Fraser Valley Stage presents Hello, Dolly!

Production opens Feb. 23 at Abbotsford Arts Centre

Sharla Sauder plays Dolly and the waiters are played by (from left) Mark Kroeker

Sharla Sauder plays Dolly and the waiters are played by (from left) Mark Kroeker

Broadway’s greatest musical, Hello, Dolly!, will open to much fanfare this March in the Big Apple, but there’s no need to fly to New York.

Fraser Valley Stage is bringing the award-winning musical to the Abbotsford stage for eight performances from Feb. 23 to March 4.

“Hello, Dolly! is an exuberant and irresistible story of living life to the fullest,” says artistic director Joanna Unger. “It is so exciting to be bringing such a classic, well-loved musical to the Abbotsford Arts Centre the week before it opens on Broadway.”

Dolly Levi (Sharla Sauder) is an independent widow who’s an expert in just about everything, especially matchmaking. And when she sets her sights on her own match with half millionaire Horace Vandergelder (Larry Doan), the chaos ensues.

“Getting the role of Dolly has been a challenge and a joy,” says Sauder, a 20-year veteran of FVS. “I hope to capture the fearless confidence of this sassy gal.”

The production is filled to the brim with signing, dancing, witty dialogue and a special guest appearance by the MEI Screaming Eagles Marching Band.

“We have some wonderful new talent who will blow you away with their acting and vocal abilities,” Unger says.

Lyndon Shuster, a first-time performer with FVS, is part of the large male chorus that joins the production.

“I love how cheesy and over the top it is; the humour in this show is absolutely fantastic,” he says.

First produced on Broadway in 1964, Hello, Dolly! won a record 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, a record held for 37 years.

It was later made into a film in 1969 and won three Academy Awards.

The Abbotsford version includes timeless classics such as Put On Your Sunday Clothes, Before the Parade Passes By, It Only Takes a Moment and, of course, Hello, Dolly!

The show runs Feb. 23-25 and March 2-4 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre, 2329 Crescent Way.

Show times are 7 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $25 for adults/seniors and $15 for students (18 and under). On opening night (Feb. 23), tickets are $20 for adults/seniors.

Tickets are available at Prospera Credit Union (West Oaks), Tourism Abbotsford (Sumas Way) and online at fraservalleystage.com. Call 604-854-5463 for more details.