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Big and brassy

Sumner's ManeStage Theatre brings 'Hello, Dolly!'

Hello, Dolly! is a classic, brassy musical. Photo courtesy of Facebook

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In the Pixar film WALL-E, a junk-collecting robot is left all alone on Earth with nothing to do except clean up the mess that humans made and pine for companionship. At night, he warms himself in a shipping container with nothing more than his cockroach friend and an old VHS tape of Hello, Dolly! Little can be known about what he perceives of the story of Hello, Dolly!, but he reacts to the colors and the sounds and the inherent emotion that exists in this classic romantic comedy. The pure joy is enough for WALL-E the robot to carry on and hope that his existence will someday be similarly surrounded by color and music.

As far as WALL-E is concerned, the titular Dolly is portrayed by Barbara Streisand, who was in the middle of a hell of a roll back in 1969, when that film was released. Having just come off of Funny Girl, which effectively made her a star, Hello, Dolly! would propel her even further forward, taking her to leading roles like in the hilarious and severely underrated What's Up, Doc?

Still, Hello, Dolly! had existed and still exists as a stage musical for many years. After having been adapted from many earlier plays, Hello, Dolly! made its Broadway premier in 1964, and maintains a hold on audiences to this day. The story concerns a matchmaker named Dolly who moves to Yonkers, New York, in order to try and pair off rich man Horace (though she secretly intends to marry him herself). In the meantime, there are other romantic entanglements that paint a tapestry of longings and mis-matchings in a world where romance isn't always the easiest thing. In between all of this, brassy songs abound.

The ManeStage Theatre Company in Sumner is currently in the middle of their run of Hello, Dolly!, but it's not too late to catch the show. There are two more weekends available that looks to boast a high production value for a local performance. This is a play that can't skimp on costumes or actors, and it looks like they have everything in place to create a sunny and lively rendition of this classic Broadway show. For anyone, like that lonely robot, who longs to be near the sights and the sounds of a big musical number, Hello, Dolly! is that for the eyes and ears.

MANESTAGE THEATRE COMPANY, through Aug. 9, Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m., $11-$20, 1707 W. Main St., Sumner, 253.447.7645

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