GENEVA – “Hello Dolly,” replete with its 1890s-era matchmaking comedy-drama, will glitter on stage this week as Geneva High School students perform it as their spring musical.
“Hello Dolly” performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. March 16, 17 and 18 in the high school auditorium, 416 McKinley Ave., Geneva. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children, students through high school and senior citizens, and can be ordered by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Megan Styrna, a 16-year-old sophomore, will portray the title character, Dolly Levi.
“I am a big fan of Dolly,” Styrna said. “She’s very spunky and extravagant, always wants to know what’s going on and knows what to do. I strive to do that. Everyone notices her when she enters a room. She’s just very well-respected.”
A soprano, Styrna said she has extensive experience in musical theater already, having been in 25 musicals. These include “My Fair Lady,” last year’s high school musical, where she played a maid. But Styrna was also in past non-musical productions, such as when she played Vicky in “Noises Off” last fall.
“I do a lot of community theater,” Styrna said. “I was just in ‘Mary Poppins’ in the Marquee Youth Stage in St. Charles, as Mary Poppins. I could do it the rest of my life. I’d love to go into musical theater.”
Also performing in “Hello Dolly” is 17-year-old junior Ariela Policastro as Irene Molloy, the widow who owns a hat shop, and is seeking a husband.
“Being the part of Irene Molloy really suits me,” Policastro said.
Though unfamiliar with the play, Policastro began researching it as soon as it was announced as the spring musical.
And when she got the part of Molloy, Policastro said she began researching different versions to help her understand the part.
Policastro praised the school’s support of theater arts.
“Being part of a theater got me in relationships I would not have made otherwise,” Policastro said. “It’s really connected me as part of the community – and I would not have been a part of the community had it not been for the theater.”
Annika Chrusciel, 14, a freshman, plays the role of Minnie Fay, an assistant in Irene Molloy’s hat shop.
“Minnie is one of the youngest characters in the show,” Chrusciel said. “My favorite part of Minnie is how much fun she is. She has so much fun filling the stage with her energy and excitement to experience love for the first time.”
Director Roxanne Curtis said the play has been exciting for the cast – and a lot of work.
“It’s a huge musical, and I have a relatively small cast, so some of the students are covering multiple parts and doing it very well,” Curtis said.
“It’s getting more difficult to do musicals like ‘Hello Dolly’ because kids are pulled in different directions – sports, jobs and clubs, and some are doing two shows at once,” Curtis said. “And then there’s that whole thing called ‘schoolwork.’ But they have just been doing a super job.”
'Hello Dolly' cast
Dolly Levi - Megan Styrna (Annie Brown understudy)
Ernestina - Sydney Ginter (Lucy Smith understudy)
Ambrose Kemper - Christopher Kubiak
Horace Vandergelder - Jediah Nims
Ermengarde - Alana Policastro (Caroline Ostergard understudy)
Cornelius Hackl - Quinn Hensley
Barnaby Tucker - Noah Hanlon
Minnie Fay - Annika Chrusciel (Abageal Phelan understudy)
Irene Molloy - Arela Policastro (Maggie Schubert understudy)
Mrs. Rose - Lucy Smith (Maggie Hendrian understudy)
Rudolph Reisenweber - Tristan Morgan
Stanley - Jay Jay Santiago
Waiters - Jack Barrett, Eleanor Horvath, Jay Jay Santiago, Lucy Smith, Luke Vrba
Cook - Audrey Carberry
Judge - Jack Petit
Policeman - Matt Granquist
Court clerk recorder - Aaron Tschetter
Paperhanger - Luke Vrba
Ensemble - Jack Barrett, Annie Brown, Audrey Carberry, Katie Ellis, Sydney Ginter, Matt Granquist, Alli Hardin, Maggie Hendrian, Eleanor Horvath, Tristan Morgan, Caroline Ostergard, Jack Petit, Abageal Phelan, Ana Powell, Jay Jay Santiago, Maggie Schubert, Lucy Smith, Lexie Spevak, Aaron Tschetter, Luke Vrba and Alyssa Zurow