The only real thing about Bette Midler coming to Broadway in a revival of Hello, Dolly! Is that she had not currently come to Broadway in a revival of Hello, Dolly! There have been several incarnations of Dolly Levi (such as Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, Ginger Rogers, Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, also, in the movie, Barbra Streisand), but maybe none more blindingly evident than Midler. In the end, she straps, she left her bones as exactly the type of unapologetic ham that Dolly is composed to be, and she looks like somebody the team of a restaurant could appear to welcome, just as they do at the show’s famous title tune. When it comes, this name tune may even be better to just listen to, with no visual to restrict the staff to what could be stored at a theater. In your head, the line of singing waiters can stretch into eternity.
Dolly Levi is a matchmaker and lady-about-town at nyc near the turn of the 20th century, along with the cast album of this new revival — led by Jerry Zaks and just nominated for 10 Tony Awards — adopts every thankfully conservative note of her experiences. Her co-star is David Hyde Pierce, who plays her potential love interest, Horace Vandergelder. Midler wraps her scrumptious, suede voice about “Before The Parade Passes By” and all of the remainder of Dolly’s strutting romps, along with the other actors, such as Gavin Creel and Kate Baldwin (who, like Midler and Pierce, are one of the recipients of this series’s 10 Tony nominations), rise to the event to play lovers that are destined to become somewhat trampled from the sheer force of Dolly’s existence.
A fantastic resurrection will also frequently offer you a little something which even somebody acquainted with the first may not have noticed, and that is true here, too: you will hear Pierce sing “Penny In My Pocket,” a solo which has been cut out of the original Broadway production and can be revived here. Those used to hearing Pierce as Niles Crane on tv may be amazed to hear him announce “exploding” because “boisting,” but this is celebrity flexibility, and this really is the New York musical.
Larry Hochman’s orchestrations are conventional but also lively; the banjo retains complete the string-band jazz texture that finds the activity quite especially as to place and time. As welcome as new voices are around Broadway, and as essential as development is, there is something to be said for a cast album that seems like it might have been recorded anytime in the previous 50 decades, especially if this particular “indelible dame” show collides at last with a few of our amazing indelible dames.