Dolly Levi age range.

BwayTday Profile PhotoBwayTday Profile Photo
BwayTday
Broadway Legend
joined:6/2/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/2/09
Dolly Levi age range.#1
Posted: 8/6/10 at 7:06pm
What about the character Dolly Levi in the show allows her to have such a wide age range? I got curious after seeing that Carol Channing played the role in a in her forties and her seventies, but know close to nothing about the show.
KneelBeeWon Profile PhotoKneelBeeWon Profile Photo
KneelBeeWon
Swing
joined:8/6/10
Swing
joined:
8/6/10
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#2
Posted: 8/6/10 at 7:10pm
There is no doubt the Barbra proved the role should only be played by a women in her 20s.

No one before or since has been as successful in the role. Can Carol Channing sing better than Barbra? No.

So case closed.

Updated On: 8/6/10 at 07:10 PM
BrodyFosse123 Profile PhotoBrodyFosse123 Profile Photo
BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/27/06
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#2
Posted: 8/6/10 at 7:22pm
I agree. Dolly Levi HAS to be played by a woman under 30. Barbra (26 at the time HELLO, DOLLY! was filmed) was the ultimate Dolly, hands down!

Barbra is the one and only DOLLY
dramamama611 Profile Photodramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/4/07
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#3
Posted: 8/6/10 at 7:29pm
I disagree...I think she should be in at LEAST her 30s (and for the record...I don't think Barbra "read" 20s at all.)

She's suppose to be a widow that has had to support herself and has turned into this very resourceful woman. She is suppose to have LIVED and then stopped due to the death of her beloved. She also has to have been "out of action" for some time for all the brouhaha at the Harmonia Gardens.

But I agree: a wide range of ages for the characgter can EASILY be realized....as long as it makes sense with the age of Vandegelder (sp)
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
CapnHook Profile PhotoCapnHook Profile Photo
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/12/03
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#4
Posted: 8/6/10 at 7:54pm
Question: How old is the character "Dolly Levi" in the musical HELLO, DOLLY!?

Answer: However old Carol Channing is at the present time.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
Michael Bennett Profile PhotoMichael Bennett Profile Photo
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/16/05
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#5
Posted: 8/6/10 at 7:58pm
I like Streisand in Dolly and agree with dramamama that regardless of how old she was when she played the role - she doesn't read as too young.

One thing that I do think is important is that the audience sees Dolly as being in a vital state of life - in which her relationship with Horace will still be a romance - not the story of a woman looking for a man she can just have as a senior companion.

I personally think Dolly should 'read' in her late 30s-mid 40s.

Edna Turnblad Profile PhotoEdna Turnblad Profile Photo
Edna Turnblad
Broadway Star
joined:3/27/08
Broadway Star
joined:
3/27/08
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#6
Posted: 8/6/10 at 8:02pm
I agree, Streisand didn't read as in her 20s. At least mid-30s. For me, Dolly should be at least that: mid-30s. Otherwise, it would seem odd to see her setting up all of these people and going of Vandergelder, who is obviously written as a middle age man.
KneelBeeWon Profile PhotoKneelBeeWon Profile Photo
KneelBeeWon
Swing
joined:8/6/10
Swing
joined:
8/6/10
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#7
Posted: 8/6/10 at 8:16pm
That is how great a star Barbra is: she was 26 and made you think she was 36 plus.. without any age make-up.. just brilliant.

She wasn't some broad cartoon like Carol Channing. Barbra was a glamorous, sexy STAR! Everything she did on the screen forces you to pay attention to her. You even forget the story you are so mesmerized by her talent.

She even out did Mae West! Mae West was never as good a Mae West as Barbra was as Mae West as Dolly!

She should have one another oscar.
JOak Profile PhotoJOak Profile Photo
JOak
Leading Actor
joined:1/23/09
Leading Actor
joined:
1/23/09
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#8
Posted: 8/6/10 at 8:24pm
Where is Dollypop?
JohnBoy2 Profile PhotoJohnBoy2 Profile Photo
JohnBoy2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/21/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/21/06
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#9
Posted: 8/6/10 at 8:37pm
What's wrong with the cast of the film version of Hello, Dolly! could fill a book. Only Danny Lockin is appropriately cast. While I don't think Streisand stinks in the role, she's not exactly a revelation, either. Carol Channing knows how to deliver every single line, to perfection.
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/15/03
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#10
Posted: 8/6/10 at 11:54pm
If you go to the original source material, Thornton Wilder's THE MATCHMAKER, the stage directions state that Dolly is "A woman of a certain age". That is polite language for indicating a woman in her late 40's or mid 50's.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Michael Bennett Profile PhotoMichael Bennett Profile Photo
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/16/05
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#11
Posted: 8/7/10 at 11:50am
That description of Dolly's age is also given in the original play the Merchant of Yonkers, which was the basis of The Matchmaker. Although I think we have to take in account that in the late 1800s, when the life expectancy of a woman was only about 50, that a 'woman of a certain age' was likely younger.

Here is actually an interesting NY TImes article about the history of that phrase, which states that at the time it was first used it was indeed meant to describe a woman in her late 30s or early 40s...

A Woman of a Certain Age
Updated On: 8/7/10 at 11:50 AM
nobodyhome Profile Photonobodyhome Profile Photo
nobodyhome
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/19/06
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#12
Posted: 8/7/10 at 5:33pm
Interesting article. Thanks for posting the link, Michael Bennett.

