Ch. 18- HELLO DOLLY

In This Episode

HELLO DOLLY

COMPOSER: Jerry Herman

LYRICIST: Jerry Herman

BOOK: Michael Stewart

SOURCE: Thornton Wilder’s play The Merchant of Yonkers (1938)

DIRECTOR: Gower Champion

CHOREOGRAPHER: Gower Champion

PRINCIPLE CAST: David Burns (Vandergelder), Carol Channing (Dolly), Charles Nelson Reilly (Cornelius)

OPENING DATE: Jan 16, 1964

CLOSING DATE: Dec 27, 1970

PERFORMANCES: 2,844

SYNOPSIS: Widowed matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi has been tasked to find a wife for the cantankerous, well-known, half-a-millionaire, Horace Vandergelder. Dolly doesn’t need to look too hard as she is the one who plans to marry Horace.

The unparalleled success of the title song from Jerry Herman’s Hello, Dolly! is explored through the succinct multiple meanings in its lyrics and the iconography associated with its original staging by Gower Champion and executed by Carol Channing. The history of the song (as popularized by Louis Armstrong), the title of the musical, and the many famous actors who appeared in its original run and subsequent productions are analyzed within the equation of one of the most recognizable sequences in Broadway history. 1995 Revival director Lee Roy Reams examines the way impactful branding, casting, and design decisions made by infamous producer, David Merrick, cemented Hello, Dolly! within pop culture history.

Lee Roy Reams’ ten Broadway credits run the gamut from Sweet Charity, Applause, Lorelei, Hello, Dolly and 42nd Street to La Cage aux Folles, Beauty and the Beast and The Producers.

SOURCES

FURTHER READING/VIEWING/LISTENING RESOURCES

Hello, Dolly, Original Cast Recording. RCA Victor (1964)

Hello, Dolly starring Walter Matthau and Barbra Streisand, directed by Gene Kelly, 20th Century Fox (1969)

Showtune: A Memoir by Jerry Herman, published by Dutton (1996)

Filichia, Peter. The Great Parade: Broadway’s Astonishing, Never-to-Be-Forgotten 1963-1964 Season. St. Martin’s Press, 2015.

Goldman, William. The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway. Limelight Editions, 1984.

Ilson, Carol. Harold Prince: A Director’s Journey. Limelight Editions, 2004.

Mordden, Ethan. Open a New Window. Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

Prince, Hal. Contradictions: Notes on twenty-six years in the theatre. Dodd, Mead; First edition, 1974.

Shapiro, Eddie. Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater. Oxford University Press; Reprint edition, 2014.

Viertel, Jack. The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built. Sarah Crichton Books, 2016.

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