Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!

Mr. Nowak
Featured Actor
joined:5/20/13
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 12:00am

One of the most beloved and successful musical hits opened on Broadway fifty years ago today, going on to play 2,844 performances, spawn a hugely successful cast album and win a then-record-setting 10 Tony awards.

Would anyone who saw the original run with any of its illustrious leading ladies care to share their memories?

After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 03:11am
Hard to believe 50 years have passed. In the abstract, fifty years seems like such a long time. Yet they have passed as if in an instant.

My memory of the original production was that it was pure magic from beginning to end. Put on Your Sunday Clothes took my breath away. When the chorus came out in those costumes and the train began clanging to Jerry Herman's glorious music, I was in seventy-seventh heaven. The Hello Dolly! Number brought down the house. Dancing was spun gold. Before the Parade Passes By filled me with joy. The incomparable Carol Channing, was never more incomparable. The sets and costumes were gorgeous, Gower Champion's staging has never been equalled. And Jerry Herman, without question our greatest living composer-lyricist by far, provided a score of pure ambrosia. And to top it all off, that sublime finale, when we got to experience all those wonderful songs yet one more time -- I cried both tears of euphoria, and tears of despair that it was all coming to an end. The same tears I shed today.

Long live Dolly! In fifty years, nothing has come along to equal its magic.

Updated On: 1/16/14 at 03:11 AM
hushpuppy
Broadway Star
joined:11/13/04
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 07:23am
I never saw the original, but I did see the 1975 revival with Pearl Bailey, Carol Channing in 1978 and 1994, and Nell Carter somewhere in between, and I'm with you, After Eight. Like no other show, HELLO, DOLLY! triggers the same emotional responses with me...every...single...time.

I read somewhere that Gower Champion could predict exactly where, in the title number, the audience would burst into applause, right down to the precise note. So obviously we're not the only two people who get carried away with this show.

I have a bootleg recording of Ethel Merman in DOLLY, which I have listened to over and over, so not only the songs, but the book is firmly embedded in my brain.

Before I die, I hope to see a full-scale production featuring the two songs that were reinstated for Ethel Merman.

Anybody else going to Town Hall on the 20th to see Carol Channing? I hope she gets a chance to talk a lot about the original production.

'Our whole family shouts. It comes from us livin' so close to the railroad tracks'
Updated On: 1/16/14 at 07:23 AM
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 07:45am
Well, Hello, Dolly!

Happy 50th!


The OBC in 1965
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Updated On: 1/16/14 at 07:45 AM
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 08:18am
Hushpuppy,

I got to see Ethel Merman twice in Dolly! The two additional songs were both wonderful, and when she rang out the final notes of those songs like a clarion, electricity coursed through me and the entire audience. The applause was like a volcanic eruption. What an experience!
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 09:06am
"Before I die, I hope to see a full-scale production featuring the two songs that we reinstated for Ethel Merman."

Hushpuppy, was that a simple typo, or were you part of the "we" who reinstated the two songs for Ethel Merman?

I'm feeling so old right now. Saw Hello, Dolly on Broadway on my very first trip to NYC while in college (with Ginger Rogers). But I also saw Mame the very same day. You haven't lived until you've seen TWO Jerry Herman musicals in one day! Couldn't wipe the smile off my face for days!
Sally Durant Plummer
Understudy
joined:8/15/13
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 10:59am
HELLO, DOLLY! Is a legend. Even if you don't know musical theatre, you have heard of HELLO, DOLLY! Each leading lady to play Dolly has brought something to the role; be it the soulfulness of Pearl Bailey, the cool brass of Ethel Merman, or the joyful ease of Carol Channing.
It is odd to think that back in 1963/1964 reviews for "Dolly, a Damned Exasperating Woman" were unenthusiastic. And yet, with the great flexibility of Carol Channing and David Burns, the genius songwriter Jerry Herman, the amazing direction by David Merrick, the addition of "Before The Parade Passes By", and the change of title, it became the biggest hit of the decade. I am sure we are all happy no one listened to the advice that "Put On Your Sunday Clothes" be cut because it stopped the show.

I, too, have listen to Merman portraying this role, and those 2 added songs are simply perfection. The book plays with ease and the entire production never seems to age. How I wish I could have been there to see those great ladies at the top of the stairs, in that iconic red dress, singing one of the best songs in theatre.

