Review Roundup: Were the Critics Wow, Wow, Wow'd By the National Tour of HELLO, DOLLY?
The first national tour of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival of Hello, Dolly!, starring Tony Award winner Betty Buckley, launched earlier this week from the Stanley Theatre in Utica, New York, before moving on to Cleveland, OH.
Ms. Buckley is joined by Lewis J. Stadlen (Horace Vandergelder), Nic Rouleau (Cornelius Hackl), Analisa Leaming (Irene Molloy), Jess LeProtto (Barnaby Tucker), Kristen Hahn(Minnie Fay), Garett Hawe (Ambrose Kemper), Morgan Kirner(Ermengarde), and Jessica Sheridan (Ernestina).
Let's see what the critics have to say...
Roy Berko, BroadwayWorld: From her first entrance, which was met with thunderous applause, Buckley "had" the audience. She delighted, playing much of the show toward the viewers, and waving and teasing people close to the stage apron. Her voice was strong, her movements appropriate for the choreography she was given.
Andrea Simakis, Cleveland.com: The titular number, and every other in this gorgeously realized touring production, is executed with the sort of love, energy and attention to detail you'd expect in a world premiere. Too often, revivals are weighed down by the history of past success, every line and lyric a cliche. And Broadway's "Hello, Dolly!" - with its Who's Who of leading ladies, beginning with Carol Channing in 1964 and ending with Bette Midler in 2017 - carries more baggage than many.
Yet director Jerry Zaks, who helmed the Midler production, and his cast and crew bring the kiss of youthful first love to "Dolly's" rouged cheek. There is nothing tired or rote in a single routine. Every visual gag lands; each exactingly choreographed movement is crisp and specific.
Bob Abelman, Cleveland Jewish News: While in great voice and exuding the confidence of a pro, Buckley brings little to the role while stand-out performances by Lewis J. Stadlen as the comic foil Vandergelder, Nic Rouleau and Jess LeProtto as his endearing young clerks Cornelius and Barnaby, and Analisa Leaming and Kristen Hahn as their adorable love-interests Irene Molloy and Minnie Fay, are inventive, energetic and always entertaining.
Bob Ableman, News Harald: Magnificently orchestrated company numbers orbit around Buckley rather than include her. And while she gets at the heart of the character when asking her late husband to bless her renouncement of widowhood and rejoin the human race in "Before the Parade Passes By," her comedic moments - elongated in anticipation of the raucous reaction earned by past performers - fall rather flat.
Be sure to check back, as BroadwayWorld will be updating live as the reviews come in!