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Locals put on Sunday Best for RCMT's Hello Dolly

Nathan Sartore may only be 15 years old, but already he's racking up an impressive list of musical theatre credits.

Nathan Sartore may only be 15 years old, but already he's racking up an impressive list of musical theatre credits.

A Grade 10 student at Heritage Woods secondary, Sartore has performed in the Theatre Under the Stars production of Bye Bye Birdie, Perry Ehrlich's ShowStoppers and several school drama shows.

And starting this weekend, Sartore will be making his Royal City Musical Theatre debut in the ensemble cast of Hello Dolly, running at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster from April 14 to 28.

"It's such a great opportunity to work with the professional actors," he said. "It's been great working with them in that professional atmosphere."

Sartore started dancing at the age of six and trains at the Tri-City Dance Centre; he also takes voice and acting lessons with Lonnie Delisle.

Three years ago Sartore added some international experience to his resume, when he travelled with the Dance Centre for performances in Disneyland and on the Norwegian Cruise Line. And in 2010, Sartore performed as a dancer at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Games.

Being in an RCMT production has been a tremendous learning experience, Sartore said.

"In classes you're just learning - you're trying hard, but when you're doing a show with professional actors... and when you're working with a director like Valerie Easton, who's so well known around the city, you're always trying to make a good impression."

In addition to Sartore, the large Hello Dolly cast has another nine Tri-City members.

Among them is Carly-June Friesen, a 21-year-old Port Coquitlam resident who graduated from Capilano University's musical theatre program last April. As a student she won the roles of Kili, a dwarf in The Hobbit, and the fairy godmother in Cinderella.

She's also part of the ensemble cast in Hello Dolly, her RCMT debut, citing Put on Your Sunday Clothes as her favourite number because it brings "pretty much everybody" on stage.

"We're singing and dancing in a lot of the numbers, and Valerie's great to work with," Friesen said of the Hello Dolly director, and fellow Tri-City resident, Valerie Easton. "It's a fun show and there's lots for the ensemble to do."

Easton said she went for Hello Dolly because it's such a family friendly classic, full of familiar, singable tunes.

"It's a fabulous script, and everybody knows the song Hello Dolly," she said.

The show has been enjoying a resurgence lately, she added, since the animated film Wall-E used two Hello Dolly songs - Put on Your Sunday Clothes and It Only Takes a Moment.

Hello Dolly is also a musical that appeals to a broad audience.

It tells the story of widowed matchmaker Dolly Levi, who schemes to convince her wealthy client, Horace Vandergelder, that she - not the pretty young upstart Irene Molloy - will be the best match for him.

"It's lots of fun, and it's a bit of a farce," Easton said. "They all end up at the same place, at the same time, not realizing the others are there, so it's a lot of mayhem."

Hello Dolly is at the Massey Theatre (735-8th Ave., New Westminster) April 14 to 28, with shows at 8 p.m. and weekend matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at or by calling 604-521-5050.