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Andrea Martin Says Hello to Wilder's Dolly

Cover for the DVD 'SCTV Vol. 2.'
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Cover for the DVD 'SCTV Vol. 2.'

On the 50th anniversary of Thornton Wilder's play The Matchmaker, Tony Award-winning actress Andrea Martin stars as Dolly Levi at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C.

Still best known from the sketch comedy series Second City TV, Martin talks with NPR's Liane Hansen about her stage and screen work since the show ended 20 years ago.

Wilder's play, which was turned into the Broadway success Hello, Dolly!, had several attractive elements for Martin, including the positive outlook on life brought to the play by Dolly Levi. But the role also represents a second chance for the actress to portray a favorite character by one of her favorite playwrights.

Several years ago, Martin was part of a production of The Matchmaker in Williamstown, Mass., that was plagued with misfortune. She only got to do five performances and when the opportunity to play the role came a second time, she didn't hesitate.

"I knew that I never delved as deeply as I could -- I wanted to walk in her shoes, I wanted to know the soul of Dolly Levi."

Martin performs in The Matchmaker opposite Tony nominee Jonathan Hadary as Horace Vandergelder through October 24. And next month, the second season of Second City TV is scheduled for release on DVD.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.