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Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by DAME 2018-10-11 11:53:26


I am just going to put this right here.

 

https://www.news-herald.com/entertainment/theater/star-betty-buckley-not-greatest-strength-of-touring-hello-dolly/article_b3d3ef26-ca35-11e8-a7b8-8f39b72352f6.html

 

 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by LizzieCurry 2018-10-11 11:56:04


https://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2018/10/hello_dolly_betty_buckley_and.html

https://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/columnists/even-the-overture-gets-an-ovation-in-soon-to-be/article_37de35b6-c977-11e8-832e-df82694b530a.html

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by DAME 2018-10-11 11:57:44


I know Lizzie.  I know.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by LizzieCurry 2018-10-11 11:59:26


Those weren't just for you!

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by DAME 2018-10-11 11:59:42


""So what kind of Dolly is Buckley?

Sadly, she is the least interesting thing on stage.

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.""

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Bwayornoway 2018-10-11 13:17:51


Yikes!  I was so curious about this casting - she to me is much more grounded, dramatic actress.  Not that she isn't funny or doesn't have comedy in her bones - it's just that Dolly is supposed to be a bit over the top and definitely some endearing sass - qualities I don't necessarily associate with Buckley - Though I will try and see it anyway.  I did see her in Grey Gardens a few years back and sadly was not impressed with her in that production. (could've been an off night)   I do wish Hello Dolly the best - it is one of our American Theater Gems.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Call_me_jorge 2018-10-11 13:46:28


That’s one critic out of how many? Bob Abelman sounds like he has some bone to pick with Betty.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Stage Door Sally 2018-10-11 13:50:04


While I have not seen the tour, I can't speculate about B.B., but I can say that I have seen so many productions of Dolly over the years, and they don't succeed when Dolly isn't over the top. As stated above, the show is a star vehicle, and that star has to grab you.

I've seen productions where Dolly has been very good looking, in great voice and totally has the part memorized — resulting in a flat, dull show that plods along. It doesn't matter if Horace is hilarious and the supporting cast is wonderful, a mere adequate Dolly just stops the show dead. I still enjoy those shows because I love the music, but my husband will usually ask to be euthanized at intermission.

The worst Dolly I've seen was Mimi Hines who surprisingly brought no comedic chops to the part, sang like she had just smoked 20 packs of Virginia Slims, and could barely walk, let alone do the few dance steps required. You know that scene at the end of Bowfinger where Eddie Murphy's character is shy and not really an actor and has to do a Kung Fu fighting scene? He's clearly out of his element and has to rely on the supporting cast to make it look like he 's fighting them. It's hilarious, and that's how Hello, Dolly! can feel when Dolly isn't up to the task.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlG3hzCuNj0

The Broadway revival spoiled me completely. It was so, so right, and Dolly was the icing on a very delicious cake.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by EthelMae 2018-10-11 15:00:17


As I’ve posted ad nauseum here, I saw Miss Buckley in Utica. She was wonderful. I’ve seen the show numerous times but this was the first time I saw the show sitting next to a widow. My friend lost her husband several years ago and when the first act curtain fell, my friend was in tears. Kinda proving the point that Dolly is so much more than a musical comedy. Miss Buckley was very moving in that last speech before Parade. And the woman critic in Cleveland landed it by saying (paraphrase) that it was poignant watching a 71-year old who moved and acted like a 71-year old still reaching out to life.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by DAME 2018-10-11 20:03:15


Call_me_jorge said: "That’s one critic out of how many? Bob Abelman sounds like he has some bone to pick with Betty."

Actually.. not many critics.. yet.  The tour is young.  And I don't think it sounds like he has a bone to pick with her at all.  

I know I am going to love her in it.  

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Auggie27 2018-10-11 20:28:45


I agree; no bones are picked. It's a role that does stretch, and accommodate many styles of Dolly. I was curious about Peters, and she stunned me with both her comedy and her effortless light touch in embracing of the role's humanity. Buckley is likely still finding the character's highs to go with the parts that are a perfect fit -- like the pre-"Parade" section, which she likely builds her interpretation around, i.e. a widow finally moving on.  It's very valid but it may mean she is still constructing a full performance. Hell, Roz Russell admits she didn't fully get Mame until after they opened.  My guess is, Buckley hews closer to the Shirley Booth take on the Matchmaker, life-scaled and earnest but with a dry wit. My bet is: Zaks knows she needs to find the arc of the evening, playing it on her feet, and she will. This will be be her longest run in a role since "Sunset." .

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by DAME 2018-10-17 21:03:06


I would love to read some of the Chicago reviews if anyone has them.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Call_me_jorge 2018-10-17 21:11:54


DAME said: "I would love to read some of the Chicago reviews if anyone has them."

Hasn’t gotten here yet

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by DAME 2018-10-17 22:30:16


Call_me_jorge said: "DAME said: "I would love to read some of the Chicago reviews if anyone has them."

Hasn’t gotten here yet
"

Didn't it start there last night?  Make sure to share when it does.   And please post your own review. 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by A Director 2018-10-18 02:43:38


DAME said: "I am just going to put this right here.



https://www.news-herald.com/entertainment/theater/star-betty-buckley-not-greatest-strength-of-touring-hello-dolly/article_b3d3ef26-ca35-11e8-a7b8-8f39b72352f6.html


I am just going to state here, Dame, you posted the review to stir the sh*t!

