THEATER TALK to Celebrate HELLO, DOLLY!'s 50th Anniversary this Weekend

THEATER TALK to Celebrate HELLO, DOLLY!'s 50th Anniversary this Weekend

THEATER TALK celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Hello, Dolly! with a trio of guests, each with a different association with the long-running show. Actress Sondra Lee was the production's original Minnie Fay; Lee Roy Reams was Cornelius in the 1978 revival and directed the second revival in 1995; and dancer Marge Champion, married to the show's director-choreographer Gower Champion, was present at the show's creation. The 1964 mega-hit was a musical adaptation of Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker, with a book by Michael Stewart, score by 26-year-old Jerry Herman and produced by the notorious David Merrick. The show's original cast included: Carol Channing, David Burns, Charles Nelson Reilly, Eileen Brennan and Ms. Lee. It ran for a record-breaking 2,844 performances from Jan. 15, 1964 to Dec. 27, 1970 and won 10 Tony Awards, a record it held for 35 years.

Hosted by Michael Riedel of the New York Post and Susan Haskins, the 50th Anniversary of Hello, Dolly! edition of THEATER TALK premieres in the New York metropolitan area on Friday, February 28 (2014) at 1 AM (early Saturday morning) on Thirteen/PBS, with repeats on CUNY TV* on Saturday 3/1 at 8:30 PM, Sunday 3/2 at 12:30 PM, and Monday 3/3 at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 7:30 PM.

The assembled group talks of Champion's casting and brilliant staging, Merrick's hatred of the show while it wasn't working out of town, and its rapturous opening night and reception. Lee contrasts the work of Champion with another theater legend, Jerome Robbins, with whom she had worked in Peter Pan. In addition, Reams, with Fred Barton at the piano, performs one of Herman's lesser-known Dolly tunes, cut from the show, that was revived for Lee Roy's club act.

THEATER TALK is jointly produced by the not-for-profits Theater Talk Productions and CUNY TV. The program is taped in the Himan Brown TV and Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and is distributed to 100+ participating public television stations nationwide. THEATER TALK is made possible in part by The New York State Council on the Arts, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The TDF/TAP Plus Program, The CUNY TV Foundation and The Friends of THEATER TALK.

*CUNY TV, the City University of New York television station, is broadcast over-the-air in the New York metropolitan area on digital Ch. 25.3, and cablecast in the five boroughs of New York City on Ch. 75 (Time Warner and Cablevision/Optimum), Ch. 77 (RCN), and Ch. 30 (Verizon FiOS). The show is available online anytime at and, and via iTunes podcasts. CUNY TV is also live-streamed on

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