LAHS Olions Celebrate 40th Anniversary With Production Of ‘Hello, Dolly!’

IMG_0790 (2).jpgCharles Shay, director of the Los Alamos High School Olions, speaks to the cast during Tuesday evening’s rehearsal of ‘Hello, Dolly!” at Duane Smith Auditorium. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

IMG_0797Members of the Los Alamos High School Olions rehearse Tuesday evening for ‘Hello, Dolly!’ at Duane Smith Auditorium. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


The Los Alamos High School Olions put on their first production of “Hello, Dolly!” back in 1979 and this year they are celebrating their 40th anniversary by again presenting the popular musical to the community at Duane Smith Auditorium this weekend, April 11-13 and the following weekend, April 18-20.

“This is our celebration of our club which has lasted for more than 40 year. We are the longest standing club at LAHS and we would like to thank everyone who has helped keep us alive and flourishing,” said Jessica Erkkila, president and head of advertising for the club.

The show kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m. with a preview, which Erkkila said is basically an open dress rehearsal.

“We will try out best to run straight through the show but we will stop if need be,” she said.

Formal performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13 with a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday. the following week, the performances will be at the same times on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets for the preview are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. For all other performances, the tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

The plot of the musical centers around the widow Dolly Gallagher Levi, a matchmaker in New York City, who is sneakily trying to arrange love while all the time trying to win a man for herself, Erkkila said.

“She causes chaos with her meddling turning it into a hilariously fun comedy with extravagant musical numbers,” she said.

Dolly is played by Evelyn Doebling while Joseph Sarrao plays Horace Vandergelder. Other main actors are Ogden Berry, Nora Cullinan, Elijah Hanks, Jackson Bell, Malea Joyce and Erkkila who also serves as dance master for the production.

“Hello, Dolly!” is directed by Charles Shay. Jason Rutledge is the music director, Ryan Daly is the technical director, Patrick MacDonald is the choreographer and Jeremy Bleich is the pit conductor. Maya Rogers is the student vocal captain and Nora Cullinan is the student technical director.

“What can people can look forward to? We have an amazing two-story set built entirely by students, teachers and parents as well as never-before-seen lighting designs. We have very extravagant costumes, an amazing pit orchestra, big dance numbers (the waltz and the polka are my personal favorites), and classic songs that anyone who has seen “Wall-E” knows and loves,” Erkkila said.

The show is being judged to hopefully be nominated for the New Mexico High School Musical Theatre Awards, otherwise known as The Enchantment Awards.

“If nominated, we will be eligible to win Best Ensemble, Best Direction, and Best Production. Our lead actors are also eligible to be nominated for Best Actor/Actress, and Best Supporting Actor/Actress. Last year, our show “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” won Best Ensemble, and in 2016 our production of “Spamalot” won Best Direction. We have also had seven students nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress over the past three years,” Erkilla said.

The Olions will find out on Monday, April 15 if their show and/or anyone in it gets nominated.

IMG_0793.jpgLos Alamos High School Olions are rehearsing hard for their production of ‘Hello, Dolly!’ which runs April 11-13 and 18-20 at Duane Smith Auditorium. Photo by Maire O’Neill/ 

IMG_0799.jpgLos Alamos High School Olions Evelyn Doebling and Joseph Sarrao practice their lines during rehearsal Tuesday evening. Photo by Maire O’Neill/