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Jeremy O. Harris wants to deconstruct the Pearl Bailey "Hello, Dolly!"

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GiantsInTheSky2
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Bailey’s health concerns/attendance, blocking Maya Angelou from being the Dolly understudy, the fact that the all-black casting revitalized ticket sales and her getting a special Tony Award...seems like an overall success and not sure what more there is to deconstruct. This was a quick Google search, however.

I often find his personality and social commentary annoying, but I’m all for more original works that challenges traditional theatre. I don’t begrudge his creativity.

I am big. It’s the REVIVALS that got small.
sparksatmidnight
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People, here's a secret: he was clearly being ironic. Please stop getting outraged over a tweet that was not intended to be taken seriously, stop creating threads about unimportant tweets and stop making stupid people famous.

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haterobics
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jv92 said: "I'm terribly sorry to tell you, but any reinterpretation or retelling... or, as you so vaguely say, anything... of well... ANYTHING under copyright does indeed take away from the integrity of the original. Since the hard work that the late Messrs. Stewart and Herman put into writing HELLO, DOLLY! falls under copyright, and is controlled by their heirs and estates, it can't be "reinterpreted" without the permission of the copyright holders."

You could totally tell a backstage story of Hello Dolly without permission, just not have them perform any of the Hello Dolly script/songs.

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GiantsInTheSky2 said: "1. Love the idea, actually. Great in theory, would like someone else to execute it.

This is where I'm at. I'd prefer to see someone with a fresh take who, even though clearly talented, isn't more interested in being a social media star than an artist.

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haterobics
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sparksatmidnight said: "People, here's a secret: he was clearly being ironic. Please stop getting outraged over a tweet that was not intended to be taken seriously, stop creating threads about unimportant tweets and stop making stupid people famous."

The funny part is that he called BWW out in the tweet, and basically watched exactly what he said would happen... happen.

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msmp said: "GiantsInTheSky2 said: "1. Love the idea, actually. Great in theory, would like someone else to execute it.

This is where I'm at. I'd prefer to see someone with a fresh take who, even though clearly talented, isn't more interested in being a social media star than an artist.
"

Have you seen Slave Play? It's a great play. If he were interested in only being a social media star he wouldn't have accomplished what he has in his short life. 

I saw Slave Play last night and it was so moving that I'd pay to see him deconstruct a telephone book.

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haterobics
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I actually read Slave Play last night, since I am not getting back to NYC to see it again before it closes. I'm totally on the side of it being brilliant.

Jarethan
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Dollypop said: "Notice to One Mr Jeremy O Harris:

Keep your hands off of HELLO, DOLLY!

Jerry's gone
Gower's gone
Carol's gone
Merrick's gone

But, Buddy Boy, Dollypop is here. Don't mess with the show. Papermill tried to reinvent it and they fell flat on their faces.Leave it alone.

You don't want my Italian relatives to get involved in this, do you?


I did not know that the Papermill had tried to reinvent HD...I am really curious what they were attempting to do (I would not have thought there were any 'reasonable' ways to reinvent it, different sets or costumes,  choreography?

Their Follies was the only production I have ever seen that came even remotely close to the original production in quality and casting.  Clearly, of course, success or failure of any reinvention (any production for that matter) depends on the talent of the individuals working on the reinvention, the vision for the reinvention,  etc.  But would really love to know what they tried to do.

If it is done like Shuffle Away (in which case it won't be original), it could work, because it would not be a rethink of HD.  There would probably be some 'realize' story line, with occasional numbers from HD.  The real question in my mind is whether there is actually a TRUE story re that production which is worth dramatizing.  Also, who is to say whether it is even intended to be a musical, rather than a play centered around the production.

 
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What's less than a nothingburger? A nothingslider? Because that's what this is. And the histrionic response here is exactly what Harris explicitly said he wanted. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Jarethan
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soulgrrl said: "sparksatmidnight said: "soulgrrl said: "sparksatmidnight said: "Can we stop creating a thread every time he decides to tweet? Patti LuPone's tweets wouldn't deserve that and I'm pretty sure he's way lower in the scale than her."

Is that kind of snark necessary? I don’t see how it’s not news for those interested in the BROADWAY WORLDif a new voice in theater is continuing to break barriers and looking to tackle an established property. Y’all seem to reserve a lot of animus towards this young man that is astonishing in its bias.


