Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site (Museum, Theatre, Petersen House) and the Center for Education and Leadership will be closed to the public on Monday, May 19, 2014.

FORD’S THEATRE SOCIETY AND SIGNATURE THEATRE PRESENT "HELLO, DOLLY!"

HELLO, DOLLY!
BOOK BY MICHAEL STEWART
MUSIC AND LYRICS BY JERRY HERMAN
MUSIC DIRECTION BY JAMES MOORE
CHOREOGRAPHED BY KARMA CAMP
DIRECTED BY ERIC SCHAEFFER

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ford’s Theatre Society and Signature Theatre co-present the Tony-winning musical Hello, Dolly!, directed by Eric Schaeffer, March 15 through May 18, 2013, at Ford’s Theatre (511 Tenth Street NW, Washington, D.C.). The production features Broadway’s Nancy Opel in the title role and Edward Gero as Horace Vandergelder.

In this beloved musical classic, the cantankerous half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder hires matchmaker Dolly Levi to find him a wife. Dolly soon hatches a plan to woo and win Vandergelder’s hand herself, while simultaneously arranging romantic prospects for his niece, his clerks and two of Manhattan’s most eligible shop girls.

Hello, Dolly! is a delectable treat for the whole family, filled with some of musical theatre’s all-time greatest showstoppers,” said director Eric Schaeffer. “Our production reinterprets the classic show with new orchestrations, character-driven staging for a 16-member cast and inventive dance numbers. It is a thrill to direct, at Ford’s Theatre, such an iconic show that had its pre-Broadway beginnings in Washington, D.C.”

“I am excited to welcome director Eric Schaeffer back to the Ford’s Theatre stage,” said Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault. “Eric and I talked about creating a fresh Hello, Dolly! for Washington audiences, and I am thrilled to showcase his talent for musical reinvention in our historic theatre space. Our production will be the first in Washington since Carol Channing reprised her famous role at the Kennedy Center Opera House in 1995.”

Hello, Dolly! is made possible by Lead Sponsor Altria Group; and Sponsors Raytheon Company; Oshkosh Corporation; Visa Inc.; and Ford Motor Company. Media Partner ABC7/NewsChannel8/TBD.com provides promotional support throughout the run. Ford’s Theatre’s 2012-2013 season sponsors are The Home Depot and Chevron.

THE DIRECTOR

Eric Schaeffer returns to direct at Ford’s Theatre for the first time since the world-premiere of Meet John Doe (2007), for which he won a Helen Hayes Award for outstanding director. As co-founder and artistic director of Virginia’s Tony-winning Signature Theatre, Schaeffer has directed productions including The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Hairspray, Sunset Boulevard, Chess, Sweeney Todd, Show Boat, First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb, The Hollow, Les Misérables, ACE, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Glory Days and many others. Schaeffer’s Broadway directorial credits include Follies, Million Dollar Quartet, Glory Days and Putting It Together; as well as the national tours for Million Dollar Quartet, big and Barbie™ Live in Fairytopia™. Schaeffer’s Off-Broadway credits include productions of Sweet Adeline (Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert) and Under the Bridge. He also has directed for the Kennedy Center (Sondheim Celebration, First You Dream, Follies starring Bernadette Peters, Mame starring Christine Baranski, others), Avery Fisher Hall, and London’s Noel Coward Theatre, Royal Drury Lane and Prince of Wales Theatres. Visit www.signature-theatre.org/artistic-director for more details.

THE CAST

Nancy Opel makes her Washington-area debut as Dolly—one of the most celebrated and high-spirited roles in musical theatre. Opel’s recent credits include in Broadway’s Memphis, Paradise Found (London), and The Toxic Avenger (Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics and Lucille Lortel nominations).  Her many Broadway credits include Gypsy (with Patti Lupone and Arthur Laurents), Fiddler on the Roof, Urinetown (Tony nomination), Triumph Of Love, Anything Goes, Sunday in the Park with George, Evita and others.  She also has appeared Off-Broadway in My Deah (Obie Award), Polish Joke (Drama Desk, Lortel nominations), Mere Mortals, All in the Timing; and in the National Tour for The Drowsy Chaperone.

Edward Gero returns to Ford’s to play Horace Vandergelder. He most recently appeared at Ford’s Theatre as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Gero’s many Washington credits include the role of Rothko in Arena’s production of RED and more than 70 productions for the Shakespeare Theatre Company including King Lear with Stacy Keach, among others. His regional credits include productions for Baltimore’s Center Stage, Goodman Theatre, Round House, Signature, Studio and others. Gero is a 14-time nominee and four-time recipient of the Helen Hayes Award for roles in Skylight (Studio Theatre) and Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Richard II and Macbeth (Shakespeare Theatre Company). Additional credits include narration for The Discovery Channel, Science Channel and National Geographic. Gero has served on the teaching staff of George Mason University since 1990.

