Review Roundup: Carolee Carmello Stars In HELLO, DOLLY! On Tour - See The Reviews
Joining Carmello is John Bolton (Horace Vandergelder), Daniel Beeman (Cornelius Hackl), Analisa Leaming (reprising her role as Irene Molloy), Sean Burns (Barnaby Tucker), Chelsea Cree Groen (Minnie Fay), Colin LeMoine (Ambrose Kemper), Laura Sky Herman (Ermengarde), Jane Brockman (Ernestina), and Blake Hammond (Rudolph).
The ensemble features Colin Bradbury, Alec Cohen, Julian DeGuzman, Karen Elliott, Christopher Faison, Jenny Hickman, Laura Irion, Madison Johnson, Julie Kavanagh, Nathan Keen, Ben Lanham, Marty Lauter, Ian Liberto, Hillary Porter, Steffany Pratt, Kyle Samuel, Scott Shedenhelm, Timothy Shew, Maria Cristina Slye, Cassie Austin Taylor, Cayel Tregeagle, Davis Wayne, and Brandon L. Whitmore.
See what the critics are saying!
Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant: In the title role of the bustling busybody Dolly Levi, Carolee Carmello has a singing voice that's almost too good for this obstreperous character, which (at least when Carol Channing played her) is known for her nasal whine.
Matthew DeKinder, St. Louis Today: This production really is a treat, from the endearing and perfectly hammy performances of Carmello and Bolton to the rousing dance number "The Waiters' Gallop" that generated lengthy applause from the audience (which I'm sure the cast greatly appreciated, if only to just to catch their breath).
Tim Leininger, Journal Inquirer: The supporting cast is wonderful. John Bolton is hysterical as the crotchety Yonkers feed store owner that Dolly has her eyes set on, Horace Vandergelder. Daniel Beeman, and Sean Burns are great as Horace's two employees Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, respectively, who sneak away from the shop for the day to go to New York City to hopefully meet women. As good as their performances are, Beeman and Burns look way too close to the same age - Cornelius is supposed to be 33 and Barnaby 17. Making them look more disparate in age would have made the narrative more believable.
Kelly Luck, BroadwayWorld: It is no surprise that the Tony for 2017's Best Revival of a Musical went to Hello, Dolly. Revivals, like Dolly itself, are all about nostalgia. It's that soft-focus backward gaze to a magical land that never quite existed. Dolly has delivered on its expectations for some half a century now, and shows no sign of abatement. With the launch of a new tour run - and a new "Dolly" - it seems the old favorite as as strong as ever.
Tina Farmer, KDHX: The dancing is always a highlight in the light-as-a-feather musical spectacle, and the current production, with choreography by Warren Carlyle, does not disappoint. "Dancing," "Elegance" and "The Waiters' Gallop" remain highlights, along with the titular number, with colorful costumes and a few new steps bringing fresh energy that honors the original. The updates add bright, cheerful accents to a show that is popular because of it's familiarity and, based on the enthusiastic reception opening night, the combination works.
Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The phrase we're looking for is "too much of a muchness" - which, fortunately, does not apply to the performances. Carmello is an engaging Dolly, exuding enough homespun charm to make up for what she lacks in brassiness. Bolton is terrifically charismatic as the no-nonsense Vandergelder. And Leaming turns in a beautiful rendition of "Ribbons Down My Back."
Mike Smith, Media Mike: The fun in the show is infectious, thanks to the amazing cast. When I mentioned that I was seeing this production, I was asked if Betty Buckley was playing Dolly. She wasn't. And, as much as I love Betty Buckley (I saw her on Broadway in "Sunset Boulevard") I'm so glad I was able to see Ms. Carmello in the role. Armed with a beautiful voice and great comic timing, she had the audience in the palm of her hand from her first appearance on stage. Mr. Bolton, who I saw on Broadway two decades ago in the musical "Titanic" has just the right amount of bluster to make Vandergelder lovable. The chemistry between the two is very visible. Supporting cast members, including Kansas City native Daniel Beeman (Cornelius) and Analisa Leaming (Mrs. Malloy), also give strong performances. And the "background" performers - townspeople, etc - are among the best dance ensembles I've ever seen.
Janice Francis-Smith, The Journal Record: Carolee Carmello did justice to the larger-than-life role, belting out the songs and serving up pithy zingers with all the charm and comic timing the character demands. When she shows up in Act II on a staircase, in that red dress, and launches into the title song, Carmello delivers.
Brandy McDonnell, Oklahoman: The creative team, cast and musicians are uniformly excellent, and the production boasts a bounty of Broadway glamour to make the stage spectacle even more spectacular. From the playfully dancing horse and the chugging steam engine to flaming dishes wielded by the high-stepping waiters to the twinkling lights framing the rich red curtain, this "Dolly" is a delight.
Frito, KJ103: Over the next 2 hours and 45 minutes, I had my mind thoroughly changed by a musical comedy that - if it took itself seriously - would indeed be the boring, eye-rolling affair that I was expecting. Instead, what I got was a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek show that takes the best of "Old Broadway" and marries it with the modern staging of current musicals, all backed by a stellar cast, led by two amazing Broadway veterans. If you're on the fence about Hello, Dolly!, please allow me to push you off that fence and into the doors of the Civic Center to see this show before it leaves town.