And yet, 50 years later, all that remain of the original Broadway Dolly's are the original: the glowing, loving, and fantastic Carol Channing. She is just as much alive now as she was then and always eager to talk about the show and her Iconic role.

In an age where orchestras are being eliminated, "Rock Operas" won the Tony, and casts of 20 are large, we need something to bring Broadway back to what it should be, and I believe a revival of HELLO, DOLLY! could do just that.

Updated On: 1/16/14 at 10:59 AM
Sally Durant Plummer
Understudy
joined:8/15/13
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 10:59am
Double post.
Updated On: 1/16/14 at 10:59 AM
ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 11:02am
Hello Dolly was the very first Broadway musical I ever saw.
ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 11:06am
I was there on Opening Night and went on to see the production 73 times (with every other actress who played the title role).

Yes, it was a euphoric experience--and even the recent Goodspeed production has its euphoric moments.

Right now WALK-AM (13.70) is doing a tribute to the show. As "Memories in Melody" is basically a big band program, they're playing Louis Armstrong's recording as well as songs performed by Betty Grable, Martha Raye and Pearl Bailey thrown in.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
hushpuppy
Broadway Star
joined:11/13/04
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 11:34am

@patash: yeah, it was a typo. not enough coffee. I only wish I had been part of the production.

In the 1994 revival, during her curtain speech , Channing talked about taking the show abroad, after its US tour. That never happened. Does anyone have any insight as to what occurred?

When I saw Pearl Bailey in 1975, at the Shubert in Los Angeles, she did an 'Act III' where she talked a little bit, and then did a duet with Billy Daniels (who played Horace) of 'A Foggy Day in London Town'. I know Channing did curtain speeches, and that Merman gave a curtain speech after the final performance (something about 'going out for Neopolitan ice cream', borrowing a line from the Harmonia Gardens scene). Mary Martin sang 'Hello, Fellas' in Vietnam and 'Hello, Tokyo' in Japan, but did all the actresses who played Dolly give curtain speeches?

'Our whole family shouts. It comes from us livin' so close to the railroad tracks'
broadwaybabywannabe2
Featured Actor
joined:11/9/11
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 12:42pm
my true HELLO DOLLY story...in 1978 I was working for the producer CAROL SHORENSTEIN at the CURRAN THEATRE in San Francisco as her assistant...great job...and we were bringing in HELLO DOLLY from a national tour with CAROL CHANNING...Ms. Channing went to high school in SAN FRAN and as part of the publicity for the shows engagement, she was to go back to her high school in the city and speak to the school at an assembly...I was asked by my boss to accompany Ms. Channing in her limo to represent the CURRAN and I spent the whole day sitting in the limo with Ms. Channing and her then husband...and she was Gracious and Wonderful to spend time with...and of course the run of the show at the Curran sold out...CAROL CHANNING made a triumphant return to her home city!...and I got to spend an afternoon in her company...what a thrill for sure...
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 01:05pm
I was at HELLO, DOLLY's final performance at the St. James. Merman did not give any speech. And there's no line about Neopolitan ice cream. It's "tutti frutti ice cream"

"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Updated On: 1/16/14 at 01:05 PM
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 01:19pm
Please don't let facts get in the way of a nice story!


hushpuppy
Broadway Star
joined:11/13/04
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 05:00pm
According to both Lita Doolan's 5/29/08 review in the Daily Info, and Richard Skipper's chapter on Carleton Carpenter on his website 'Call on Dolly', it's Neapolitan ice cream, but I'll have to go back to my live recording to see just what Russell Nype orders at the Harmonia Gardens in the Broadway production.

I got part about the Merman speech from Peter Filichia's book Broadway Musicals: The Biggest Hit and the Biggest Flop of the Season, 1959-2009, page 29:

"Following Bailey came Phyllis Diller (yes, the eccentric comedian played it straight) until Ethel Merman took over. She was in place for the closing. Theater historian Skip Koenig reports that Merman's curtain speech after minutes of tumultuous cheers included, 'Well, I don't know about you, but I am going out for some Neopolitan (sic) ice cream!"
Daily Mail review of Hello Dolly
'Our whole family shouts. It comes from us livin' so close to the railroad tracks'
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 05:15pm
The applause was deafening. It's possible that she said that but was inaudible over the crows's noise.

