May 22, 2019 at 9:51 am #1202904569
I got to catch the national tour of Hello, Dolly! in my area last night, and here are my thoughts:
Now starring as the world famous meddling matchmaker herself, Broadway legend Betty Buckley proves to be a terrific Dolly Gallagher Levi. Not only does she deliver big time in the humor and vocal departments, but she also really gets into the heart of that character. Which is especially evident in the scenes where Dolly gives these monologues to her late husband, Ephriam, as she decides to “rejoin the human race”.
The rest of the cast also proves to be quite the quadruple threats. Not only do each of them sing, dance, and act well, but they also play the comedy very well. Lewis J. Stadlen is perfect casting as the grouchy half-a-millionaire, Horace Vandergelder, who sets out to seek himself a new wife. Nic Rouleau gives a very enthusiastic performance as Vangergelder’s chief clerk, Cornelius Hackl, who yearns for one exciting day in New York to find love. Analisa Leaming gives a sweet performance as the fun-loving millner, Irene Molloy, who yearns for romance. Sean Burns as Cornelius’ follow, Barnaby Tucker, and Kristen Hahn as Irene’s follower, Minnie Fay, are both well-matched not only by their onstage chemistry, but also by the naivety of their characters.
Under the direction of Jerry Zaks, he gives a very old school approach to the show by staging it the same way a lot of Broadway musicals were staged during the Golden Age. No cutting edge technology, no projections, just hand-painted scenery on scrims as well as the physical sets. Credit must be given to scenic designer Santo Loquasto (who also did the costumes) for creating such a colorful, vibrant world on stage as well as Natasha Katz for her wonderful lighting designs. Choreographer Warren Carlyle also works in the style of Gower Champion’s original work to some incredible results.
Overall, this musical absolutely stands the test of time. Michael Stewart’s very humorous book has lots of heart while Jerry Herman’s tuneful score (with new life breathed into it by Larry Hochman’s orchestrations) still holds up. Whether you’ve seen a stage production of Hello, Dolly! before or not, I don’t think you’re ever going to see one quite like this. It’s such a joyful ride that should leave you smiling from beginning to end.May 22, 2019 at 10:38 am #1202904631
I’m hoping to catch Buckley in the role. But given her questionable attendance am hesitant to buy a ticket until I know she’ll be in.May 22, 2019 at 10:45 am #1202904639
I’m seeing it on Saturday and keeping my fingers crossed she’ll be in. I saw the production with Bette so I don’t really care to see the tour with an understudy. Though I do really like Louis J. Stadlen.May 22, 2019 at 2:02 pm #1202904857
I will say that it’s also so astonishing how Betty is able to pull off a role like that at her age.May 29, 2019 at 9:03 am #1202915008
Jimmy Smagula will be joining the cast of the current national tour of Les Misérables as Thénardier in Fort Worth, Texas on June 25th.
https://www.broadway.com/buzz/195972/jimmy-smagula-joins-the-national-tour-of-alain-boublil-claude-michel-schonbergs-les-miserables/May 29, 2019 at 9:04 am #1202915010
The Tony-winning hit, Hairspray, will apparently be launching a new national tour in the fall of 2020.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Rialto-Chatter-HAIRSPRAY-To-Launch-National-Tour-Fall-2020-20190529May 31, 2019 at 11:23 am #1202918073
Ain’t Too Proud will be launching a national tour in Providence, Rhode Island next summer.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/AINT-TOO-PROUD-to-Launch-National-Tour-From-Providence-Summer-2020-20190531May 31, 2019 at 3:11 pm #1202918368
Blue Man Group will be launching a national tour of their new show Speechless starting this September at the Hollywood Phantages Theatre. http://www.playbill.com/article/blue-man-group-to-launch-new-touring-show-with-la-premiereJune 3, 2019 at 6:35 am #1202921456
Heidi Shreck’s Tony nominated play, What the Constitution Means to Me, will be launching a national tour in Los Angeles this January.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/WHAT-THE-CONSTITUTION-MEANS-TO-ME-Will-Launch-a-National-Tour-In-January-2020-20190603June 6, 2019 at 10:57 am #1202925966
Three-time Tony nominee Carolee Carmello will be taking over for Betty Buckley as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the National tour of Hello, Dolly! on September 24th.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/amp/c.php?url=Carolee-Carmello-Will-Star-in-HELLO-DOLLY-on-Tour-20190606June 12, 2019 at 3:14 pm #1202935093
A new national touring production of the 2007 Tony nominated musical, Xanadu, is set to launch this fall.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Drag-Superstars-Ginger-Minj-Jinkx-Monsoon-Join-XANADU-Tour-20190612June 13, 2019 at 7:35 am #1202935905
American Idol alums (and real-life married couple) Ace Young & Diana Degarmo will be leading a national tour of the 2013 musical, First Date.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Diana-DeGarmo-and-Ace-Young-To-Lead-FIRST-DATE-National-Tour-20190613June 17, 2019 at 12:35 pm #1202941912
The Prom will be launching a national tour in Providence, Rhode Island in February of 2021.
https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Its-Time-to-Dance-THE-PROM-Heads-Out-on-Tour-February-2021-20190617June 18, 2019 at 11:07 am #1202942926
Newcomer Emma Grimsley will assume the role of Christine Daaé in the North American national tour of The Phantom of the Opera in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 7th.
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