Before the Parade Passes by, catch a real classic as Dolly Levi and her loveable matchmaking art takes the stage in the first new production of Hello, Dolly! to appear on Broadway since it opened more than fifty years ago!
Michael Stewart’s (book) and Jerry Herman’s (music and lyrics) masterpiece, Hello, Dolly!, returns to Broadway starring none other than Bette Midler.
Directed by four-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Zaks, this production will pay tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion, which has been hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history.
They don’t make ’em like they used to — and that goes double for Broadway’s dazzling revival of “Hello, Dolly!” thanks to the show itself and its above-the-title supernova, Bette Midler. Frankly, there ought to be another exclamation point.
The brilliant alignment of performer and role is all that really needs to have happened here. Dolly is back where she belongs and so, for her fans, is Midler. Both are intensely nostalgic projects. The production, directed by Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, is as close to homage as a modern show dares get to a work that even in 1964 was something of a throwback.
And in Midler, “Dolly” has at last found a new headliner capable of engendering the necessary ecstasies as she swans down the famous staircase at the Harmonia Gardens restaurant, shimmering in her corseted gown, peacocky plumage sprouting like fireworks from her head. From her first entrance on a (fake) horse-drawn cart to her last bow, Midler serves up a star performance of glowing luster, rambunctious clowning and, on just a few occasions, surprising emotional delicacy. To say she sweeps all before her is to understate the feat: Without breaking into a sweat — although she pretends to wilt against the scenery, to hilarious effect, once or twice — Midler transforms this cotton-candy cloud of a musical into a bona fide theatrical event.