Tags: hello dolly | guy | drag

'Hello, Dolly!' With a Guy in Lead Role Trying Hard Not to Be Drag

Image: 'Hello, Dolly!' With a Guy in Lead Role Trying Hard Not to Be Drag
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By    |   Monday, 09 Nov 2015 11:29 AM

"Hello, Dolly!" ... we hope you shaved Dolly ... That could be the refrain now after a man stepped into the iconic role of Dolly Levi at The Wick Theatre in Boca Raton, Florida.

Lee Roy Reams, a veteran Broadway actor, took on the role last week as well as being the director, the show's executive producer, Marilyn Wick, told the Los Angeles Times. Reams had performed in a Florida production of "La Cage Aux Folles." 

"Danny La Rue did it years ago in England," Reams told Broadway World.com. "But I never saw that show. In England they are accustomed to men playing women's roles and vice versa."

While playing Dolly Levi, Reams is also in charge of the star-studded cast that includes Tony nominee Lewis J. Stadlen, James Clow and Susan Powell.

"I love this show," said Reams. "It was my second show with Carol Channing. When I was in LORELEI with Carol we became close. When they were doing a revival she called me. That voice. She said, 'Hello Lee Roy. It's Carol.' Like I didn't know. She said, 'Look, I want you to play Cornelius Hackl. The director doesn't know you, so you have to audition. But don't worry, you got the job.'"

Wick told the Times that the production so far has proven so popular that there will be eight performances a week instead of the usual seven at the 333-seat theater, and "it's soon to be totally sold out."

Some critics, though, have taken a more critical eye beyond ticket sales.

"The first question that everyone wants answered is: Is it possible to buy Lee Roy Reams as Dolly Levi in The Wick Theatre's 'Hello, Dolly!" wrote Bill Hirschman for the South Florida Reporter.

"The answer is 'sometimes.' The answer also depends on how willing you are to accept the theatrical conceit of Reams being the second man ever to play the part, even with composer Jerry Herman's blessing," said Hirschman.

Hirschman conceded some in the audience will come "with a chip on their shoulder about the entire premise. Others will revel in the gay-friendly idea of a man in drag, à la Charles Busch, which is very much not what Reams has in mind."


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"Hello, Dolly!" ... we hope you shaved Dolly ... That could be the refrain now after a man stepped into the iconic role of Dolly Levi at The Wick Theatre in Boca Raton, Florida.
hello dolly, guy, drag
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2015-29-09
Monday, 09 Nov 2015 11:29 AM
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