lauren Butera; orchestrating the pit music was Mr. Rich Alifantis; and choreographing the dances was Ms. Kelsey Lauren. From March 8 to 17, they relived the beloved story of Ms. Dolly Gallagher Levi (Taylor Oechsel ‘18) , the matchmaker extraordinaire, and her quest for her own marriage to Horace Vandergelder (Patrick Crowe ‘18), the well known half-a-millionaire.
Through the process of making him realize not only does “It Take a Woman” it takes Dolly, she also “Puts Her Hand In” and meddles in the relationships of his niece, Ermengarde (Mattie Cieplak ‘21) and his two clerks, Cornelius Hackl (Patrick Vivoda ‘19) and Barnaby Tucker (Frank Gomulka ‘18). The clerks set off a tomato explosion and run to New York where they realize “It Only Takes a Moment” to fall in love, as they lay eyes on hat-maker Irene Malloy (Audrey Hare ‘18) and her assistant, Minnie Fay (Isabella Newhuis ‘18). Hilarity ensues as they both pretend to be wealthy gentlemen to impress the ladies. Yet, in the end, the characters not only say “Hello, Dolly!” but hello to new relationships and happy endings.
At the musical’s conclusion, not only was the cast sad to finally say “So Long, Dearie” but each member of the cast, crew, and pit involved. Although the cast is in rigorous preparation for the three months leading to the musical, there are several other students involved. Sophomore Becky Vires (‘20), one of the familiar faces in the tech booth, said,
“During an actual performance, what you see on stage is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind every lighting change is a light board operator, two spotlight operators, and someone calling the use. Behind the incredible voices you here and the amazing dancing you see is a sound op, assistant sound, dance captains, rehearsal accompanists, and numerous other people. Behind the scenes is basically a mad scramble to make sure everyone on stage is noticed while doing your best to remain entirely unnoticed.”
With so many people on stage and behind the scene working together for countless hours, it’s no surprise that castmates become family. Mattie Cieplak (‘21), who was given a supporting character role, said, “My favorite part about playing my character was that it gave me the opportunity to connect with upperclassmen that I looked up to when I came to Benet, which was extremely exciting.” In addition, Jenny Schiliro (‘21) said, “The musical actually helped me become friends [with people] who I didn’t think I would become friends with. It helped me learn how vital one small piece or action can change the entire story.”
Benet Academy is proud to have produced yet another successful musical that showcased the classic 1960s ballads, elegant costumes, and breathtaking sets. The Benet Community thanks everyone who was involved in the production, supported the students, and came to the show. Even if the show is over, the friendships, memories, and laughter will “never go away.”

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Benet Academy Says “So Long, Dearie” to “Hello, Dolly!”