Stop the Parade, They Want to Get On! Broadway's Best Tackle Dolly's Signature Song

By: Sep. 08, 2017
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Jerry Herman's anthemic masterpiece, "Before the Parade Passes By", has been the center of the title character's journey in the classic musical, Hello Dolly! for over fifty years. With it's determined spirit and pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps message, the song is a stand alone declaration of self-reliance, bravery, and freedom.

Beginning with the great Carol Channing, the song has been passed through the hands of some of Broadway's finest leading ladies, including Barbra Streisand, Pearl Bailey, Ginger Rogers, and Marilyn Maye. For several months, the divine Miss Bette Midler and her lauded alternate, Donna Murphy have been rousing Broadway audiences nightly with the dynamic and rousing anthem.

But with its timeless message and unwavering march toward the future, over the years, the song has rightfully transcended Dolly's journey and become a staple for both male and female performers on the concert and cabaret circuit.

As the legendary three-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters prepares to take over as Dolly Levi in the Broadway production, let's take a look at some of the other ladies and lads who have tried Dolly's signature song on for size.