In both The Merchant of Yonkers and The Matchmaker, Dolly is not described as being "a woman of a certain age." She's described as being of "uncertain age." (And not even as "a woman of uncertain age." Just "Uncertain age.")

Jane Cowl was 48 when The Merchant of Yonkers opened on Broadway.

Wilder did actually want to Ruth Gordon to play the role in The Merchant of Yonkers, but it didn't happen. She was still with Jed Harris at the time, and it's not surprising that Wilder and Harris were not on good terms by the time of The Merchant of Yonkers since Harris rarely managed to stay on good terms with anyone for long.

Gordon would have been 42 had she played the role then. By the time she did play the role on Broadway, in The Matchmaker, she was 59. She'd been 57 when she first played the role in Edinburgh.

Btw, the two plays are almost identical, despite what popular mythology says. I suspect Wilder wanted it to be thought of as more of a new play, and probably both Binkie Beaumont and Merrick felt the same, so they probably said that it had been significantly revised and that's been accepted by most people since. In fact, it had hardly been revised at all.
JP2 Profile PhotoJP2 Profile Photo
JP2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/2/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/2/07
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#13
Posted: 8/7/10 at 5:55pm
"What's wrong with the cast of the film version of Hello, Dolly! could fill a book. Only Danny Lockin is appropriately cast. While I don't think Streisand stinks in the role, she's not exactly a revelation, either. Carol Channing knows how to deliver every single line, to perfection.
"

Couldn't disagree more.
I don't want an old baritone playing a young naive 20 something year old.
nobodyhome Profile Photonobodyhome Profile Photo
nobodyhome
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/19/06
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#14
Posted: 8/7/10 at 6:09pm
"I don't want an old baritone playing a young naive 20 something year old."

To what character are you referring when you write "a young naive 20 something year old"? I hope not Dolly.
JP2 Profile PhotoJP2 Profile Photo
JP2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/2/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/2/07
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#15
Posted: 8/7/10 at 6:58pm
Barnaby, of course! Barbra is the one and only DOLLY

The movie is the only Hello, Dolly! incarnation I've seen where Barnaby Tucker feels real.

It's kinda like Burton casting actual kids as Johanna, Antony, and Tobey. It just works better.
Updated On: 8/7/10 at 06:58 PM
ClapYo'Hands Profile PhotoClapYo'Hands Profile Photo
ClapYo'Hands
Broadway Legend
joined:11/29/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/29/09
Hello, Dolly!#16
Posted: 8/7/10 at 7:04pm
Tell me something, is there a known reason why Carol Channing didn't play the role in the movie?

It can't be because she wasn't a movie actress, she was, she had done movies and was nominated for an Oscar (if not, won) for one.

Was Barbra really a bigger box-office draw at this time?
nobodyhome Profile Photonobodyhome Profile Photo
nobodyhome
Broadway Legend
joined:4/19/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/19/06
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#17
Posted: 8/7/10 at 7:05pm
Thanks for the clarification. Sorry I was confused, but it was odd that you quoted JohnBoy2 writing:

"What's wrong with the cast of the film version of Hello, Dolly! could fill a book. Only Danny Lockin is appropriately cast. While I don't think Streisand stinks in the role, she's not exactly a revelation, either. Carol Channing knows how to deliver every single line, to perfection."

And then you responded with: "Couldn't disagree more.
I don't want an old baritone playing a young naive 20 something year old."

It sounds like you agreed with JohnBoy2 (at least about Danny Lockin as Barnaby), not disagreed.
JP2 Profile PhotoJP2 Profile Photo
JP2
Broadway Legend
joined:6/2/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/2/07
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#18
Posted: 8/7/10 at 7:14pm
oops, I just realized I said Barnaby Tucker when I meant to say Cornelius Hackle.

D:
JOak Profile PhotoJOak Profile Photo
JOak
Leading Actor
joined:1/23/09
Leading Actor
joined:
1/23/09
Barbra is the one and only DOLLY#19
Posted: 8/7/10 at 7:17pm
Tell me something, is there a known reason why Carol Channing didn't play the role in the movie?

I read somewhere the studios thought she was unnatractive, and didn't have the voice nor the screen presence to do it. Shame on them!
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/15/03
That Streisand Woman sucked as Dolly#20
Posted: 8/7/10 at 7:52pm
It was because That Streisand Woman was back-stabbing and lying with everyone in Hollywood until she got the part.

Read Carol's memoir: JUST LUCK I GUESS.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
JOak Profile PhotoJOak Profile Photo
JOak
Leading Actor
joined:1/23/09
Leading Actor
joined:
1/23/09
That Streisand Woman sucked as Dolly#21
Posted: 8/7/10 at 8:15pm
Shame on her!
SueleenGay Profile PhotoSueleenGay Profile Photo
SueleenGay
Broadway Legend
joined:6/9/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/9/03
Dolly should be a Junior at least.#22
Posted: 8/7/10 at 10:23pm
When we did the show in high school the director insisted on casting a sophomore in the role. Everyone thought he was crazy and that he should have cast a senior. Everyone was right, the sophomore sucked.

(I played Minnie Faye, in case you were wondering, and was the dance captain!)
PEACE.
bwayguy22089
Broadway Star
joined:12/16/06
Broadway Star
joined:
12/16/06
chewy5000 Profile Photochewy5000 Profile Photo
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/1/09
Dolly should be a Junior at least.#24
Posted: 8/7/10 at 11:34pm
Oh, I'd say somewhere in between forty and death
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...