There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the current revival of Hello, Dolly!, especially around its star, Bette Midler. Starting on June 13, Donna Murphy began playing Dolly Gallagher Levi on Tuesday evenings. It is absolutely worth seeing Hello, Dolly! twice because Donna Murphy is giving a sensational performance as the meddling matchmaker.
Hello, Dolly! chronicles the exploits of Dolly Levi (Donna Murphy) as she tries to convince a Yonkers businessman, Horace Vandergelder, to marry her. While their boss heads to NYC to march in a parade, Horace’s employees, Cornelius (Gavin Creel) and Barnaby (Taylor Trensch) head to NYC as well on a mission to find love. Also wrapped up in Dolly’s shenanigans are a widowed hat saleswoman, Irene Malloy (Kate Baldwin), and Horace’s niece, Ermengarde (Melanie Moore).
This production is visually stunning. Santo Loquasto’s scenic and costume designs are rich and detailed. A train that drives across the stage is particularly impressive. Warren Carlyle’s choreography is expertly executed by the show’s large ensemble.
Murphy makes a thrilling Dolly. The role might as well have be written for her. She is hilarious as she painstakingly eats a meal of chicken and dumplings in the second act, but her monologues to her dead husband, Ephraim, are heartbreaking. Those moments provide depth in a story that doesn’t have much of it. Creel and Baldwin strike comedic gold as well. It doesn’t hurt that they both have rich and beautiful voices that enhance the show’s classic score. Their performance of “It Only Takes a Moment” is a highlight of the production.
While Hello, Dolly! doesn’t have the depth of many more modern musicals, the phenomenal production design and performances make the current revival worth seeing.
Get yourself to the Schubert Theatre on a Tuesday. Murphy’s performance as Dolly is one not to be missed!