Goodspeed's Hello, Dolly! Will Star Klea Blackhurst
By Kenneth Jones
Klea Blackburst, the big-voiced character actress who recently appeared in York Theatre Company's Happy Hunting, will play Dolly Levi in director Daniel Goldstein's Goodspeed Musicals production of Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart's Hello, Dolly!
Blackhurt has been associated with the qualities and roles of blowsy Ethel Merman before; Merman took over the role of Dolly in the original Broadway run of the musical comedy. Blackkurst said in an earlier statement at the time of Happy Hunting, "I am genetically predisposed toward celebrating the works of Ethel Merman. I know a lot about the First Lady of Musical Theatre and have enjoyed playing some of her most celebrated roles. I've walked miles in those tiny pumps and enjoyed life from behind her proverbial highball."
Performances of Hello, Dolly!, the musical comedy romance based on Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, will play June 28-Sept. 8 at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT. Goodspeed confirmed the casting of Blackhurst after news broke in the Hartford Courant.
Blackhurst has appeared in her own cabarets shows, including Everything the Traffic Will Allow, and regional and Off-Broadway productions, including Gypsy and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Her recoridngs include "Autumn in New York," "Dreaming of a Song" and "Everything the Traffic Will Allow."
Goldstein previously directed The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown at The Norma Terris Theatre in 2011.
His recent projects include Anna Christie (The Old Globe), Annie (St. Louis Muny), God of Carnage, Falsettos, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Sinan Unel's The Cry of the Reed (Huntington Theater Company), A New Brain at the Toho Theater in Tokyo and the Off-Broadway commercial production of the hit Fringe Festival musical Walmartopia. He has served as the associate director for All Shook Up! and Fully Committed, and was the resident director for the first national tour of Mamma Mia!
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