"

 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by LizzieCurry 2018-10-18 10:06:57


Dame, it starts on 10/23.

http://www.broadwayinchicago.com/show/hello-dolly/

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by BwayLB 2018-10-18 10:08:08


Tickets for the Costa Mesa engagement go on sale Sunday

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Jmyachi77 2018-10-18 10:33:48


Well DAME, I am going to just put these right here:

https://www.ohio.com/news/20181009/review-betty-buckley-spreads-joy-in-hello-dolly-at-playhouse-square

 

https://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2018/10/hello_dolly_betty_buckley_and.html

 

https://kateklotzbach.com/2018/10/09/hello-dolly-dazzles-at-playhouse-square/

 

https://www.broadwayworld.com/national-tours/article/BWW-Review-It-Only-Takes-a-Moment-to-know-that-HELLO-DOLLY-Betty-Buckley-and-the-audience-are-having-a-musical-theater-love-affair-20181007

 

http://www.theaternewsonline.com/NYTheaterReviews/PARADEPASSINGBY.cfm

 

https://www.talkinbroadway.com/page/regional/cleveland/index.html

 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Impossible2 2018-10-18 11:57:24


Maybe Betty could do her best Bette Midler impersonation instead of playing Dolly, just like Bette Midler did...

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by DAME 2018-10-18 13:36:37


Jmyachi77 said: "Well DAME, I am going to just put these right here:

https://www.ohio.com/news/20181009/review-betty-buckley-spreads-joy-in-hello-dolly-at-playhouse-square



https://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2018/10/hello_dolly_betty_buckley_and.html



https://kateklotzbach.com/2018/10/09/hello-dolly-dazzles-at-playhouse-square/



https://www.broadwayworld.com/national-tours/article/BWW-Review-It-Only-Takes-a-Moment-to-know-that-HELLO-DOLLY-Betty-Buckley-and-the-audience-are-having-a-musical-theater-love-affair-20181007



http://www.theaternewsonline.com/NYTheaterReviews/PARADEPASSINGBY.cfm



https://www.talkinbroadway.com/page/regional/cleveland/index.html


"

Read all those.  Was more enthralled with EthelMae's review than all those fluff pieces.  

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Miramar3 2018-10-18 14:29:34


Never mind
 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by DAME 2018-10-18 17:53:16


Miramar3 said: "Jmyachi77 said: "Well DAME, I am going to just put these right here:"



And I am going to just put this right here.

First, thank you for posting those insightful reviews. Not a single fluff piece among them.

And second, Betty BuckleyISDolly Levi! Watch Betty and you see Dolly. Watch Bette or Bernadette or any of the other ladies who inhabited the role, and you see the actor.BRAVA,Betty!




"

They are all fluff.  I want some real reviews.  Hopefully they will be positive . 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Bette's Turban 2018-10-18 18:09:53


Miramar3 said: 
And second, Betty BuckleyISDolly Levi! Watch Betty and you see Dolly. Watch Bette or Bernadette or any of the other ladies who inhabited the role, and you see the actor.BRAVA,Betty!"

What a pretentious mean spirited comment . I’m sure Betty is fabulous.  But there is no reason to dig at the other ladies .  I look forward to reading reviews from all the stops The real main stream critics reviews.  I enjoy them.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by RemlapLBC 2018-10-18 19:37:29


We are debating putting our subscription seats at the Hollywood Pantages up for sale.  Nothing against Betty Buckley, but we made a trip to NYC when Bette returned and that evening was fantastic.  Yes, it was the "Bette Show" however, I'm not sure if I want to see the scaled back touring company (sets/props, etc, not actors) less than a year later.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by dmwnc1959 2018-10-18 19:54:54


RemlapLBC said: "We are debating putting our subscription seats at the Hollywood Pantages up for sale. Nothing against Betty Buckley, but we made a trip to NYC when Bette returned and that evening was fantastic. Yes, it was the "Bette Show" however, I'm not sure if I want to see the scaled back touring company (sets/props, etc, not actors) less than a year later."

 

I saw the show twice on Broadway: Bernadette Peters on May 30th and Bette Midler on August 18th. Seven weeks after I watched Bette, I saw Betty Buckley on October 5th and 6th. There is nothing scaled back in the touring show that made any difference when compared to the shows I saw on Broadway. I saw “Hello, Dolly!” 4 times in 18 weeks. Am I’m one of the ONLY people on this entire forum that’s seen the touring production TWICE. 

So, if there was THAT much of a difference - sets, props, or whatever - I would have seen it. Yes, there are some very minor differences. But they did not matter. This show, simply put, is an absolute joy to behold. I loved it so much I’m planning to see it twice in Columbus, OH when it comes next May, and already have my ticket reserved for Aug 2019 when it comes to Pittsburgh. 

 

 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Niles Silvers 2018-10-18 22:31:33


She was horribly miscast.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by RemlapLBC 2018-10-18 22:46:31


dmwnc1959 said:  I saw the show twice on Broadway: Bernadette Peters on May 30thand Bette Midler on August 18th. Seven weeks after I watchedBette, I sawBetty Buckley onOctober 5th and 6th. There is nothing scaled back in the touring show that made any differencewhen comparedto the shows I saw on Broadway.I saw “Hello, Dolly!”4 times in 18 weeks. Am I’m one of the ONLY people onthis entire forum that’s seen the touring productionTWICE.

So,if there was THAT much of a difference -sets, props, or whatever -I would have seen it. Yes, there are some very minor differences. But they did not matter. This show, simply put, is an absolutejoy to behold. I loved it so much I’m planning to see it twice in Columbus, OH when it comes next May, and already have my ticket reserved for Aug 2019 when it comes to Pittsburgh.
"

Thanks @dmwnc1959.  Good to know.  I guess we're going back to Yonkers.   However, CATS tickets are still toast and being listed on TM the day the public onsale starts.  (Unless someone on here wants some inexpensive side orchestra tickets.)

