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Bette Midler is back to wowing Broadway and this is in the revival of “Hello, Dolly!” Opening Thursday at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre, you get to enjoy seeing a much beloved star playing a role that is especially fit for her!
The enchanting production is directed by Tony-award winning Jerry Zaks and captures the attention of the audience much for the layout of the play as for the star power it boasts of! The stage lighting is riveting and the spread of drops sets a merry scene for Dolly Gallagher Levi as she wades between New York and Yonkers plying her numerous trades.
The portrayal of the single, semi-millionaire, Horace Vandergelder, is also worthy of mention. He wields much autocracy in the running of his store that sells hay and feed. Horace is professionally played by David Hyde Pierce. The schematics of Dolly (Bette Midler) as she follows through her goal of marrying Vandergelder are endearing for their silliness.
Well, here is a brief of the storyline: A wealthy and cantankerous widower is in need of a wife. He seeks the services of a matchmaker who is professional to help him find a befitting mate/companion. This brings him to Dolly Gallagher who he assumes should be playing match-maker for him. Unknown to him, though, Dolly has already had a realisation of the perfect match for him; none other than herself! The problem, though, is how to make him realise that they are perfect for each other. What follows is a slew of ovation-worthy scenes that will leave you captivated from start to finish!
The choreography of the classical is done by Warren Carlyle and his style definitely renders it a hit. Nevertheless, it draws much from the iconic works of Gower Champion which has been credited as being one of the most outstanding products in the history of musical theatres.
Aside from David Pierce and the famed Bette Midler, the staging is not lacking in big names. Kate Baldwin, Melanie Moore, Gavin Creele and Will Burton are all part of the cast and so is Jenifer Simard.
“Hello, Dolly!” has undeniably become one of the hottest selling tickets of the year. It actually broke the record for being the best “first-day ticket selling staging” in Broadway’s history! Even at the time of previews, it had highly impressive pre-performance advance sales - the best in the history of Broadway!
Even in the house of Sam S. Shubert Theatre, the play has been making history! It recorded the highest ever weekly grossing in the theatre’s history. This makes it a rather prime event to mark on your calendar if you haven’t seen it already!
No doubt, reviews have been generous in approving its profile. Ben Brantley of the New York Times applauds Midler as “working hard for her ovations while making you feel that the pleasure is all hers”!
Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times says that half the fun of watching the classical staging comes from the fact that they are both “two pros at the top of their game”.
Reeling with much classical musical charm, this is a theatre staging that is sure to live up to your every expectation. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio even proclaimed April 20th as “Hello Dolly Day” being that it was opening. It is complete with captivating dancing which makes for a riveting musical staging. As they fall in love on set, you will be reminded of the beauty of musical theatres which made you fall in love with such live shows!
Just so you know, “Hello, Dolly!” first made its Broadway debut in 1964 where it won a whooping 10 Tony Awards. The Grammy Hall of Fame inducted an original cast recording in 2002. It quickly rose to Number One on the Billboard charts and was only replaced the following week by Hello, Dolly! by Louis Armstrong. It has become among the noteworthy theatre hits which have endured from decades ago wand each new revival is as captivating at the last. With Bette playing the part of Dolly, you most definitely need to book a date for enjoying it one more time with a cast that will rightfully demand tons of ovations from you!