Judtih McFarlane (left)

You’re lookin’ swell, Dolly

Shoreline Arts Society brings Hello, Dolly musical to the Tidemark Theatre

Theatre veterans Judith McFarlane and Stan Leete are excited to be part of the Shoreline Musical Theatre team bringing Hello, Dolly! to the Tidemark Theatre.

McFarlane will be playing the title role of matchmaker, Dolly Levi.

Dolly has been hired to find a wife for cranky millionaire, Horace Vandergelder (Leete).  She doesn’t stop there, though, and is happy to meddle in the relationships of a number of other characters, resulting in lots of laughs and general mayhem.

Hello, Dolly! is the musical version of the Thornton Wilder play, The Matchmaker.

Both McFarlane and Leete bring considerable experience to the stage.

McFarlane has been acting since her high school days, and has been in most of Shoreline’s productions, including its first – “Oklahoma!”.

“I’d been on hiatus for a few years,” said McFarlane. “I’d wanted to give it a go, but I was too busy. Then Oklahoma! came up and I just decided to go for it!”

She got a part in the chorus – one of the Ladies without Frills.

When asked what her favourite production was, she said, “always the one I’m in at the time!”  Although, she did say that she had a lot of fun doing Shoreline’s production of Pirates of Penzance – one of the reasons was that her daughter was in the same production.

McFarlane is enjoying the challenge of bringing Dolly to life.

“It’s a big role,” she said, “with a lot of singing and movement. I’m loving it – I love the music and the show.”

Leete has been cast as Horace Vandergelder. He also has a long association with the theatre, starting as a tap dancer at the age of eight. His first play was a school production of 1066 and All That, and he also acted in plays through school and university. This is his fifth production with Shoreline, including Oliver! where he was also partnered with McFarlane (the duo played a memorable Mr. and Mrs. Bumble).

His two favourite performances were in The Mikado in London, and Pirates of Penzance in Campbell River, which was his first performance with Shoreline.

Leete is enjoying the part of Horace, particularly the singing and the camaraderie with the rest of the cast.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with Judith,” he said, “as well as John Montgomery (orchestra director) and Heather Gordon-Murphy (artistic director and choreographer).”

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 and can be purchased online at tidemarktheatre.com or by calling 287-PINK.