"
^ we've found his account, y'all (but just in case you're not him or wasn't being sarcastic, yes, any kind of thread bringing attention to such unimportant tweet is deserving of this kind of snark and worse)
"

Far from it. I’m a living, breathing womanof color. God forbid someone wants to point out that Jeremy seems to receive a level of vitriol that appearsto go beyondnot being a fan of his work. You’re entitled to youropinion. I’ve just noticed a tone when it comes to any utterance about this man.This is why I’ve personally not stuck around this community but on the occasion. And btw...I’m not saying his work in the Slave Play isn’t problematic but the‘how dare he’...or ‘he’s too uppity’ sentiment is glaring.
"

I think you raise very valid points.  I have to admit that I did not think the vitriol directed at him was because of color; I thought it was focused on the fact that he seems to be a little too 'full of himself' at the moment.  

I have to also admit that I tend to ignore a lot of those posts -- until I don't -- because there are so  many people on this board who seemed to have majored in histrionics in college.  I do think there are a number of regular posters who look for issues that aren't there or overreact to the silliest things.  I do, however, feel that the typical (and that means most of them) posters on this site are major supporters of diversity in every direction.

PS -- I anxiously await Harris's next work because I thought that Slave Play was a brilliant play that has stayed with me longer that just about anything I have seen in the past few years.  

 
bk
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jv92 said: "Valentina3 said: "You know a person's reinterpretation of a classic, or retelling, or critiquing, or literally anything of it really - does not take away from the integrity of the original. Let's take a quick step back and not jump to insulting someone just because anonymity of this board allows you to."

I'm terribly sorry to tell you, but any reinterpretation or retelling... or, as you so vaguely say, anything... of well... ANYTHING under copyright does indeed take away from the integrity of the original. Since the hard work that the late Messrs. Stewart and Herman put into writing HELLO, DOLLY! falls under copyright, and is controlled by their heirs and estates, it can't be "reinterpreted" without the permission of the copyright holders.

Daniel Fish's OKLAHOMA! was sanctioned by Ted Chapin and his good offices at R&H for the sake of curiosity and the willing to explore these classics-- so long as the text and intention remains the same. I didn't love what Fish did entirely, but I respected his point of view. What he does with MOST HAPPY FELLA remains to be seen-- but his production description worries me, and seems to smack what Frank Loesser wrote and intended in the face in a way that is detrimental to the piece. But I respect Joseph Weiss, handler of all things Loesser,and the Loesser family. Let's see what happens.

What Mr. Harris suggests seems poorly researched for starters. It just seems to be an unnecessarily provocative tweet, not to mention unfounded in theatre history.

And I'll gladly sign my name to this to avoid anonymity. My name is John Verderber.I write musicals. I am a member of the Dramatists Guild, I care about theatre-- past, present and future, and I'm gravely concerned they're letting emperors with no clothes get away with murder in the name of de rigueur-ness.
"

But isn't it funny that the person going on about anonymity on this board remains, I don't know, call me crazy - anonymous.  Come on Valentina, let's hear who YOU really are, since Mr. Verderber has taken your challenge.  We await and will probably be awaiting until the twelfth - of Never.

RagtimeRay
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Just chiming in to remind people that Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing, opened on this date (January 16) in 1964.

I saw the Pearl Bailey company twice. Loved it. 

Ray is the author of the Brad Frame mystery series, and two suspense novels. He is also the author of a one man play based on Ben Franklin. http://www.rayflynt.com
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bk said: "jv92 said: "Valentina3 said: "You know a person's reinterpretation of a classic, or retelling, or critiquing, or literally anything of it really - does not take away from the integrity of the original. Let's take a quick step back and not jump to insulting someone just because anonymity of this board allows you to."

I'm terribly sorry to tell you, but any reinterpretation or retelling... or, as you so vaguely say, anything... of well... ANYTHING under copyright does indeed take away from the integrity of the original. Since the hard work that the late Messrs. Stewart and Herman put into writing HELLO, DOLLY! falls under copyright, and is controlled by their heirs and estates, it can't be "reinterpreted" without the permission of the copyright holders.

Daniel Fish's OKLAHOMA! was sanctioned by Ted Chapin and his good offices at R&H for the sake of curiosity and the willing to explore these classics-- so long as the text and intention remains the same. I didn't love what Fish did entirely, but I respected his point of view. What he does with MOST HAPPY FELLA remains to be seen-- but his production description worries me, and seems to smack what Frank Loesser wrote and intended in the face in a way that is detrimental to the piece. But I respect Joseph Weiss, handler of all things Loesser,and the Loesser family. Let's see what happens.

