Bette Midler and ‘Hello, Dolly!’ a gorgeous match: museum review
They don’t make ’em like they used to — and that goes double for Broadway’s gorgeous reconstruction of “Hello, Dolly!” interjection to a uncover itself and a above-the-title supernova, Bette Midler.
Frankly, there ought to be another exclamation point.
If we don’t know a classical by composer-lyricist Jerry Herman and author Michael Stewart, it usually takes a impulse to get we adult to speed.
In 1890s New York, matchmaker Dolly Levi (Midler) has been enlisted to find a mother for abounding businessman Horace Vandergelder (David Hyde Pierce). The options: milliner Irene Molloy (Kate Baldwin, lovely) and Ernestina Money (Jennifer Simard). But Dolly, a widow, wants Horace for herself.
The group, along with Horace’s employees, Cornelius (Gavin Creel) and Barnaby (Taylor Trensch), and Irene’s partner Minnie Fay (Beanie Feldstein) hit during a imagination restaurant. Chaos (and nuptials) follow.
The show, a best low-pitched Tony leader of 1964, is old-school comic valuables filled with good songs. The book — formed on Thornton Wilder’s play, “The Matchmaker” — afterwards as now is as parsimonious and buoyant as a late-19th century corset and bustle.
Director Jerry Zaks surrounds a singing-and-dancing gem with a gold setting. Santo Loquasto’s scenic designs — a brew of happy embellished backdrops and set pieces — are bubbly and first-rate. Loquasto’s period-rich costumes are riots of plaids and Crayola splendid shades — they’re over beautiful. Natasha Katz’s lighting bathes it in a glow.
Choreographer Warren Carlyle, desirous by Gower Champion’s strange dances, fills a theatre with high-stepping oomph. It hits a culmination with a swift of galloping, leaping, whirling waiters.
The whole expel shines. As a businessman Vandergelder, Pierce sells his comedy and his songs (“Penny in My Pocket”) deliciously. Creel delightfully reminds that when it comes to adore “It Only Takes a Moment.” Simard is shouting gas on legs.
But this show’s all about Dolly, a purpose indelibly related with Carol Channing, who’s played it 3 times on Broadway. It’s a purpose done for personality. And Midler, with her 40-plus years of experience, has that — and afterwards some. She’s in excellent voice and eases into a performance, that fits how a uncover is built. In brief order, she flies.
It’s interesting only examination her watch a antics — and blink on occasion. When she hilariously tucks into a meal, she has us eating out her hand. When she declares it’s time to react a vital (“Before a Parade Passes By”), she pushes a pathos symbol and wraps us around her small finger. On a night we saw “Dolly,” she incited a coughing fit into a silly celebration. It’s that kind of show. She’s that kind of star.
Type out all a superlatives we can since nights like this in a museum — in that tingles continue from proposition to final crawl during a Shubert Theatre — make we feel overjoyed. That is a tonic for uneasy times!
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