Musical to make its Campbell River debut

Shoreline Musical Theatre Society presents Hello, Dolly!, the Tony Award winner for best Broadway musical, at the Tidemark Theatre

Shoreline Musical Theatre Society presents Hello, Dolly!, the Tony Award winner for best Broadway musical, at the Tidemark Theatre in November.

What better way to brighten up a grey fall day than a trip to the theatre?

Especially to see one that has never been mounted before in Campbell River.

With a cast of 30, a production team of 20, and a full orchestra conducted by John Montgomery, Hello, Dolly! is a mammoth undertaking by Shoreline.

Heather Gordon Murphy, who is directing, brings 25 years of experience choreographing shows. This is her fifth year directing musicals for Shoreline Musical Theatre Society. In the last few years, she was also one of the choreographers for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and for Cirque du Soleil’s production in Baku, Azerbaijan for FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup soccer.

Gordon Murphy knows the show well. When she was 14 and studying dance with Joy Woodrow (nickname Babe) in Courtenay, she was a dancer in Waiters Gallop in Hello, Dolly! and when she was 18 and Babe died, she took over the Joy Woodrow School of Dance with its 200 dancers, which not too long after became the Heather Gordon School of Dance. Now, Gordon Murphy and Kristy Miller, the vocal director for Hello, Dolly!, are the co-owners of Raincoast Creative Performing Arts – a musical theatre school for youth with a strong focus on vocal training.

With that kind of talent and experience behind the scenes, audiences can expect show-stopping numbers like Hello, Dolly!, Put On Your Sunday Clothes, and It Takes A Woman; exquisite 1890 costumes; three to four part choral harmony; and great performances from  local talent.

Judith McFarlane plays Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi. She’s following in the footsteps of Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey and Barbra Streisand. It takes bravery to follow these star performers, but McFarlane is up for it. After all, she was the first female RCMP officer to come to Campbell River. Known locally for her beautiful voice, McFarlane will play opposite Stan Leete, who takes on the role of Horace Vandergelder. It will be the second time they’ve played together in featured roles. They wowed the audiences as Mr. and Mrs. Bumble in Oliver, an earlier Shoreline production.

The cast also includes well-loved community players, Rudi Kreis and Stu Morrison, who  will play Cornelius Hackl and Rudolph Reisenweber respectively.

What’s also striking about this show is the fact that Gordon Murphy and John Bailey, the set designer, have come up with a novel feature. Local sponsors will have their business names on old-time signs featured in the show’s New York City streetscape and in the parade.

With only four performances, Shoreline recommends getting your tickets early.

Shows are Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Nov.21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $27 plus applicable Tidemark fees.

For more information and how to get involved, contact Heather Gordon Murphy at, heather@coremoves.ca