What Mr. Harris suggests seems poorly researched for starters. It just seems to be an unnecessarily provocative tweet, not to mention unfounded in theatre history.

And I'll gladly sign my name to this to avoid anonymity. My name is John Verderber.I write musicals. I am a member of the Dramatists Guild, I care about theatre-- past, present and future, and I'm gravely concerned they're letting emperors with no clothes get away with murder in the name of de rigueur-ness.
"

But isn't it funny that the person going on about anonymity on this board remains, I don't know, call me crazy - anonymous. Come on Valentina, let's hear who YOU really are, since Mr. Verderber has taken your challenge. We await and will probably be awaiting until the twelfth - of Never.
"

I specifically don't insult anyone because of this specific reason. 

Caption: Every so often there was a rare moment of perfect balance when I soared above him.
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RagtimeRay said: "Just chiming in to remind people that Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing, opened on this date (January 16) in 1964.

I saw the Pearl Bailey company twice. Loved it.
"

Most people seem to have. Ethan Mordden describes her performance as "lazy," but from all the other responses I've read over the years, I think he might have caught her on an off night.

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sparksatmidnight said: "People, here's a secret: he was clearly being ironic. Please stop getting outraged over a tweet that was not intended to be taken seriously, stop creating threads about unimportant tweets and stop making stupid people famous."

This.

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"What classic musical should I adapt..."

Adapt into what? A video game?  It's already a play and a musical (and there are film versions of each). I have no idea what he is talking about here. 

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I disagree with anyone saying that the Pearl Bailey Hello, Dolly! wasn't interesting and unusual and was therefore not worth dramatizing. The 1967 production (as opposed to the '70s revival that Harris mentioned) was a BIG deal. It shook things up, made waves, and garnered tons of attention, in the galvanizing, tumultuous '60s, a time of civil rights advances and protests. An all-black cast coming into a hit show was just not something that was done. And Pearl went off script all through the show--that was her shtick--sprinkling in colorful ad libs as the crowd ate it up. I'm sure a good show could be derived from all this (though I'm not sure Harris would be the best choice to do it).

superiska123
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Slightly off-topic, but could anyone share some of the ad-libs that Pearl added? People always mention her ad-libbing as a highlight of the production and I'm very curious to hear some examples.
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One of her ad-libs was telling the conductor to "slow down honey!"
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I remember attending one of Pearl's mid-70's revivals of DOLLY expecting to pooh-pooh it. I left that theater in love with the lady and in love with the show.

Famously, post-bows every night, Pearl would take off her shoes while the entire cast would find a seat around the stage so she could launch into her Third Act in stocking feet. Then followed a 20-30 minute comedy act dishing on the news of the day or any understudies that had been in the show that night. It was a lovefest that reached across the footlights from her to us and from us back to her. I knew it was pure schtick even as I was fooled into feeling I was having a once-in-a-lifetime personal experience with the star. She was that amazing.

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Thanks for the responses carnzee and someone in a tree2! Pearl seems to have been a lovely person and amazing performer. I've recently listened to the 1967 cast recording that features her and I have to say that her Dolly is easily my favorite vocally...

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Just when we are now almost sick of Hello Dolly and could wait anoither ten years for the next revival of it,  I'd think it would be great if Queen Latifa play Dolly in the same way Pear Bailey did.

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I, for one, think the revival closed way too soon and would absolutely be down to see Queen Latifah in the role! It's such a gem of a show, and it has such great casting possibilities.
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I didn't get any impression from Harris' tweet that indicates he wants to "deconstruct the Pearl Bailey 'Hello Dolly'". He considers a behind the scenes take of the 1976 revival; not the same thing as a deconstruction.

I wish Musto had not edited Harris' original tweet. To my mind, that's what's causing part of the misguided hullaballoo that's in this thread...

It is Musto who changes "broadwayworld" to "Broadway world". Normally, I don't find tweets to be worthy of stealing anyone's attention. I do like the use of "the" with "broadwayworld", though. devil

It is also Musto who plants the seed "of Harris reinterpreting the production". Musto is neither quoting, nor interpreting Harris' words. He's projecting what he (Musto) would find interesting.

RE: Queen Latifah as Dolly? Not a fan of her acting, and wouldn't want to see her attempt it in "the same way Pearl Bailey did". (...not really sure what you mean by that?)

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Nice that some people are so in awe of classic shows they'd prefer them to remain frozen, stagnant and comatose than to tolerate anyone trying to breathe new life into them.  




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