Additional casting for Hello, Dolly! includes Carolyn Agan, Carolyn Cole, Zack Colonna, Morgan Cowling, Maria Egler, Ben Lurye, Gregory Maheu, Harris Milgrim, Peter Mills, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Alex Puette, Jp Qualters, Stephen F. Schmidt, Kyle Vaughn, Merrill West and Lauren Williams.

THE DESIGNERS

Eric Schaeffer’s design team includes Choreographer Karma Camp (Little Shop of Horrors, Meet John Doe, A Christmas Carol); Music Director James Moore (Broadway’s Follies, Ragtime, South Pacific, Steel Pier, Company); Scenic Design by Adam Koch; Costume Designer Wade Laboissonniere (1776, Parade, Liberty Smith, Sabrina Fair, Little Shop of Horrors, The Civil War, The Heavens Are Hung In Black, State of the Union, The Matchmaker); Lighting Designer Colin K. Bills (productions for Signature Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Kennedy Center, Olney, others) and Sound Designer David Budries (Our Town, 1776, Parade, Liberty Smith, Little Shop of Horrors, The Civil War, Meet John Doe, Shenandoah). Hello, Dolly! also features Orchestrations by Kim Scharnberg (Ford’s 1776, The Civil War; Broadway’s Jekyll & Hyde, Scarlet Pimpernel, The Civil War, Little Women, Wonderland); Wig and Makeup Design by Cookie Jordan. The production team also includes Production Stage Manager Craig A. Horness and Assistant Stage Manager Taryn Friend.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS

There will be audio-described performances of Hello, Dolly! on Tuesday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 4, at 2 p.m. Sign-interpreted performances are Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m.

Following the 7:30 p.m. performance on Wednesday, May 1, members of the Hello, Dolly! cast will take questions from the audience and discuss the artistic process. Post-performance discussions begin immediately following the performance.  Individuals wishing to attend the discussion will be invited into the theatre for the discussion after the audience from the performance departs.

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FACT SHEET: HELLO, DOLLY!
BOOK BY MICHAEL STEWART; MUSIC AND LYRICS BY JERRY HERMAN
BASED ON THE PLAY THE MATCHMAKER BY THORNTON WILDER
ORIGINAL PRODUCTION DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY GOWER CHAMPION
PRODUCED FOR THE BROADWAY STAGE BY DAVID MERRICK AND CHAMPION-FIVE INC.
MUSIC DIRECTION BY JAMES MOORE; CHOREOGRAPHED BY KARMA CAMP
DIRECTED BY ERIC SCHAEFFER
MARCH 15-MAY 18, 2013

In the Tony-winning musical Hello, Dolly!, the cantankerous half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder hires matchmaker Dolly Levi to find him a wife. Dolly soon hatches a plan to woo and win Vandergelder’s hand herself, while simultaneously arranging romantic prospects for his niece, his clerks and two of Manhattan’s most eligible shop girls. Based on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker, Jerry Herman’s memorable score and charming lyrics place the irresistibly mischievous Dolly center stage, making the role one of the most celebrated and high-spirited in musical theatre. Eric Schaeffer (Meet John Doe) returns to direct this enduring musical favorite in a co-production by Ford’s Theatre and Virginia’s Signature Theatre.

DATES: March 15 to May 18, 2013
Private Donor Performance: March 20, 2013

LOCATION: Ford’s Theatre is located at 511 10th Street NW, Washington, D.C.
(between E and F Streets).

TIMES: Mondays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. (except April 8); matinees on Fridays and Saturdays at 2 p.m. (except March 15, 16, 22, May 3 and 10) and Wednesday, April 10; Noon matinees May 3 and 10.

There will be audio-described performances of Hello, Dolly! on Tuesday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 4, at 2 p.m. Sign-interpreted performances are Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 11, at 2 p.m.

Following the 7:30 p.m. performance on Wednesday, May 1, members of the Hello, Dolly! cast will take questions from the audience and discuss the artistic process. Individuals wishing to attend the post-performance discussion will be invited into the theatre for the discussion after the audience from the performance departs.

TICKETS: Tickets start at $18. Discounts are available for groups, senior citizens, military personnel and those younger than 35.

PARKING: Paid parking is available at several independent neighborhood garages: the 24-hour QuickPark at the Grand Hyatt (entrance on 10th Street between G and H Streets NW), the Central Parking Garage (entrance on 11th Street between E and F Streets NW), and the Atlantic Garage below Ford’s Theatre (at 511 10th Street, NW).

METRO: Metro Center station (Red, Blue and Orange Lines) is two and one half blocks north of the theatre from the Eleventh Street exit. Gallery Pl-Chinatown station (Red, Yellow and Green Lines) is two and one half blocks north of the theatre from the G Street exit. For further information, call Metro at (202) 637-7000.

ACCESSIBILITY: Ford’s Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities, offering wheelchair-accessible seating and restrooms, and audio enhancement.

Tickets at www.fords.org and Ticketmaster: (800) 982-2787 
Information: (202) 347-4833 Groups: (202) 638-2367

Ford’s Theatre on Twitter: @fordstheatre
Ford’s Theatre on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fordstheatre

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Beyea lbeyea@fords.org or (202)434-9543