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Wow, Wow, Wow Fellas! Meet the Creative Team of Broadway-Bound HELLO, DOLLY!


As BroadwayWorld reported this morning, Bette Midler will indeed return to Broadway in one of the most cherished shows in musical theater history when she takes on the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi in Michael Stewart's (book) and Jerry Herman's (music and lyrics) masterpiece, Hello, Dolly!. Directed by four-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Zaks, Hello, Dolly! will begin performances on Broadway on March 13, 2017, with an official opening night of April 20, 2017. Rehearsals begin one year from today.

This new production of Hello, Dolly!, the first new production of this classic musical to appear on Broadway since it opened more than fifty years ago, will have at its helm Jerry Zaks as its director, and will feature choreography by Tony Award-winner Warren Carlyle. The new Dolly! will pay tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion, which has been hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history.

Below, reacquaint yourself with the creative team (old and new) and some of their past productions!

JERRY HERMAN (Music & Lyrics). Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage Aux Folles are home to some of the most popular, most-often performed and most successful musical hero(in)es of all time, and have given Jerry Herman the distinction of being the only composer-lyricist in history to have had three musicals that ran more than 1,500 consecutive performances on Broadway. His first Broadway show was Milk and Honey (1961), followed by Hello, Dolly! (1964), Mame (1966), Dear World (1969), Mack & Mabel (1974), The Grand Tour (1979), La Cage Aux Folles (1983), Jerry's Girls (1985) and "Mrs. Santa Claus" (1996), a CBS TV special starring Angela Lansbury. Showtune, a revue of his life's work, is performing in regional theatres around the country, and two of Jerry's classic songs are the emotional highlights of the Academy Award-winning Disney-Pixar film WALL-E. His string of awards and honors includes multiple Tony Awards, Grammy Awards, Olivier Awards, Drama Desk Awards, the Johnny Mercer Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Oscar Hammerstein Award, the Frederick Loewe Award, membership in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Theatre Hall of Fame and most recently The Kennedy Center Honors.

MICHAEL STEWART (Book) began his career at the Yale Drama School with an original musical based on the poem "Solomon Grundy." After Yale, he came back to New York to write for Leonard Sillman's New Faces revues, and from there was enlisted by Sid Caesar to write for the historic Your Show of Shows. Mr. Stewart scored memorably on Broadway his first time out when he won the Tony Award for his libretto for Bye Bye Birdie, the first of many enormously successful musicals he made with Gower Champion. He was the librettist for Carnival! (New York Drama Critics' Circle Award), also with Gower Champion, and then wrote the book for Hello Dolly!, which won him both the Tony and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards. He also wrote the books for George M! (with Francine and John Pascal), The Grand Tour, Mack & Mabel (also for Mr. Champion), 42nd Street (authored by Mr. Stewart with Mark Bramble, and directed and choreographed by Champion), and Harrigan 'n Hart. He wrote both the book and lyrics for I Love My Wife, and the lyrics for Barnum.

JERRY ZAKS (Director) has directed more than 35 productions in New York. His credits include Shows For Days, Sister Act, The Addams Family, Guys and Dolls, Six Degrees of Separation, Lend Me a Tenor, The House of Blue Leaves, TheFront Page, A Funny Thing...Forum, Smokey Joe's Café, Anything Goes, La Cage aux Folles, Little Shop of Horrors, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Foreigner, A Bronx Tale, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Sister Mary Ignatius..., Beyond Therapy, Baby with the Bathwater and The Marriage of Bette and Boo. He has received four Tony Awards and seven nominations. He's also received four Drama Desk Awards, two Outer Critics Circle Awards, and an Obie Award. He directed the award-winning film Marvin's Room, starring Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Diane Keaton, and Who Do You Love, which was featured in the Toronto Film Festival. Mr. Zaks is a founding member, and serves on the board, of the Ensemble Studio Theater. He received the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society's George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre and an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Dartmouth College, his alma mater. He is a 2013 inductee to the Theatre Hall of Fame.

