Casting leading roles out of New York has become something of a habit for the two major suburban Chicago musical theater stages — Drury Lane Oakbrook and the Marriott. And now comes the latest example.
For its revival of that ever-popular Jerry Herman-Michael Stewart Broadway classic, “Hello, Dolly!” (previewing Oct. 17, opening Oct. 24 at 8 p.m., and running through January 5), the Drury Lane has tapped Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba for the role of Dolly Levi.
Ziemba won her Tony (as well as the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle awards) for her performance in Lincoln Center Theatre’s “Contact,” the dance-theater work by Susan Stroman. She also received Tony Award nominations for her roles in “Steel Pier,” “Never Gonna Dance” and “Curtains.” She has starred in productions at The New York City Opera and Carnegie Hall, in PBS’ Great Performances series, and the NY City Center’s Encores. Other Broadway roles include Diana Morales in “A Chorus Line,” Peggy Sawyer in the original production of “42nd Street,” Polly Baker in “Crazy for You” and Roxie Hart in “Chicago.”
“Hello, Dolly!,” the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a turn-of-the-century widowed matchmaker who finds a new match of her own, will be directed and choreographed by multi-Jeff Award-winner Rachel Rockwell (the force behind “Ragtime,” “The Sound of Music” and “Oliver!” at Drury Lane). Jeff Award winner Roberta Duchak (a Drury Lane veteran who also was vocal coach for Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman for the film version of “Les Misérables”) will serve as musical director.
In addition to Ziemba, the cast will include: David Lively as Horace Vandergelder; Skyler Adams as Ambrose Kemper; Jeff Diebold as Cornelius Hackl; Emily Rohm as Irene Malloy; Maggie Portman as Minnie Fay, Laura Savage as Ermengarde; and Lee Slobotkin as Barnaby Tucker.
For tickets ($35-$49), phone (630) 530-0111 or visit www.drurylane.com.