We are headed into our last week of performances of "Hello, Dolly!" here at Riverside Theatre, and what a joy it has been. Having never done this show before, nor indeed seen it on stage, I was not prepared for the love affair that audiences have with this story and these characters. Of course it helps to have the vivacious Michele Ragusa as Dolly, and a company of fine performers telling the story, under the direction of the redoubtable Jimmy Brennan.
As my last act of my time here in sunny Vero Beach, I thought I would introduce you to one of those fine performers, who not only has done "Hello, Dolly!" -- but has done it with the original Dolly, the great Carol Channing. Roger Preston Smith has been my roommate here at Riverside and I have gotten to know him and have reveled in his astonishing stories from his 45 year career in show business. Roger plays the Judge in our production and serves as dance captain, and no one could be better suited to that job--in his day, Roger has galloped the Waiter's Gallop hundreds if not thousands of times!
|Roger with Carol Channing|
And Channing is not the only star that Roger has worked closely
|A young Roger Preston Smith|
|Roger giving a full split on his 65th birthday!|