Carol Channing Introduces Pearl Bailey's Hello Dolly

PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Back when the Tony Awards did 9-minute medleys from musicals that showed what the entire production was like, and had extended solos from the leads.

http://youtu.be/d4eS0x16v1k
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
What a joy to visit this clip again. Thank you P.J. So besides the casting; was there any other production or creative differences in the show once it opened with the new cast?
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
NoName3
Leading Actor
joined:8/12/11
I downloaded this clip long ago, but, echoing DAME, thanks PJ for bringing it to attention. Legends.
Wilmingtom
Broadway Star
joined:7/18/11
I saw Pearl as Dolly and she was a scream. Her mantra may well have been, "What 4th wall?" Cab Calloway was also a Horace for the ages.
hushpuppy
Broadway Star
joined:11/13/04
In 1975 I was a broke college student when I took a Greyhound bus from San Francisco to Los Angeles to see Pearl Bailey in HELLO, DOLLY! at the then-new, now-gone Shubert Theatre in Century City. I slept on the floor of a friend's dorm room at UCLA. To this day, it remains one of the most memorable evenings of my life.

In regards to the Tony Awards. I wish producers would realize that what makes a live Broadway production unique (for me anyway) is seeing a performer of the caliber of Miss Bailey hold the audience in the palm of their hands without resorting to mass-spectacle, over-the-top gimmicks, or throngs of people on stage. For example, how much more special would it have been, instead of having the whole KINKY BOOTS cast on stage singing 'Everybody Say Yeah' (which made me scream 'no'), the show's producers had just given us the far more moving 'Not My Father's Son', which would've let us know why Stark Sands and Billy Porter were nominated in the first place. IMHO, big production numbers may look great in the theatre, but they don't translate well on television.

Of course, a star like Pearl Bailey comes along so rarely...
'Our whole family shouts. It comes from us livin' so close to the railroad tracks'
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Those of you who enjoy this might like this.
Carol & Pearl In Concert
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
I still would like to know if there any other production or creative differences in the show once it opened with the new cast?
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
eatlasagna
Broadway Legend
joined:10/6/04
is it me but does Pearl Bailey kinda look like Queen Latifah...
Cassandra2
Understudy
joined:9/17/13
Funny you say that.. Latifah has expressed interest in playing Pearl Bailey for years.
RagtimeRay
Stand-by
joined:5/16/03
Dame asked about creative changes in the Pearl Bailey/Cab Calloway version of Hello, Dolly! I had the pleasure of seeing her twice on Broadway. Prior to seeing her I had seen Channing, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, and Betty Grable either on Broadway or in touring productions, so I was very familiar with the show. Every star who portrayed Dolly brought her own unique "interpretation" to the role (for example, during the title number Betty Grable hiked up her skirt to show off those famous Grable "gams." Pearl Bailey, as evident in this video, brought her own style to the part, but I was not aware of any changes in the script or staging. Lucia Victor, who had been an assistant to Gower Champion, staged the production following the well-established template of her mentor. The sets were the same. For Bailey, the costume in the second half of the first act (hat shop through Before the Parade) was yellow, rather than the green and lilac outfit worn by earlier Dollys. (NOTE: For Merman, that costume was pink.)

But the new star and cast managed to breath a freshness into the show that kept it running well beyond when it might otherwise have closed. She starred for about two years in the role.

One innovation of their production was what she called "Act Three." Following curtain calls, Miss Bailey inevitably addressed the audience, engaged in a bit of banter and some of the schtick for which she was well known (I recall her slipping off her shoes complaining about her feet being tired). After dismissing the rest of the cast she and Cab Calloway would do a song. The audience ate it up.

Perhaps others will have their own memories. During one of her shows I had my 9 year old brother with me, and a seat in the front row. During the curtain call as she came around the runway, I held my brother up and she leaned down and kissed him on the forehead. For many years I saved the handkerchief with the lipstick I wiped off his head.
Ray is the author of the Brad Frame mystery series, and KISSES OF AN ENEMY, a tale of political suspense. http://www.rayflynt.com
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
I got chills reading your memories. Sounds wonderful. Thank you. Channing did curtain speeches during her last tour ( I did see her previous revival . But I was a kid and I can't remember if she did it then). But it sounds like Bailey did a whole number. Wouldn't it be great if there was footage of that somewhere?

Also.. does anyone know how close the last revival was production wise to the very original?

HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
Updated On: 10/25/13 at 05:04 PM
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Was it Hello Dolly where David Merrick approached Pearl to play the lead and Pearl said there was a nice ring in Tiffany's window? Pearl got her ring and the notoriously cheap Merrick got his star.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
RagtimeRay
Stand-by
joined:5/16/03
If you saw Channing's last revival, it was virtually the same as the original production. The differences would only be noticeable to a person like myself that saw the original a dozen times.

One of the debates that is (apparently) happening related to a potential Broadway revival is that Jerry Herman reportedly does not want to see the show "reimagined" but was fond of the original staging and design of the show. Dolly was the first Broadway show I ever saw, so I have fond memories. The original production of Dolly was a first-class production and it is hard to argue with what Gower Champion, Freddy Whittop and Oliver Smith brought to the original.

I'd love to see another revival with a new cast before the "Parade Passes me by."

I saw Carol Channing on her first US tour and she did curtain speeches, as she did in the most recent revival.
Ray is the author of the Brad Frame mystery series, and KISSES OF AN ENEMY, a tale of political suspense. http://www.rayflynt.com
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
Thank you Ray. I do think it is time for a re imagining. If not it is just going to happen once Jerry Herman is gone.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
(I recall her slipping off her shoes complaining about her feet being tired).

Pearlie Mae's feet were ALWAYS tired, going back to her earliest days.

Tired...

http://youtu.be/BIuR6AP9WG0
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
That number was also ..tired.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
I have to disagree about the colors of the end of Act One costumes for various actresses. The styles of the costumes and the hats were modified to suit the stars but the color of the costume always remained lilac and green. In the book about Jerry Herman's lyrics, there are plenty of photos to support this.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
Would love to see some of the advertisements used for the different ladies as well.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
As I recall, the ads remained the same throughout the run of the show: A black background with bold red lettering for the show's title and the current leading lady's name above it.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
South Fl Marc
Broadway Legend
joined:6/23/04
What a great clip! Thank you for posting.


"One of the debates that is (apparently) happening related to a potential Broadway revival is that Jerry Herman reportedly does not want to see the show "reimagined" but was fond of the original staging and design of the show."

I'm sorry to hear that. I love "Hello Dolly". I think it's the perfect musical. I would love to see a revival but, if it's done with the exact sets, costumes and direction I have no interest whatsoever.
It's been done. many, many times. It's time for a new look.
Now living in DC. I really have to change my name on the board.
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Jerry feels that the sets, costumes and staging were all an integral part of the show's success. The recent Goodspeed production proved that the material is strong enough to stand on its own. Still, I missed the wonderful Gower Champion touches in the original.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)