Pop Icon Toni Tennille at YCPAC

By JESSE BERTEL
Across the Street

Beloved music legend Toni Tennille comes out of retirement this month to play an iconic theatrical role. Tennille, a Grammy winner, stars in “Hello, Dolly!” Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 3-20, at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center (YCPAC), 1100 E. Sheldon St., Prescott.

“It’s one of the roles I’ve wanted to do but never had the opportunity to,” Tennille said in a news release.

The unforgettable voice behind the Captain & Tennille, whose hit “Love Will Keep Us Together” ruled the airwaves in the mid-1970s, Tennille will share the stage with more than 50 student performers as matchmaker Dolly Levi.

According to Stephanie Zeh, a singer and actor playing Irene Molly, the hardest part of preparing for this performance has been body conditioning.

“We started this January and we had to do conditioning in order to get our bodies to the level that they needed to be in order to do these really dance-heavy numbers in a corset and heels,” Zeh said. “All the women are corseted and learning how to sing and use your breath while also being corseted, I feel like that has been the most challenging part — just adjusting your body to be conditioned to do this caliber of a show.”

Zeh explained that working with Tennille is an incredible experience.

“She is the most humble, wickedly talented woman,” Zeh said. “When I’m in my 80s and I’m still going, I really do hope that I can be like her.”

Tennille’s musical theatre roots trace back to the late 1960s, when she composed music for South Coast Repertory’s musical Mother Earth. After years of live performances and TV guest appearances, Tennille signed to play Victoria Grant/Count Grazinski in the national tour of Victor/Victoria and performed the show for nearly a year.

Happily retired in Northern Arizona, where she is a generous benefactor of local arts organizations, she will step out under the lights once more, in a lavish production of a show that has celebrated the likes of Carol Channing, Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler.

“People are going to walk out of this show, and they’re going to be humming,” Tennille said. “There are some moments in there where we hope to get a few tears, which you don’t think about in a big comedy show, but they’re there and we’re going to show them to the audience.”

Hello, Dolly! runs Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 3-6; Nov. 10-13; and Nov. 17-20. Curtain times are 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, with 3 p.m. Sunday matinees. Please note the Saturday, Nov. 12, performance will also be a 3 p.m. matinee. Tickets run $35/$45/$55 and $65 for adults, with $15 youth tickets available.  The Ticket Office at YCPAC is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. For reservations or more information, call 928-776-2000 or visit www.ycpac.com.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott
News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email
him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext.
2043.

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