The Fox Theatre launches this season’s Broadway series with the classic 1964 musical “Hello, Dolly!” If you don’t mind all the hokum, it’s an impressive production.
Based on “The Merchant of Yonkers” by Thornton Wilder, the farce was turned into a musical comedy by Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart. It won 10 Tony Awards in ’64, including Best Musical. It’s been playing somewhere ever since, and is currently on its fourth Broadway revival — which also won multiple Tonys.
It seems everybody loves Dolly.
It’s easy to see why. The current production boasts bright, colorful costumes; bold, impressive dance sequences; sharp, clever set design; a top-notch orchestra; and a talented, compelling cast. Toss in a couple of iconic show tunes (“Before The Parade Passes By” and the title song) and you’ve got all the makings of a classic Broadway show and a fun night at the theater.
So what if the story is incredibly corny? That’s part of the appeal, right?
Carolee Carmello and John Bolton give all-star performances as Dolly Levi and Horace Vandergelder. She’s a matchmaker (among many other things) and he’s a “half-a-millionaire” in search of a wife. She’s tired of being on her own and comes up with an intricate — some might say convoluted — plan to marry Vandergelder, because if you’re going to get married he might as well have money.
Vandergelder owns a feed store and there’s a subplot involved his two employees (Daniel Beeman and Sean Burns), who skip out on their job in Yonkers to have an adventure in New York City. They hook up with a pair of ladies (Analisa Leaming and Chelsea Cree Groen) who believe the young men are wealthier than they are. Hijinks ensue.
“Hello, Dolly!” is the kind of show where strangers fall in love at the drop of a hat. In fact, in this case they even acknowledge it in song (“It Only Takes A Moment”). It’s an energetic, lighthearted romp that won’t be going away for some time.
“Hello, Dolly!” runs through Oct. 13 at the Fox Theatre. https://www.fabulousfox.com