I also have that live recording and realize the ice cream is called "Neopolitan". However, the voice is much too young to be Russell Nype and the line has always been "tutti frutti"
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Stage Door Sally
Broadway Star
joined:6/4/09
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 06:00pm
Thank gawd you confirmed that "Neapolitan" ice cream line, I can sleep in peace now.
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 06:25pm
"I also have that live recording and realize the ice cream is called "Neopolitan". However, the voice is much too young to be Russell Nype and the line has always been "tutti frutti"

You do all realize I hope that Neopolitan ice cream is nothing like Tutti Frutti ice cream? Just for the record.
NoName3
Leading Actor
joined:8/12/11
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/16/14 at 07:13pm
Considering that the show was both originally written for her and provided her with a triumphant final role on Broadway, how appropriate that today is also Merman's birthday.

Happy birthday, Ethel and Dolly!



Updated On: 1/16/14 at 07:13 PM
Stage Door Sally
Broadway Star
joined:6/4/09
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/17/14 at 08:58am
"You do all realize I hope that Neopolitan ice cream is nothing like Tutti Frutti ice cream? Just for the record."

True. Maybe the actor whose voice is much too young to be Russell Nype meant to say Frozen Pudding ice cream. It's very similar to Tutti Frutti, only without the nuts.



A whop bop-a-lu a whop bam boo
Updated On: 1/17/14 at 08:58 AM
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/17/14 at 10:56am
My first memories of Hello Dolly were seeing an in-the-round production starring the warm-as-honey Betsy Palmer at the North Shore Music Theater probably in the late 60's. By the time Pearl Bailey's touring company came back to Broadway in the mid-70's I thought there was no way the show could live up to the hype, but Lordy that company put such an everlasting smile on my face, I remember leaning on the 2nd balcony rail just beaming and beaming.

It wasn't till the mid-80's that I finally saw the legendary Carol Channing in one of her tours. Again, I thought there was no way that lady could have anything fresh left to show us after all those years touring the provinces. And yes, there WAS a bit of a museum piece to the ritual of the show with that cast and that choreography. But the lady was a total marvel and the show was built of solid gold, truly one for the ages. Let it never grow old.
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/17/14 at 02:26pm
Just saw a local production in Chicago with twinbelters starring Karen Ziemba. The production had its weaknesses, but what really stood out was the potential Ziemba has to being a true star Dolly in the hands of the right director should there be a Broadway revival. Her voice was utterly magnificent and she truly had the presence and charisma. She just needs a director with an eye for detail to crank up the comedy a few notches without succumbing to old-school corniness, which is already more than amply provided for in the book.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/17/14 at 08:18pm
There's supposedly a revival for the show planned for next season. It'll play a Nederlander house and will star Kristen Chenoweth--who is also supposed to star in ON THE 20th CENTURY. Maybe she has the ability to bi-locate, I don't know.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
carolineorchange21
Featured Actor
joined:1/21/12
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/18/14 at 04:46am
The Seven Broadway Dollys

Carol Channing
January 16th, 1964 - August 7th, 1965




Ginger Rogers
August 9th, 1965 - February 25th, 1967



Martha Raye
February 27th, 1967 - June 10th, 1967



Betty Grable
June 12th, 1967 - November 5th, 1967



Pearl Bailey
November 12th, 1967 - 1969



Phyllis Diller
December 26th, 1969 - March 26th, 1970



Ethel Merman
March 28th, 1970 - December 27th, 1970


Hetty King
Stage Door Sally
Broadway Star
joined:6/4/09
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/18/14 at 07:17am
Those Dolly photos are wonderful Caroline! Today there is a Dolly reunion featuring original Broadway cast members at the Local 802 Musician's Hall - NY Sheet Music Society. Should be fun!


Dolly reunion
carolineorchange21
Featured Actor
joined:1/21/12
Happy 50th Anniversary to HELLO DOLLY!
Posted: 1/19/14 at 06:02am
The sketches for Dolly's costumes -





More stage shots -

Betty -





Martha -





Phyllis -





Ginger -





Pearl -





Ethel -





And...



of course...



the incomparable...



Carol



Hetty King

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