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QCT SPOTLIGHT: Mary Lynne Arms

Mary Lynne Headshot

Dolly Gallagher Levi is a larger-than-life personality. To fill a role like this one, you need an actress with grace, with charm, and with a warmth that sets every heart in the room aglow.

You need Mary Lynne Arms…


Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself…

A: Well, I’d like to consider myself as a born and bred old Midwesterner, having come back home after living on both coasts and performing all over the country in my career…and now taking part in QCT’s HELLO DOLLY!. My mother had just celebrated her 100th birthday when I saw the ad on TV for auditions, and I said…”I have to try…”—even though it was somewhat of a drive to Quincy!


Q: This isn’t your first time playing Dolly. Why did you want to revisit her?

A: I love the “Dolly” role. It’s always been one of my favorites for its music and message. I happened to meet Jerry Herman when my husband and I lived in California. He was a gracious gentleman who came up onstage after our performance and hugged EVERYONE! Now that’s my kind of “Show-Biz.”

Dolly is one of my idols because she struggles and NEVER stops…and she always loves!


Q: Why do you think Dolly still resonates with so many?

A: I believe that audiences keep coming back to see Jerry Herman’s HELLO, DOLLY! because they all want to be in love, fall in love, or make sure that others do, too!


Q: Has your interpretation of Dolly changed over the years?

A: Having done this show twice before—at Tibbits Opera House (MI) and Lawrence Welk Resort Theater (CA)—my perception of her has grown as I have grown over the years. She’s my gal!


Q: What is your favorite song from the show?

A: My favorite song in the show is “So Long, Dearie”…the final word…which always brings ’em back! Yes, it does!


Q: How has your experience playing Dolly at QCT been like so far?

A: My time here with QCT has been wonderful. What a loving, caring group of folks your team has brought together under the sensitive and nurturing direction of Brandon Thomsen. It has been a complete joy! I hope to keep in touch with many new friends!

I would not hesitate to encourage anyone of any age to get involved with QCT. It is a ‘growing,’ loving, joyous life-giving experience!!


Mary Lynne Arms


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