Mill Valley musical opens Tuesday
This year the Mill Valley High School drama department has gone through a few changes.
A new director and a larger production with many young cast members has been the theme for the department while working on the fall musical, “Hello, Dolly!”
Alyssa Young, junior and student director for the musical, said preparations for Tuesday night’s debut have progressed without a hitch.
“It’s going a lot better,” she said. “It’s a bigger cast, with a lot of people getting their first experience in theater. We have over 20 freshmen.”
More than 90 students are taking part in some aspect of the musical, whether actors, band members or crew members.
“Hello, Dolly!” revolves around lovable busybody Dolly Levi, a matchmaker who keeps things stirred up for several couples or soon-to-be couples.
Kelsie Schuman, senior, is no stranger to the Mill Valley stage. In her sixth school production, she plays the title role of Dolly.
“Every show is a new experience,” she said. “This is a different cast, and it’s the first year with a new director. It’s special being a senior, too. It’s great because you get to be a leader.”
While director Jon Copeland has led other plays at Mill Valley, this is his first musical.
Brayton Young, junior, said two other changes have made a difference in this year’s production.
“We have a whole new cast,” he said. “And they also added a stage extension, which makes it easier.”
Brayton portrays Horace Vandergelde, the object of Dolly’s affection.
“It’s really fun,” he said of the production. “Her entire goal in the show is to marry Horace. She sets me (Horace) up with a lot of girls and matches others in the process.”
Kelsie said the week leading up to the show would be about tightening performances.
“We’re in the grunt work right now,” she said. “We’re tightening everything up. It’s a big cast so there is a lot of levels of talent.”
Alyssa said the bigger cast allowed some roles to be double cast.
“We have a lot of double casting, which is fun to watch,” she said. “People portray the characters differently, but it’s unique.”
Alyssa and Kelsie said patrons shouldn’t expect the three-hour movie version of the musical.
“It’s not what you expect,” Alyssa said. “The play brings out aspects that the movie doesn’t, it’s a different way of seeing it. There are a lot of funny aspects.”
Kelsie said patrons should expect to laugh and enjoy themselves during the show.
“It’s hilarious,” she said. “It’s a really enjoyable show for us to perform, so it’s going to be enjoyable for others to see.”
“Hello, Dolly!” performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday and Nov. 10, 11 and 13 at the Mill Valley theater, 5900 Monticello Road.