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by BuddyStarr 2018-10-18 23:07:42


EthelMae said: "As I’ve posted ad nauseum here, I saw Miss Buckley in Utica. She was wonderful. I’ve seen the show numerous times but this was the first time I saw the show sitting next to a widow. My friend lost her husband several years ago and when the first act curtain fell, my friend was in tears. Kinda proving the point that Dolly is so much more than a musical comedy. Miss Buckley was very moving in that last speech before Parade. And the woman critic in Cleveland landed it by saying (paraphrase) that it was poignant watching a 71-year old who moved and acted like a 71-year old still reaching out to life."

This reminds me of a production of Funny Girl I had  seen at a theatre I was going to perform in after their run.  We got comped tickets and some of the Funny Girl cast was going to be in my show.  I wasn't terribly taken with the production and Fanny  had no comic timing.  when I mentioned this, the other people said, well, maybe, but her dramatic scenes were wonderful!  And I couldn't help but think,    it's FUNNY girl.

Hello Dolly is a musical Comedy.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by dmwnc1959 2018-10-19 06:21:56


Niles Silvers said: "She was horribly miscast."

BuddyStarr said: "This reminds me of a production of Funny Girl..."

 

But when YOU saw this show with Betty Buckley in it, whether it was in Utica or Cleveland, did YOU enjoy the show? As YOU were sitting there at the performances in Utica or Cleveland, what is it in Betty Buckley’s performance that YOU witnessed that she could improve on? Or are you just spouting personal “opinions” based off of some critic’s review? 

I’ve also seen the movie recently, after seeing the show as previously mentioned, and didn’t think Streisand was all that funny. Sarcastic, yes. But not soooo funny that I’ll call her role in the show comedic. 

All of the naysayers who are slamming the show and haven’t seen it will be projecting that negativity into a self-fullfillng prophecy when you do eventually see it. When is that? Next year? Which is a shame. As I’ve said, I HAVE seen Betty Buckley, twice in this show, on consecutive nights. If it was that bad I’d not be considering investing several hundreds of dollars in tickets plus traveling expenses. I didn’t even do that with WICKED, which is still my favorite. 

 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by LizzieCurry 2018-10-19 09:53:20


Has anyone here actually been slamming the show, though? Or just her?

(I'm going to see it next month, but I'm not going for her, so it's a moot point to me...)

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by dmwnc1959 2018-10-19 10:25:37


LizzieCurry said: "Has anyone here actually been slamming the show, though? Or just her?

(I'm going to see it next month, but I'm not going for her, so it's a moot point to me...)
"

 

Betty Buckley and the touring production of “Hello, Dolly!” have both been negatively commented on or had doubts cast, whether it’s the staging and orchestra, or the title person. This started even before the first previews in Utica while the show was still in rehearsals. Once the Utica shows were done and the first pictures came out, along with member comments, some of that was swayed.

But after the first critical review of Betty Buckley came out from Cleveland, some people would give up on the entire show simply based on that. I’m still seeing Instagram and Twitter comments of those who go to see the show, and to see Betty Buckley, and loved both. These people are not paid critics, but regular people like you and I that attend theater performances with season subscriptions. I’ve yet to see one comment in all of those that was negative. 

As I commented on in the other Dolly thread, I’ve seen three takes of how the title role is played, and they were all different. At this point Bernadette is still my favorite and Bette last place of the three “B’s” I’ve seen. But as someone intimated, it was the “Bette Show” and not so much “Hello, Dolly!” we really went for. 

 

 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by HereAndThere2 2019-01-17 14:50:17


I have seen Betty Buckley perform many times, dating back half a century.  Two nights ago, "Dolly" came to town.  As familiar as I am with Betty, I didn't see her on stage.  I saw only "Dolly".  She loses herself in the role.  Hilariously funny at times, poignantly sad at others.  When she cried real tears during "Parade," so did I.  Her interpretation of the songs is uniquely Betty Buckley, and absolutely spot-on for the character.  This woman has perfected her craft, and her "Dolly Levi" proves it.  "Thank You" Betty Buckley!  

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by BwayLB 2019-01-17 16:37:40


I am seeing the show February 2nd at the Pantages at 2 PM

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by HereAndThere2 2019-01-17 16:48:15


^^^^

Pantages promo

 

 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by goldenboy 2019-01-17 18:04:45


The good news: The tour does not seem scaled down from Broadway  A Few minor things that don't make much difference.

 

The bad news:  Having seen B Peters,  B Midler and D Murphy in the role --the show was socko. They all brought  something unique, funny  and themselves to it.

Unfortunately, as good as an actor as Betty Buckley is, she sinks the show.  She is just not right for the role.  She has no comic chops.  There is something very off with her casting.

The show is not called Hello Horace. Or Hello Irene Molloy. Or Bye Bye Barnaby..   Buckley doesn't have the comic chops or stage presence to pull this one off. She needs to stick to dramatic roles.

I have no axe to grind against Betty Buckley  Having loved Dolly with ALL of the Broadway ladies, I was interested to see what Buckly could bring to it.  The best I can say is she knew her lines, smiled and didn't bump into the furniture. 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by EthelMae 2019-01-18 01:37:50


Buddy: just saw your post. True, Hello, Dolly! is a musical comedy. But Dolly talks to her deceased husband throughout the show. I think any actor who takes on this role better have some ability to communicate some pathos. That's what I love about the show even more than the comedy is the more reflective and moving moments. Midler had them, Peters did too as well as Murphy and, IMHO, Buckley does too. Even Merman, who was accused of being "frozen" and not much of an actress was able to show us a three dimensional character, especially in her two songs that were added for her by Jerry Herman, written for her when she was to open in the show. I have a problem when I hear this show described as just a musical comedy. I don't think it is.



Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by HereAndThere2 2019-01-27 15:06:08


Betty talks about touring ........

 

 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by SEAN P HENNIGAN 2019-01-27 16:52:03


I recently saw Hello Dolly in Tempe Arizona. Betty Buckley gave the most wonderful performance that I have ever seen! ...and I have seen many shows.l have never seen the love flowing between an actress and the audiance like that before.

Everything else was also excellent...the other performers,the costumes the sets. It was in no way a scaled back version.

I have not seen other Dolly leads in a show but judging by their recordings, I would much rather have a Betty Buckley recording to enjoy over and over.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by SEAN P HENNIGAN 2019-01-27 16:55:56


HereAndThere2 said: "I have seen Betty Buckley perform many times, dating back half a century. Two nights ago, "Dolly" came to town. As familiar as I am with Betty, I didn't see her on stage. I saw only "Dolly". She loses herself in the role. Hilariously funny at times, poignantly sad at others. When she cried real tears during "Parade," so did I. Her interpretation of the songs is uniquely Betty Buckley, and absolutely spot-on for the character.This woman has perfected her craft, and her "Dolly Levi" proves it. "Thank You" Betty Buckley!"

Agree completely! She nailed it!

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by LizzieCurry 2019-02-20 18:58:25


Bumping this for San Francisco reviews, and here's a feature on Nic Rouleau in the meantime:

https://bayareaplays.com/2019/02/20/rouleau-ready-for-his-bay-area-return-in-shns-hello-dolly/

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by MarkBearSF 2019-02-21 01:42:48


I saw it today at matinee. What a winning production.
I had seen it with Bette Midler in NY. Of course, Betty Buckley's Dolly is very different than Bette's [I prefer not to imagine Betty "doing Bette"] but she quickly had the audience in the palm of her hand. When the BIG orchestra started the overture, I was transported again. It was great to see the scale of the NY production was maintained. The same big chorus AND ensemble, the same choreography and costumes, and most of the sets.

The entire cast is great, but I was especially taken with Lewis J. Stadlen as Horace and Jess LeProtto as Barnaby.

In spite of a "technical difficulty" that extended the intermission to almost 45 minutes, by the final curtain (it's a long show under normal circumstances) the audience was still in love and on their feet. ...and for a Wednesday matinee audience, that can be quite an accomplishment.

(By the way, you can tell it's a Scott Rudin production. Strong rules against any photogrpahy in the auditorium, even before the show [and the show curtain is a red curtain with no decoration beyond gold fringe.] and no late seating from the start of the overture until Dolly leaves the stage, 14 minutes and two numbers into the show. [There's a monitor in the lobby])

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by bk 2019-02-21 01:47:40


goldenboy said: "The good news: The tour does not seem scaled down from Broadway A Few minor things that don't make much difference.



The bad news: Having seen B Peters, B Midler and D Murphy in the role --the show was socko. They all brought something unique, funny andthemselves to it.

Unfortunately, as good as an actor as Betty Buckley is, she sinks the show. She is just not right for the role. She has no comic chops. There is something very off with her casting.

The show is not called Hello Horace. Or Hello Irene Molloy. Or Bye Bye Barnaby.. Buckley doesn't have the comic chops or stage presence to pull this one off. She needs to stick to dramatic roles.

I have no axe to grind against Betty BuckleyHaving loved Dolly with ALL of the Broadway ladies, I was interested to see what Buckly could bring to it. The best I can say is she knew her lines, smiled and didn't bump into the furniture.
"

Well, that's just fine for you to have these OPINIONS.  Mine is she was a Dolly for the ages.  I was not expecting much and I got everything and more and I've seen Hello, Dolly more times than I care to admit with a host of great Dollys starting with the original production with Channing, then Ginger Rogers, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, Dorothy Lamour, the two Channing revivals, the last of which I recorded.  And Betty was up there with the best of them.  She got all her laughs and of all the Dollys I've seen she brought something very new to the table - a truly touching performance in addition to the comedy.  It wasn't the Betty show, it was Hello, Dolly!  Aside from Betty, I thought Stadlen was the best Horace I've ever seen and that includes David Burns, and I thought the Irene and Minnie were absolutely stellar and I don't know if they were copying their B'way counterparts, but the interpretations were so different and fresh - really fun.  I had a blast and have raved about it everywhere.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by antonijan 2019-02-21 04:00:10


I enjoyed the whole production specially the dance routines and choreography.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by LizzieCurry 2019-02-21 10:30:25


Really?! The photography thing was NOT an issue at the Nederlander (then Oriental) in Chicago.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by MarkBearSF 2019-02-21 13:36:08


LizzieCurry said: "Really?! The photography thing was NOT an issue at the Nederlander (then Oriental) in Chicago."

You (or those around you) may not have been obviously taking pictures, or the ushers may have been busy seating people and missed it. Similar to a few years ago when shows started letting people take pictures (including the curtain/set) before the show - there were no real announcements that it was OK, but rather the staff no longer stepped in. Most audience members likely weren't aware that there had been a change in rules.

Of course, in the best case, any problems are quietly dealt with in a way that doesn't disturb the rest of the patrons.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by MarkBearSF 2019-02-21 13:52:16


Another old-school aspect of the tour is the merchandise and advertising. As with Broadway, all show materials only feature the red background and "Hello Dolly" wording. No pictures, photos, or other art.

