Hello, Dolly !
Dolly Levi Gallagher’s adventure started in 1835 as an English one-act farce, A Day Well Spent, which was in turn made into the full-length German play Einen Jux will er sich machen (He Will Go on a Spree or He'll Have Himself a Good Time) in 1842. When the German production was brought to New York, Thornton Wilder was inspired to write his own adaptation The Merchant of Yonkers that debuted in 1938. The show was a box office failure, but renowned director Tyrone Guthrie saw promise in the material and urged Wilder to revise the script. The result was The Matchmaker, which in 1955 proved to be a hit starring Ruth Gordon. Finally in 1964, Hello, Dolly!, the musical adaptation of The Matchmaker, debuted on Broadway starring Carol Channing in the title role. The show is one of the most popular and successful musicals in Broadway history running for 2,844 performances (seven years!). It won ten Tony Awards, a record that remained unbroken for 37 years. Channing was followed by a series of popular stars including Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Pearl Bailey as part of an all-black version, Phyllis Diller and, finally, Ethel Merman (for whom the part was originally written). Many other famous actresses have portrayed Dolly in regional, national and international productions, among them Mary Martin who toured in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Hello, Dolly! contains a timeless message: live and let go, jump into the unknown, find love, overcome grief, embrace life. May we all always find the same courage as Dolly who refuses to give up “before the parade passes by”.
Enjoy the show!
Kathe and Greg