Bernadette Peters in Hello Dolly!
"It's so nice to have you back where you belong"
Music by: Jerry Herman
Based on The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder
Attended on February 4, 2018
Why did I go?
There is no version of a universe in which I wouldn't go to this production.
I am a devoted Hello Dolly! fan. I got hooked way back in the stone ages when Netflix used to mail DVDs to your house and I ordered the 1969 film version. I've been humming Sunday Clothes and Before the Parade Passes By ever since.
I love that this revival has brought Hello Dolly! back in vogue. I first saw this production in the fall starring Donna Murphy because of my devotion to the material. I didn't care to see Bette Middler in the role. While I recognize that Bette is perfect for Dolly (and I deeply admire her twitter), the ticket prices were too high for someone who didn't grow up watching her on screen. For an NYC theater nerd, Donna Murphy was exquisite.
Then came the announcement that Bernadette Peters, a broadway legend, would be taking over the role.
I repeat: there is no version of a universe in which I wouldn't go to this production.
What's it about?
A meddling matchmaker, Dolly Levi, falling in love with a wealthy businessman, Horace Vandergelder. It's a slap-stick, over the top, New York City love story. What more do you people want?
Also, they feature it pretty extensively in the pixar film Wall-e.
Why do you like it so much?
The score. A Jerry Herman showtune is second-to-none. Though this sounds cliche, there just aren't many contemporary musicals that leave you humming a tune as you walk out the door. Hello Dolly! had me humming out the door, onto the street, onto the subway, up the five flights of stairs to my apartment, and then some. Not everyone is going to love this music, but if you're ever in need of a rousing anthem, this show provides several.
The cast. Bernadette Peters is perfect. It really felt special to see a living legend onstage in a role that celebrates life and passion, especially when the chorus sings "It's so nice to have you back where you belong". *nerding out*
At 70 years old, Bernadette Peters is still exactly where she belongs. And it is a joy to be there with her.
Victor Garber is perfect for Horace, and I even prefer him to David Hyde Pierce. Gavin Greel and Kate Baldwin surpass already high expectations, and a recent Carnegie Mellon grad rounds out the cast. Seriously, what else do you want?
The Charm. This is the type of show where almost every song has an encore because almost every song needs an encore. The energy is just that high. The show is fluffy but it is FUN. This production leaves its audience feeling elevated.
I definitely thought this was better than any golden-age revival I've seen on broadway in recent years. I enjoyed it more than King and I, She Loves Me or On the Twentieth Century. (All of which I thoroughly enjoyed, this just made the biggest impression).
I whole-heartedly endorse this production.
"Promise you'll never go away again"
Hello Dolly! on Broadway