When I saw the merch table, I mentioned, "So much 'David Merrick red!'" ...and the merch guy replied "Exactly!" 

[The legendary original producer, David Merrick, famously eschewed fancy art and insisted in simple text posters with the show and star in big letters, but little else. And he believed that bright red was the most attention-grabbing and featured it for all his shows - and the color became known as "David Merrick red."]

 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by ChairinMain 2019-02-21 14:17:00


Saw the show last night and my hot take? This was a phenomenally talented woman, albiet one who is past her vocal prime, in a role singularly unsuited for her talents. Dolly requires an understanding of musical comedy and moreover good, old-fashioned vaudevillian schtick.It is a role that requires the performer be an actor first and a singer maybe third or forth. Buckeley is not, and has never been, a natural comedienne. Even the roles she performed in comedies (like Drood or Triumph of Love or on tv in 8 is Enough) called for her to be more of a straight woman. She transitioned early on from ingenues to tortured divas. In this production she has been given a lot of bits of buisness clearly devised by Bette Midler and they are an ill-fit. She's just...not funny. Her most succesfull moments are when she is allowed to be heartfelt. She copes gamely with the demands of the role but the entire time I felt like I was watching someone struggle. 

Surrounding her, however, is an absolute gem of a production, and the supporting cast is largely excellent. Lewis J. Stadlen is insanely perfect for this role. Kristen Hahn's Minnie Fay is a version of Georgia Engel's breathy-voiced monotone that is absolutely sidesplitting. Nic Rouleau is wonderfully cast. Jess LeProtto is kind of stiff but MAN can that boy dance. Didn't love Analisa Leaming, who is making some very strong choices with the role, but that's more of a manner of personal taste. 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by MarkBearSF 2019-02-21 22:35:44


FYI - re Betty stage door. I don't know about evening performances, but yesterday afternoon, she did not come to the stage door. Which is common for any performer on a two show day, regardless of their age.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Kitsune 2019-02-22 00:24:21


I have tickets to see the tour this Tuesday. But I have to confess - I've never actually seen a production of Hello Dolly! I bought my ticket based on the excellent things I heard about the recent Broadway production, and that I like classic musicals.

Is Hello Dolly one of those shows that I should have some familiarity with going in? Last week I saw the Kiss Me Kate revival in New York, and in retrospect I wish I had spent more time reading up on The Taming of the Shrew.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by msmp 2019-02-22 00:48:03


Kitsune said: "I have tickets to see the tour this Tuesday. ButI have to confess - I've never actually seen a production of Hello Dolly!I bought my ticket based on the excellent things I heard about the recent Broadway production, and that I like classic musicals.

Is Hello Dolly one of those shows that I should have some familiarity with going in? Last week I saw the Kiss Me Kate revival in New York, and in retrospect I wish I had spent more time reading up on The Taming of the Shrew.
"

I think it's safe to go in cold; the source material (Wilder's The Matchmaker) isn't essential reading for this show, and there's nothing special you need to know before you see it. Hope you have a wonderful time!

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by bear88 2019-02-22 00:48:21


For what it's worth, here are two reviews of the San Francisco tour stop.

Sam Hurwitt of the Mercury News made a minor error about Ermengarde (not Horace's daughter) but praised both the show and the performances.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/02/21/iconic-musical-dolly-makes-a-grand-entrance-in-san-francisco/

Lily Janiak of the San Francisco Chronicle doesn't like many older musicals, and she really hated Hello, Dolly! But she thought Betty Buckley was excellent, and praised the performers, costumes, and set design. 

https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/theater/review-this-dolly-has-little-to-say-beyond-hello

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by MarkBearSF 2019-02-22 01:37:30


No study needed. Expect a big, old-fashioned, fun Broadway show.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by LizzieCurry 2019-02-22 10:14:40


Kitsune, I'd never seen Hello Dolly in any capacity, and had never even seen the movie until months after I saw the show on Broadway for the first time. You can go in cold.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by MarkBearSF 2019-02-22 11:56:24


bear88 said: "Lily Janiak of the San Francisco Chronicle doesn't like many older musicals, and she really hated Hello, Dolly!But she thought Betty Buckley was excellent, and praised the performers, costumes, and set design.

https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/theater/review-this-dolly-has-little-to-say-beyond-hello
"

Lily Janiak is an embarrassment to the Chronicle. She has no interest whatsoever with classic musicals - her reviews often sound more like they're written by a grad student in a Sociology course rather than a review in the leading newspaper of a major market. Recall that her review of "The King and I" couldn't understand why Anna was so fixated on that house and considered "She Loves Me" to be a work about employer-employee relations.

As for the Mercury News review - like a couple of others who saw Press Night on Wednesday, mentioned that her vice sounded hoarse. I wonder if it was because that was the second show of the day. I saw her in the Matinee that day, and she was in great voice. (Still a legitimate concern, though)

I have no issues with criticism of Betty Buckley's portrayal (personally, I somewhat shared them - but she won me over) or any other concerns about the production - but Lily Janiak's deconstructions are absurd and useless for someone looking for a real review.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by DAME 2019-02-22 12:19:07


MarkBearSF said: "bear88 said: "Lily Janiak of the San Francisco Chronicle doesn't like many older musicals, and she really hated Hello, Dolly!But she thought Betty Buckley was excellent, and praised the performers, costumes, and set design.

https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/theater/review-this-dolly-has-little-to-say-beyond-hello
"

Lily Janiak is an embarrassment to the Chronicle. She has no interest whatsoever with classic musicals - her reviews often sound more like they're written by a grad student in a Sociology course rather than a review in the leading newspaper of a major market. Recall that her review of "The King and I" couldn't understand why Anna was so fixated on that house and considered "She Loves Me" to be a work about employer-employee relations.

