MADISON, NJ - On March 5th, 6th and 7th, the community of Madison were given a special treat at the local high school. For each evening, the students performed their spring musical production of “Hello Dolly!”

“This is a dream,” said 16-year-old junior Collin Flangan, who played the clerk Cornelius Hackl. “This is the part that I’ve always wanted. My character is so fun and happy, and I relate to that. I love his songs. I’m just really excited about this production. The show will be on point and amazing, and this is the hardest work I’ve seen.”

Several of Flangan’s classmates could say the same thing. “Hello Dolly” featured classic Broadway numbers, such as “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “It Takes A Woman,” and “It Only Takes A Moment,” and the titular song. The musical often featured several dance scenes that were enjoyable for audiences and the cast.

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Audiences were wowed by the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a matchmaker who travels to New York City to hopefully get married to the half-millionaire Horace Vandergelder, while also helping other characters find love and happiness.

“We have some of the most talented people, the dance numbers are very impressive, and the set designs are fantastic,” said Luke Schuszler, a 17-year-old junior who played the role of Horace. “The character is the opposite of me, but fun. Plus, I get to be angry, like a cartoon. I went into the show, knowing nothing, but the writing is extremely witty, and I’ve fallen in love with it.”

Eighteen-year-old senior Anna McCarthy, who plays the titular character, had also fallen in love with “Hello Dolly,” though it marks a bittersweet swan song to her time doing musicals at her high school.

“The role of Dolly is insane, but a perfect way to end my time at Madison High School,” said McCarthy. “It’s definitely sad to leave, but it’s a great show to be excited about. Everyone has worked so hard that they make it look so easy. But a lot of blood and sweat has gone into this musical.”

Her own mother Patty felt that blood and sweat at each show, which saw hundreds in attendance.

“I’m very proud of Anna,” said Patty McCarthy. “She always works so hard. I’m happy she is a part of it because the play was wonderful, and her co-stars were all amazing.”

Madison resident Sue Longenecker, whose 16-year-old daughter Kyra plays Irene Malloy,

“I’m so excited for all of them,” said Longenecker. “Madison High School puts so much effort into their arts program and it’s so appreciated. They have wonderfully talented teachers and students. And I was impressed by how much Kyra has grown and developed as an actress and singer due to the fact that she is a student of the Madison school district.”

“Hello Dolly” is a Broadway musical, based on the book by Michael Stewart, as well as the play “The Matchmaker” by Thornton Wilder, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman.


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