WARREN CARLYLE (Choreographer) is a Tony Award-winning director and choreographer who trained in dance at the Central School of Dancing and Performing Arts Norwich, Bush Davies School of Theatre Arts and Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts. Carlyle began his career as a dancer and, in 1998, was chosen by Susan Stroman to serve as associate choreographer for the National Theatre of Great Britain's production of Oklahoma!, later assisting her on the Broadway musical The Producers. Most recently on Broadway he directed and choreographed After Midnight, Chaplin, the revival of Finian's Rainbow, the 2015 New York Spring Spectacular starring the Rockettes, and Hugh Jackman: Back On Broadway. He choreographed She Loves Me, On The 20th Century, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, A Christmas Story and the recent revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies. Mr. Carlyle has won the Tony Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award and the prestigious Astaire Award for choreography. Film and television credits include "The 68th & 69th Annual Tony Awards," "So You Think You Can Dance," Deception starring Hugh Jackman, "Carousel, Live from Lincoln Center" (Emmy Award nomination), "Hope and Faith," "An Evening at the Boston Pops," and Elton John's "Made In England" music video.

GOWER CHAMPION (Original Director & Choreographer) is a name synonymous with some of the greatest musicals in Broadway history. In addition to Hello, Dolly!, which cemented his reputation as a legendary theater artist and garnered him Tony Awards for both Direction and Choreography, he directed and choreographed 42nd Street (Tony for Choreography, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography), Bye Bye Birdie (Tony Awards for Direction and Choreography), Carnival! (Tony nomination for Direction), The Happy Time (Tony for both Direction and Choreography)Sugar (Tony nominations for Direction and Choreography), I Do! I Do! (Tony nomination for Direction) and Mack & Mabel(Tony nominations for Direction and Choreography). His first Broadway credit as choreographer, Lend an Ear, won him his first Tony Award for Choreography in 1949. He studied dance from an early age and, at the age of fifteen, toured nightclubs with his friend Jeanne Tyler and later with Marge Belcher, who eventually became his wife. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, Champion worked on Broadway as a solo dancer and choreographer. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, the team of Gower and Marge Champion became one of the most popular attractions on television variety shows, appearing on "Jack Benny," "Garry Moore," "Dinah Shore," "The Ed Sullivan Show," and even in their own series, "The Marge and Gower Champion Show," in 1957. The pair also appeared in several film musicals with the likes of Bing Crosby (Mr. Music, 1950), Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel (Show Boat, 1951; Lovely To Look At, 1952), Debbie Reynolds (Give a Girl a Break, 1953), Betty Grable (Three for the Show, 1955), Esther Williams (Jupiter's Darling, 1955) and occasionally with their own top billing (Everything I Have Is Yours, 1952). Gower Champion died in 1980 on the day that42nd Street, his last great hit, opened on Broadway. He was awarded the last of his eight Tony Awards posthumously.

THORNTON WILDER (Author of The Matchmaker) was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated at Oberlin College, Yale, and Princeton. Wilder was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works explore the connection between the quotidian details of ordinary life and the cosmic dimensions of human experience. The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of his seven novels, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928, and his next-to-last novel, The Eighth Day, received the National Book Award (1968). Two of his four major plays garnered Pulitzer Prizes: Our Town (1938) and The Skin of Our Teeth (1943). His play, The Matchmaker, which starred his close friend Ruth Gordon (for whom Wilder wrote the role of Dolly Levi) ran on Broadway for 486 performances (1955-1957), and was later adapted into the record-breaking musical Hello, Dolly!. Wilder also enjoyed enormous success with many other forms of the written and spoken word, among them translation, acting, opera librettos, lecturing, teaching and film (his screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's 1943 psychological thriller, Shadow of a Doubt, remains a classic to this day). Letter-writing held a central place in Wilder's life, and since his death, three volumes of his letters have been published to wide acclaim. Wilder's many honors include the Gold Medal for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the National Book Committee's Medal for Literature. On April 17, 1997, the centenary of his birth, the US Postal Service unveiled the Thornton Wilder 32-cent stamp in Hamden, Connecticut, his official address after 1930 and the town in which he died on December 7, 1975.

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