As for the Mercury News review - like a couple of others who saw Press Night on Wednesday, mentioned that her vice sounded hoarse. I wonder if it was because that was the second show of the day. I saw her in the Matinee that day, and she was in great voice. (Still a legitimate concern, though)

I have no issues with criticism of Betty Buckley's portrayal (personally, I somewhat shared them - but she won me over) or any other concerns about the production - but Lily Janiak's deconstructions are absurd and useless for someone looking for a real review.
"

Agreed.   Lily Janiak's reviews are laughable. 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Sho-Tunes-R-Us 2019-02-23 02:20:32


Random thoughts/opinions from this past Wednesday night's press opening in SF:

Altho very warm to the production, the SF audience did not reach the heights of ecstasy I observed in NYC the past two years... i.e.  A wave of applause and cheers when the Sunday Clothes chorus appeared in their finery.  Standing ovulation did occur during bows. 

Production design did not seemed to be scaled down in the slightest, with the exception of the passerelle.

Cast was very, very strong...and seemed overall younger than the NYC cast (general rule for tours, I believe).  Didn't care for this Irene, but can't put my finger on why.   Lewis J. Stadlen was the strongest of all the Vandergelders I've seen (David Hyde Pierce, Andrew Garber) and Betty Buckley the weakest of the Dollys (Carol Channing, Bette Midler, Donna Murphy and Bernadette Peters).  She gave it the good ol' junior college try and the audience seemed to like her very much, but there was no spark for me.  Her voice was weak and her comic timing seemed mechanical.  Given all that, she seemed to be fighting a cold or worse (hankie was used many times).  Perhaps when I attend a second time with my group in March I'll warm to her.

As an aside, it was great to meet two local critics at the Golden Gate theatre.  Linda is from right here at BWW and Charlie reviews for a retirement community newspaper in the SF east bay.  Hope to see them again some time.

Any questions, comments, observations?

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by bear88 2019-02-23 19:29:12


First off, I had never seen Hello, Dolly! before Tuesday. (I had seen the movie a couple of years ago, so I did have some idea about the plot, songs and tone.)

So Kitsune, don't worry about doing any preparation. There's a history of how this show became a Broadway musical, which is interesting enough, but it's not going to interfere with your enjoyment (or lack thereof).

I don't have other theatrical productions or Dollys to compare, only my own reactions.

The Tuesday audience wasn't full on the orchestra sides, but it was enthusiastic without reaching "heights of ecstasy." And that was fine by me. It was easy to hear the anticipation and response, especially during the Waiter's Gallop and title number, and that made the show more fun. But it didn't get in the way, as the audiences at some popular shows sometimes do. 

The production was very well done, and I enjoyed Hello, Dolly! overall a lot more than I expected, even if some of the vaudeville silliness isn't really my thing. In that respect, I might have had an ideal Dolly, because the silly stuff isn't Betty Buckley's strength. The eating scene, for example, felt tedious to me.

Her voice wasn't peak Buckley, or even the Buckley I saw in Grey Gardens a few years ago, but I know she's a 71-year-old woman in the headline role on a grueling tour (two shows on Sunday in LA, travel day Monday, the Tuesday show I saw, and two shows on Wednesday) who has struggled with illness. But what she might have lacked in vocal pyrotechnics or comic silliness was made up for in star power and an emotional depth that made me root for her character. Her "talks" with Ephraim and performance of Before the Parade Passes By were highlights. And I thought Buckley nailed the title number, which really does turn into a celebration of the character and - in its way - the show itself. 

Lewis J. Stadlen was an excellent Horace, and I agree with everyone's raves about him. Jess LeProtto was a standout as Barnaby. I didn't have any quarrels with the supporting cast or the ensemble.

I chuckled at Lily Janiak's review in the Chronicle because I knew she would despise it (even while praising almost everything about the actual production). She was expecting a feminist deconstruction of Hello, Dolly? Shoot, the guys seem like sexist jerks in "It Takes a Woman." That's kind of the point of the song, I think. Do we think Dolly is going to end up "cleaning the stable" after getting married? No, she's already running things! Janiak is predictable on classic musicals, which didn't bother me. But did she really hate the score, too? One of the things that struck me is how good it is. I knew the most famous songs. But the show is filled with charming songs: "Ribbons Down My Back," the very cute "Elegance," the romantic "It Only Takes a Moment" - what's not to like, or at least appreciate?

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Bette's Turban 2019-02-23 20:55:07


bear88 said: "First off, I had never seen Hello, Dolly! before Tuesday. (I had seen the movie a couple of years ago, so I did have some idea about the plot, songs and tone.)

So Kitsune, don't worry about doing any preparation. There's a history of how this show became a Broadway musical, which is interesting enough, but it's not going to interfere with your enjoyment (or lack thereof).

I don't have other theatrical productions or Dollys to compare, only my own reactions.

The Tuesday audience wasn't full on the orchestra sides, but it was enthusiastic without reaching "heights of ecstasy." And that was fine by me. It was easy to hear the anticipation and response, especially during the Waiter's Gallop and title number, and that made the show more fun. But it didn't get in the way, as the audiences at some popular shows sometimes do.

