Paige Davis is a familiar face to Utahns, through her work on TLC’s reality show “Trading Spaces” and a decade as pitchwoman for the R.C. Willey furniture stores.
In May, Utah will get to see Davis take the stage as the brassy matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi, in Pioneer Theatre Company’s production of the classic musical “Hello, Dolly!” The show closes PTC’s season, and runs May 13 to 28.
It will be the first time Davis has performed onstage in Salt Lake City, but she’s no rookie. She appeared in the first national touring production Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (as the feather duster, Babette), in the title role in the 2008 national tour of “Sweet Charity,” and in 2013 on Broadway and the touring production of the revival of “Chicago” (playing the accused killer Roxie Hart).
Besides her long run on “Trading Spaces,” Davis received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her work as host on “Home Made Simple,” which ran on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Her husband, Patrick Page, has starred in PTC productions of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “Richard III,” and “Henry V,” as well as performing with the Utah Shakespeare Festival for six seasons.
The classic musical, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, adapts Thornton Wilder’s “The Matchmaker,” and tells the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, who travels to Yonkers, N.Y., to find a match for the “half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder.
The original 1964 production, starring Carol Channing, won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. A 2017 Broadway restaging won four Tonys, including Best Revival and an award for Bette Midler’s portrayal of Dolly. The 1969 movie starred Barbra Streisand as Dolly, Walter Matthau as Horace, and Michael Crawford as Horace’s young clerk Cornelius. (Clips from the movie are seen in Pixar’s “WALL-E,” helping the title robot get an understanding of human romance.)
Karen Azenberg, PTC’s artistic director, will direct the show. In a statement, Azenberg said, “when I thought about a Dolly Levi who would resonate with our audience, and brighten what has been a challenging season, I knew that the sass and attitude that Paige brings to the beloved matchmaker would be a great fit for an audience who already adores her.”
“Hello, Dolly” will follow the production of “Fireflies” and will be PTC’s seventh show for its 2021-2022 season. Tickets for performances — at the Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, at 300 S. 1400 East, Salt Lake City, on the University of Utah campus — are on sale at pioneertheatre.org.