On Friday, March 23rd, I ventured to the Shubert Theatre in Midtown Manhattan with two friends to experience the world of Hello, Dolly! Both of my friends were familiar with the show’s plot, but I went knowing absolutely nothing about the storyline. However, that did not hinder my ability to understand what was going on, or to enjoy the show. Hello, Dolly! centers around an older woman, Dolly Gallagher Levi, who is a professional matchmaker by trade. Her latest client and famous half-a-millionaire, Horace Vandergelder, catches her eye. She plans to sabotage his proposal to another woman with the hopes that he will notice her charm instead.
Hello, Dolly! made its first debut on Broadway in 1964, and has had four revivals since then. Its success landed it a spot in Hollywood with its release in 1964, starring Barbra Streisand.
The show was entertaining and clever. Despite its original release date, the jokes and emotions of the characters are still relatable. Although the music is not something that I would choose to listen to on my own, it suited the purpose of the story, and created a happy atmosphere in the theater. The characters interacted with impressive multiple story sets. I couldn’t help but appreciate the attention to detail that was evident in the set design. Colorful gowns and suits created a sea of hues while the dancers and actors moved across the stage.
Previously, the part of Dolly was played by Bette Midler, but recently Bernadette Peters has taken over. After she delivered a clever line, audience members had a tendency to give her a standing ovation. This happened numerous times throughout the show, and lasted for several minutes each time. Other actors would have to stop what they were doing on stage and break the fourth wall, while ushers quieted down the audience. I appreciate Peters’ extraordinary talent but found it unnecessary to applaud her every move. With a background in theater, I am well aware that it takes more than the star to produce a show. All of the other actors gave impeccable performances as well, so why should she be the one getting all of the applause? As a performer, I can imagine that being interrupted in the middle of a scene because of applause for someone else, would be quite startling. I believe that applause should be held until the end, so that each performer can get the recognition they deserve.
Hello, Dolly! put a smile on my face, as it has for many others. It is a feel-good show with a happy ending. If you’re in need of a light-hearted play, check it out on Broadway. Out of the budget? No problem, the movie is accessible on Amazon for a low price, and the soundtrack for free on YouTube.