The production was very well done, and I enjoyed Hello, Dolly! overall a lot more than I expected, even if some of the vaudeville silliness isn't really my thing. In that respect, I might have had an ideal Dolly, because the silly stuff isn't Betty Buckley's strength. The eating scene, for example, felt tedious to me.

Her voice wasn't peak Buckley, or even the Buckley I saw in Grey Gardens a few years ago, but I know she's a 71-year-old woman in the headline role on a grueling tour (two shows on Sunday in LA, travel day Monday, the Tuesday show I saw, and two shows on Wednesday) who has struggled with illness. But what she might have lacked in vocal pyrotechnicsor comic silliness was made up for in star power and an emotional depth that made me root forher character. Her "talks" with Ephraimand performance of Before the Parade Passes Bywere highlights. And I thought Buckley nailed the title number, which really does turn into a celebration of the character and - in its way -the show itself.

Lewis J. Stadlen was an excellent Horace, and I agree with everyone's raves about him. Jess LeProtto was a standoutas Barnaby. I didn't have any quarrels with the supporting cast or the ensemble.

I chuckled at Lily Janiak's review in the Chronicle because I knew she would despise it (even while praising almost everything about the actual production). She was expecting a feminist deconstruction of Hello, Dolly? Shoot, the guys seem like sexist jerks in "It Takes a Woman." That's kind of the point of the song, I think. Do we think Dolly is going to end up "cleaning the stable" after getting married? No, she's already running things! Janiak is predictable on classic musicals, which didn't bother me. But did she really hate the score, too? One of the things that struck me is how good it is. I knew the most famoussongs. But the show is filled with charming songs: "Ribbons Down My Back," the very cute "Elegance," the romantic "It Only Takes a Moment" - what's not to like, or at least appreciate?
"

What a well written and thought out post.  You are right.  What a grueling touring schedule.  Glad you enjoyed yourself.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Zoot 2019-02-24 00:22:59


Saw today's matinee and it was charming, delightful, and wonderful. Just a fantastic show and production. I still feel so happy and light 4 hours after walking out of the theatre. I saw it once in NYC with Bette and think I enjoyed the show more today than I did on broadway (maybe I was just better rested and had a better seats today). Went with a friend who had no knowledge of the show and she loved it. 

Todaytix: ended up with row T aisle seats towards the center. GREAT seats! I also noticed last night (friday) that rush seats were still available at 5:00pm so it seems like it's pretty easy to get cheap seats!

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Stellasteve 2019-02-25 00:56:31


Saw the show today, my first time ever seeing "Dolly."  It really lived up to the hype on this board dating back to the Broadway production.  The dancing was incredible, old fashioned Broadway dancing that you don't see much any more.  Jess LeProtto and the waiters blew me away in the Harmonia Gardens scene.  Nic Rouleau was able to fill Creel's shoes hitting the high notes in "Sunday Clothes" and "Moment" and had good comic timing.

I can see why some people are feeling let down by Betty.  I enjoyed her, but I understand where people would prefer Bette.  Bette is good at playing the brash, boisterous, wise-cracker based on her movie roles.  I appreciated the solemness Betty brought in the quieter moments, but I still felt she pulled off the fun, light-hearted moments too.  It is noticeable, though, that the road is taking its toll on her voice.  Her voice is much huskier than usual, and she seemed to struggle at the lower octaves.  But she still had a healthy belt when she sang higher.

As Zoot said, it's left me feeling happy hours after the show.  The kind of show I'll remember years from now.  Without all the raves on this board, I don't know that I would have gone to the show so thanks to everyone for your comments.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Kitsune 2019-03-06 13:08:42


Bette's Turban said: "bear88 said: "First off, I had never seen Hello, Dolly! before Tuesday. (I had seen the movie a couple of years ago, so I did have some idea about the plot, songs and tone.)

So Kitsune, don't worry about doing any preparation. There's a history of how this show became a Broadway musical, which is interesting enough, but it's not going to interfere with your enjoyment (or lack thereof).

I don't have other theatrical productions or Dollys to compare, only my own reactions.

The Tuesday audience wasn't full on the orchestra sides, but it was enthusiastic without reaching "heights of ecstasy." And that was fine by me. It was easy to hear the anticipation and response, especially during the Waiter's Gallop and title number, and that made the show more fun. But it didn't get in the way, as the audiences at some popular shows sometimes do.

The production was very well done, and I enjoyed Hello, Dolly! overall a lot more than I expected, even if some of the vaudeville silliness isn't really my thing. In that respect, I might have had an ideal Dolly, because the silly stuff isn't Betty Buckley's strength. The eating scene, for example, felt tedious to me.

Her voice wasn't peak Buckley, or even the Buckley I saw in Grey Gardens a few years ago, but I know she's a 71-year-old woman in the headline role on a grueling tour (two shows on Sunday in LA, travel day Monday, the Tuesday show I saw, and two shows on Wednesday) who has struggled with illness. But what she might have lacked in vocal pyrotechnicsor comic silliness was made up for in star power and an emotional depth that made me root forher character. Her "talks" with Ephraimand performance of Before the Parade Passes Bywere highlights. And I thought Buckley nailed the title number, which really does turn into a celebration of the character and - in its way -the show itself.

Lewis J. Stadlen was an excellent Horace, and I agree with everyone's raves about him. Jess LeProtto was a standoutas Barnaby. I didn't have any quarrels with the supporting cast or the ensemble.

