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March 31, 2013

‘Hello, Dolly’ coming to Sooner Theatre

NORMAN — The beloved classic “Hello, Dolly!” is coming to The Sooner Theatre’s stage with none other than Sooner Theatre executive director Jennifer Baker starring as the leading lady.

Baker is marking 10 years with the theater by stepping on stage as Dolly during the theater’s 2012-2013 Sooner Stage Presents Season finale, April 5-7 and 12-14.

“I just love introducing the classics,” Baker said. “We do so many contemporary shows these days it’s just nice to have a classic back in the mix that everyone knows and can hum along with. It’s nice for the audience to have a classic.”

The story takes audiences on a whirlwind race around New York at the turn of the 20th century as they follow the adventures of America’s most beloved matchmaker, Dolly.

Full of memorable songs by Jerry Herman like “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “It Only Takes a Moment” and “So Long, Dearie,” director Matthew Sipress said the show has something for everyone.

“Little kids will love all the farce stuff and all the door slamming and the dancing and the pretty costumes,” he said. “People out on a date will like all the romance. And then there’s the comedy.”

Sipress said the theater’s production will include all the original choreography from the 1964 original. As a former member of several professional and touring companies of “Hello, Dolly!” including the 1995 Broadway revival starring Carol Channing, Sipress has a unique perspective on the matter.

Baker said the Sooner Theatre’s nod to the original will be a walk down memory lane for many theatergoers.

“There’s going to be people sitting here who aren’t going to be able to help but look back and think, ‘Oh, I remember when I first saw ‘Hello, Dolly!’ It was at the movie. Oh, no, I saw it in this little theater in Texas.’ Everyone for the most part, for our older patrons, they get to think back and be nostalgic and think, ‘Where did I first see it?’”

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