77th Annual Dolphin Show ‘Hello, Dolly!’ hopes to brighten up Cahn Auditorium


Courtesy of Adam Yates

Actors Holly Hinchliffe and Rory Schrobilgen pose at the Charles Gates Dawes House in Evanston. Hinchliffe and Schrobilgen will take the Cahn Auditorium stage in “Hello, Dolly!” Jan. 25 through Feb. 2.

Vy Duong, Reporter

Looking forward to this year’s Dolphin Show, executive producer Casey Watson said she knows audiences might be suffering from a winter slump. The Communication senior said she thinks “Hello, Dolly!” is the perfect choice to bring joy and magic to campus when students need a mood boost.

The 77th Annual Dolphin Show tells the story of Dolly Levi, a widow who becomes a matchmaker in New York City. The show follows the socialite on her daylong journey through a series of incidents packed with delightful parades and grand feasts. “Hello, Dolly!” opens Jan. 25 and runs through Feb. 2 in Cahn Auditorium.

Communication junior Holly Hinchliffe, who plays shopkeeper Irene Molloy, said she was able to feel the joy channeled through the script when she first read it. Hinchliffe said Dolly’s effervescent energy and desire to bring happiness to the world instantly drew her to the show.

“You read it and you know it’s a story about joy and hope and happiness and laughter. It feels very bright, light and loving,” Hinchliffe said. “It’s centered around a very powerful woman, Dolly, and the magic she is able to make happen, and how much she is able to orchestrate other people’s lives to bring romance and adventure together.”

Communication senior Andrew Harlan, who is the general manager of the show, said he hopes the audience leaves the show viewing the world through a rosier lens.

Harlan added that being able to showcase the cast and crew’s work in the large space of Cahn Auditorium, accompanied by a full-scale orchestra, is a privilege that gives the team room for creativity.

“In choosing ‘Hello, Dolly!’, one of the grandest musicals of the golden age of musical theater, we were going big or going home. And we’re choosing to go big,” Harlan said.

Working this year’s show, Harlan said his favorite memory was when the crew came back from winter break a week early to create the set. He said the team enjoyed each other’s company, both on set during their eight-hour work days and during after-hours bonding activities.

Both Watson and Harlan have been involved in the Dolphin Show since freshman year, which they said has helped them establish a close-knit community.

“Being able to give back the experience that I had freshman year to other students is something that has been so special and incredible about this whole entire year,” Watson said.

Hinchliffe, who also participated in the Dolphin Show her freshman year, said that being able to work with her close friends created a unique experience filled with “laughter, silliness and playfulness.” Seeing the behind-the-scenes work of the artistic team and other members also made the process special, she said.

Hinchliffe said the plot of “Hello, Dolly!” can feel like a “whirlwind” because so much takes place in one day. She said she hopes the show helps people realize the potential of everyday life.

“So many things can happen in one day; there’s limitless possibilities. And that happens with life too,” Hinchliffe said. “You can think that you’re too old for something or your time has passed, but there’s a lot of things waiting for you and a lot of adventure ahead.”

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