Marist College’s spring musical is a show that comes from an age as golden as the girl who plays it’s lead. Hello, Dolly! will premiere in the Nelly Goletti theater on Feb. 27, and play through March 3. Liana Frasca, a senior journalism major, will bring the role of Dolly, a widowed match-maker, to life. This coming-of-age Broadway musical is fun, bright, and true to the time it was made. “On top of manipulating these relationships and looking out for herself, Dolly is such a huge personality and she is a strong woman,” said Brian Powers, a senior who is appearing in his eighth and final show with Marist College Club of Theater Arts. “Liana is going to do such an amazing job”, said Powers.
This will also be Frasca’s final performance with MCTAA, and according to her cast mates, she has saved the best for last. “We all knew Liana was talented, but I don’t think anyone knew she was this talented. She is so perfect for this role.” said senior cast mate Quincy Brown, who is playing Cornelius Hackl.
For Frasca, this part and the responsibility it carries has been a long time coming. “I started doing shows in ninth grade and haven’t stopped since,” said Frasca. “Landing this role has caused a major shift in my perception about acting. I’m learning to take emotional risks.” Compared to some, she is still rather new to the game of acting, despite this being her sixth main stage performance at Marist.
In her final performance, it’s only the experience she has gained as an actor over the past eight years that shows. “You cannot believe how perfect she is for the role,” said Powers. “The past four years our grade has been incredibly strong. Liana has been type-casted as very small, principle roles. But this show, she is really able to show her strengths and how far she has come. She is really able to show how amazingly talented she is. No one could have been cast better.” With blonde hair, a bright, unmistakable smile, and a personality that outshines any physical attributes, Liana is taking on this 1964 musical with confidence. Dolly Levi is one of the most iconic roles in Broadway history, previously portrayed by Hollywood veterans such as Bette Midler, Barbara Streisand, Shirley Booth and Carol Channing. “[Dolly] is a self-made woman whose career is built around her intelligence, wit, and charisma…she’s really one of the most complex characters I’ve been lucky enough to play,” said Frasca.
Tara Kinsella, a senior playing Irene Malloy, is excited to see all of the elements come together in the show, but makes it clear that the main element is Frasca. “Liana is truly one of the most effortless performers I have ever seen,” said Kinsella. “She captures Dolly’s essence through her humor, tenderness and confidence throughout the show. She understands what it means to be honest on stage and how to communicate with an audience.” In a show that is so heavy on costumes, music, and dancing, Liana has learned what it means to be honest in a character. Kinsella credits Frasca’s performance in her ability to bring the audience through the story with her, despite external, theatrical distractions. “She’s very expressive,” said Frasca, referring to Dolly. “Whatever she’s feeling, she shows it in her whole body. It’s been an awesome learning experience getting out of my head and into my body for the sake of the character. She’s very different from me in that way, and I have a lot to learn from her.”
In just a few weeks, what Frasca has learned will come to life on stage in what will be her final show at Marist College. What she’s most excited for? Sharing the spotlight with her cast mates for a final time. “It’s especially cathartic, because I’m sharing the stage with some of my absolute best friends.” Reserve your tickets now at http://www.marist.edu/box-office, and see Frasca take her final bow in Hello, Dolly!