Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but for those still looking to get matched up, they might try to pick up some tips from Dolly Gallagher-Levi at Morgan Middle School this weekend.

The Ellensburg High School winter musical is putting on “Hello Dolly!” and debuts at 7 o’clock tonight in the Morgan Middle School Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, and all tickets are general admission. There is also a limited number of free tickets for families qualifying for free and reduced lunches.

The play centers around the main character Dolly, who is a turn-of-the-century match maker trying to set up a well-to-do business man Horace Vandergelder.

Dolly is being played by Haley Rominger, an EHS senior who has gone all in on the part, including dying her hair red.

“They asked me if I’d be willing to, and I did,” Rominger said with a laugh.

This is Rominger’s fourth and last winter musical, last year playing Mrs. Pots in the “Beauty and the Beast.” This is her first time as the titular character, and said it’s been a lot of fun learning the play inside and out.

“It’s definitely been stressful a lot of the time,” Rominger said. “But I’m definitely going to be very sad when it’s over.”

Rominger is playing opposite Kyle Nolan, who compares his character Horace to a popular bottom-of-the-ocean fast food chain owner.

“He’s definitely like Mr. Crabs from Spongebob,” Nolan said with a laugh. “Old crusty guy, loves money and nothing else.”

Nolan said the production has been a bit of a “crunchfest,” with the cast receiving their scripts a little later than they were expecting.

“Amidst balancing homework and other extra-curriculars, I try to mix in anytime that I can to learn lines or blocking,” Nolan said.

Behind the scenes

The high school musical doesn’t just give students a chance to perform on stage, since students pretty much are in charge of every aspect of the show, from stage management, sound, the orchestra, make up, costumes and more.

Felice Bello is the backstage left manager, and is in charge of all the props and set pieces that come in and out of her side of the stage.

“Last year I was a stage hand and just helped, but I’ve never been in charge,” she said.

On President’s Day, the crew of about 75 students had an 11-hour rehearsal, and by the end of the day, things were running a lot smoother.

“It was kind of insane but it was well worth it,” Nolan said. “From when we started at 10 a.m., to when we finished at 10 p.m., so much had gotten so much better, it was really eye opening.”

Soren Lundquist is in charge of running sound for the production, and has had so much fun doing it that he intends on exploring it as a potential career path. He started in the tech crew at the high school who help set up and run the sound board for assemblies, then did his first musical at Hertz Hall a few years ago.

“I really had a knack for it,” Lundquist said. “I had fun, I liked watching the musical. ... I think spring quarter I’ll do some workshops (at Central Washington University), that’ll be super fun.”

The play debuts tonight as well as 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. March 1 and 2 and 2 p.m. March 2.


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