REVIEW: Covington Calls on “Dolly!” 

By Ariel Mary Ann 

The Carnegie in Covington, Kentucky kicked off the new year with the opening of Hello, Dolly! This golden age musical comedy follows Dolly Gallagher Levi, a well-known matchmaker, who attempts to find a match for Horace Vandergelder, an unmarried wealthy ‘half a millionaire’ and owner of ‘Vandergelder’s Hay and Feed’.

The Leads

Opening on Broadway in 1964, the show is held in high regard as a classic. Sixty years later, The Carnegie breathes new life into this iconic show starring Sara Mackie in the titular role. Joe Bertucci.

Mackie’s talent and stage presence is unparalleled. She leads Hello, Dolly! with an infectious energy and a rich and captivating voice that’ll have you grinning from ear to ear.

Allen R. Middleton stars as unmarried ‘half a millionaire’ Horace Vandergelder. Middleton’s performance is truly a sight to see. He has a way of leaning into the show’s comedic moments while centering Horace’s stubbornness. 

Through song, Horace expresses his desire to get married and find a woman who’ll take on house labor. Being a matchmaker, Dolly Levi (Mackie) provides her services to him with the intention of marrying him herself. 

Hello Dolly at the Carnegie
Hello, Dolly! at the Carnegie, starring Sara Mackie and Allen Middleton.

More of the Plot

Cornelius Hackl (Jack Manion) and Barnaby Tucker (Mathew Callas) are young employees of Vandergelder. They crave adventure and freedom from their demanding boss. Together, they brainstorm a plan to close shop and make their way to Yonkers, New York in hopes of finding love.

Cornelius and Barnaby make their way into a hat shop owned by Irene Molloy (Kara Ann Scullin) and also meet employee Minnie Fay (Aliya Pimental). Chaos ensues when they inadvertently cross paths with their employer, leading to a comedic game of cat and mouse. 

The cast of Hello, Dolly! at the Carnegie.

Excellent Creative Team

Elizabeth VandeWater’s choreography and John Faas’ colorfully elegant costume design paired with Tyler Gabbard’s scenic design adds a layer of grandeur to this production. 

With direction by Joe Bertucci, this production of Hello, Dolly! stands on its own as a strong musical. Though, through the context of 2024, one could argue that the musical plays up misogynic tropes. One of which centers around the idea that women are expected to do housework. With each line delivery, Mackie challenges this outdated notion through subtly centering Dolly’s zest for life and her loud, fierce personality.

Sara Mackie as Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! at the Carnegie.

Bottom Line

Hello, Dolly! is a joyful good time. The entire cast works well together, and their energy takes Hello Dolly! to new heights.

Ticket Link

Get your tickets to Hello, Dolly! at the Carnegie Box Office. They are going fast!