By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, for SouthFloridaReporter.com, Nov. 9, 2015 – The first question that everyone wants answered is: Is it possible to buy Lee Roy Reams as Dolly Levi in The Wick Theatre’s Hello, Dolly!
The answer is “sometimes.” The answer also depends on how willing you are to accept the theatrical conceit of Reams being the second man ever to play the part, even with composer Jerry Herman’s blessing.
Some people will be unable to let their imagination meet the production halfway even though they’re willing to ignore the cables that make Peter Pan fly. Some will come in with a chip on their shoulder about the entire premise. Others will revel in the gay-friendly idea of a man in drag, à la Charles Busch, which is very much not what Reams has in mind.
Reams is, in fact, playing Dolly absolutely straight as an acting challenge with as much integrity as Brian Bedford playing Lady Bracknell. He rarely winks at the audience to acknowledge the obvious subterfuge.