I chuckled at Lily Janiak's review in the Chronicle because I knew she would despise it (even while praising almost everything about the actual production). She was expecting a feminist deconstruction of Hello, Dolly? Shoot, the guys seem like sexist jerks in "It Takes a Woman." That's kind of the point of the song, I think. Do we think Dolly is going to end up "cleaning the stable" after getting married? No, she's already running things! Janiak is predictable on classic musicals, which didn't bother me. But did she really hate the score, too? One of the things that struck me is how good it is. I knew the most famoussongs. But the show is filled with charming songs: "Ribbons Down My Back," the very cute "Elegance," the romantic "It Only Takes a Moment" - what's not to like, or at least appreciate?
"

What a well written and thought out post. You are right. What a grueling touring schedule. Glad you enjoyed yourself.
"

Thanks to everyone who chimed in. My other recent "new to me" revival was Kiss Me Kate in New York in February, which I thought was okay but didn't really gel as a whole. Because that production is trying so hard to subvert the original text (both of the musical and Taming of the Shrew), I may have benefited from reading up more beforehand.

Anyway, I know the shows aren't related, but I went in with tempered expectations. I had a fantastic time and left the theater grinning. What struck me about this production of Hello Dolly is that it knew exactly what it wanted to be, which is a good, old fashioned musical, complete with dancing waiters and pastel costumes. It's been dreary in the Bay Area the last few days, the news cycle is endlessly miserable, but Hello Dolly just felt like such a spot of brightness.

I don't have any point of comparison, but I thoroughly enjoyed the entire cast. I can see how people would critique Betty Buckley's comedic timing, and I agree the "eating" scene stretched out. However, she brought a lot of warmth and pathos to the role, especially in her scenes talking to Ephraim. She also was appropriately larger than life.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by LizzieCurry 2019-03-07 10:57:22


I still really enjoy(ed) Hello Dolly AND agree with Lily Janiak at times. I saw the tour last weekend in SF after having seen it it in Chicago in November (and the Broadway revival before that). I'd probably categorize this as my least enjoyable experience with the production, but it's still such a wonderful time overall that it's like saying it was your least favorite favorite piece of chocolate. SF was also the furthest I'd ever sat from the stage, which probably didn't help. I'm glad I decided not to rush the show the next day and instead opted for the One Night Only benefit, which was touching and hilarious.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Stellasteve 2019-03-07 12:38:49


LizzieCurry said: "SF was also the furthest I'd ever sat from the stage, which probably didn't help."

I don't know how other people feel, but after having attended three shows at the Golden Gate in four months I feel like the Balcony/Mezzanine are farther from the stage than the Orpheum or Curran.  I typically can get Orchestra at the Orpheum, but every performance I have attended at the GG had almost no Orchestra seats available so I wonder if it is smaller.  Then the Mezzanine seems steeper than the other theaters, which gives the effect of feeling far from the stage.  That's my impression.  Not sure where you sat, LizzieCurry.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by LizzieCurry 2019-03-07 12:55:06


I was in the mid-balcony. I hadn't been to the Golden Gate in about a decade, and I last saw Dolly from the third row in the orchestra at the Oriental (now Nederlander) in Chicago and front mezz at the Shubert.

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by MarkBearSF 2019-03-14 14:44:58


From Leah Garchik's column in the SF Chronicle today, (Right on, Betty!)

"Betty Buckley’s response when a cell phone went off at a Saturday night performance of Hello Dolly! She stopped the music. 'Is that for me?' she asked, interrupting her monologue, waiting a bit and adding, 'You know, there is a button to turn it off.' When it was time for curtain calls, she briefly mimed talking on a phone”

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by LizzieCurry 2019-03-14 14:47:10


Source:
https://www.sfchronicle.com/leahgarchik/article/At-Chez-Panisse-are-the-heaving-lips-fried-or-13683440.php

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by Mike Barrett 2019-03-14 14:49:14


MarkBearSF said: "From Leah Garchik's column in the SF Chronicle today, (Right on, Betty!)

"Betty Buckley’s response when a cell phone went off at a Saturday night performance of Hello Dolly! She stopped the music. 'Is that for me?' she asked, interrupting her monologue, waiting a bit and adding, 'You know, there is a button to turn it off.' When it was time for curtain calls, she briefly mimed talking on a phone”
"

If a performer is ever going to stop a show to handle this, THIS is the way to do it! Make point of it, make a joke, stay in characters, well done Betty. 

Hello, Dolly! Tour reviews.
Posted by bear88 2019-03-15 03:11:34


LizzieCurry said: "I was in the mid-balcony. I hadn't been to the Golden Gate in about a decade, and I last saw Dolly from the third row in the orchestra at the Oriental (now Nederlander) in Chicago and front mezz at the Shubert."

That's a big difference. I sat in the rear mezzanine for Come From Away in January and it's a fair distance, and I agree that it's probably steeper than the Orpheum. And you were further back, in the balcony.

Hello, Dolly! doesn't seem like it would suffer as much as other shows at a distance, but it's all in the comparison. Third row orchestra and front mezzanine are terrific seats. I was lucky enough to get rear orchestra seats for Dolly, and that was fine.

As for Lily Janiak of the Chronicle, I often think she makes good points, especially about new shows, and she can write well. But I find her reviews a little too predictable, and she has a blind spot about revivals that is almost comical. 

It's not that hard to be a theater critic who likes new plays and musicals, especially those that tell stories of women and people of color, and also appreciate old-fashioned shows that are done well. Local blogger David Chavez is all about plays by and about people of color. But check out his review of Hello, Dolly!, which includes the same critique of the same song that Janiak made. But he also really enjoyed the show, and gave it credit for being nostalgic, old-fashioned fun.

ttps://bayareaplays.com/2019/03/01/review-despite-some-issues-shns-hello-dolly-is-big-old-school-broadway-fun/