"Hello, Dolly!" ★★★

Mary Robin Roth surely does justice to Dolly Gallagher Levi, that ever-optimistic "meddler in life." She embraces every outrageous costume and every last theatrical moment and propels the joyous spirit of Rudy Hogenmiller's crowd-pleasing Light Opera Works production. And Jerry Herman's incredible score is, at its heart, no less than a celebration of the active approach to our time on this earth. "I put my hand in," Dolly sings, in what you might call the ubertext of her exuberant yarn of matches made, unmade and remade. You would not call this a progressive "Dolly" — the humor is very broad, sometimes needlessly cartoonish. And you don't feel so much of a match between Dolly and Peter Verdico's gruff Horace Vandergelder, that famous half-millionaire. But you can live with that. The strengths of Hogenmiller's production lies in its energy, optimism and exuberant choreography. Through Jan. 2 at the Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston; $32-$92 at 847-869-3000 or lightoperaworks.com
Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World