6 'Hello, Dolly!' Dancers Get Engaged During Run of Broadway Show About Matchmaking
There seems to be something in the air at the Shubert Theatre in New York City.
Performing in a Broadway show about matchmaking has apparently paid off for these six dancers, who've all gotten engaged during its year-and-a-half-long run.
"I think there is a weird connection to the show," said "Hello, Dolly!" dancer Jessica Lee Goldyn, who was one of the last in the group to say yes. "I think it's incredible."
"Hello, Dolly!," which is playing at the Shubert Theatre in New York City, follows Dolly, currently played by Bette Midler — a widowed woman who helps couples find love while seeking marriage for herself.
The first in the cast to get engaged was Taeler Cyrus, who is from Los Angeles. Her boyfriend, Bill, popped the question on July 3, 2017, a few months after the show officially opened.
Just a month later, on Aug. 10, 2017, Sarah Meahl's boyfriend, Ed, asked her to marry him on a mountain top in the Rocky Mountains.
“That is kismet,” Meahl, of Orlando, Florida, told InsideEdition.com. "It started to get weird that we were all getting engaged."
Next up was Leslie Flesner of Miami, Florida. She got engaged to her boyfriend Justin the following month, on Sept. 17, 2017.
"It's honestly the craziest thing," the bride-to-be said. "It would be one thing if we were doing "Les Miserables" — this sad musical — and everyone was getting engaged. There seems to be a lot of parallels between the stories we’re telling on stage and our lives outside the show."
It was three months before Elizabeth Earley, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, got engaged on Dec. 10, 2017. She was, however, the first to marry.
"My dad was not in great health and so we were trying to get married in front of him," she said. "We didn’t quite make it, but these girls took incredible care of me."
Before Earley and her fiancé, Emilio Tostado, got married this past May, her fellow cast mates threw Earley a surprise bridal shower.
"I thought it was someone else’s party," she said. "It was at the theater in between shows. I came out and everyone surprised me and decorated the place and turned the alleyway of the theater into this magnificent party space. While I was grieving, these girls picked me up and helped me celebrate life and the matrimony I was experiencing too."
Jessica Lee Goldyn, of Parsippany, New Jersey, was the fifth dancer to say yes.
She joined the cast single — "almost swearing off guys" — but is now a married woman.
She was introduced to her now-husband, Luke Ballantyne, through a friend. They first spoke on FaceTime. "I came into the wig room and I said, 'I think I just met my husband,'" she recalled.
Ballantyne swept Goldyn off her feet.
"I got to share that with the cast, coming in every day taking about dates, talking about getting to know him and falling in love with him," she said.
Referring to the musical about love, she added, "It’s almost like the show found me."
This past spring, the couple went to Zambia, where Ballantyne asked Goldyn to marry him on March 30.
"He used the last family heirloom, the pearl earrings his father gave to his mother on their 30th wedding anniversary. [It was] very special as Luke’s dad passed [away] of cancer three years ago," she said.
Last week at their New York City engagement party, the pair surprised everyone — including her fellow "Dolly" girls — with news they had eloped in secret that morning.
“It was so amazing," said Cyrus. "There was not a dry eye in the house."
When the last actress, Amanda LaMotte of Orlando, Florida, got engaged to her boyfriend Ben on April 30, she knew the reaction she’d get once she told her co-workers.
"The best part is the day each girl walked in and said they got engaged because the love and support from everyone else is so fun," she said.
Cyrus agreed that she loved sharing the experience with her cast mates, who perform together in eight shows a week.
“What other reaction is there than absolute surprise and happiness for everyone in the cast?” she said. "It's amazing to share that with people you're with every single day."
Even with multiple women planning weddings, there's no competition or cattiness.
"We’re very lucky to have a loving room of girls who are supportive," LaMotte said. "It’s been a really fun experience for us to go through this together."
In fact, they’re helping each other get organized by sharing information about florists and DJs.
“Our tastes are different, so it’s a lot of fun to collaborate and share,” said Cyrus.
As a courtesy to each other, they all plan to wear different color dresses for their engagement photo shoots and different wedding dresses.
One of the show’s former leading ladies, Bernadette Peters, got each bride-to-be a tiara and offered them solid advice about marriage.
"[Peters] said, 'At the end of the day, it’s about you and Justin,'" Flesner said. "What’s most important is what’s at home and that’s your person. So that’s something she taught me."
The women also learned from each other during the experience.
"I’ve learned to have fun especially because I was going through so much with losing my father," said Earley. "These girls were the ones to remind me to pick myself up. It was completely analogous to the actual Dolly story in our show."
Meahl added, "I think why we are thriving ... is because it’s a wonderful group of women who keep lifting each other up.
"When your heart is happy, even at work, everything is happy."
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