Theater review | ‘Hello, Dolly!’: Betty Buckley shines in expert production

 

What a rare pleasure it is to see a classic and beloved musical in Columbus with a legendary Broadway star.

Buoyed by the charisma, warmth, soulfulness and terrific singing/acting of Betty Buckley, theatergoers should thrill to the national tour of “Hello, Dolly!,” which opened Tuesday to repeated bursts of applause and laughter at the Ohio Theatre.

Yet, the entire ensemble is superb under the effervescent direction of Broadway director Jerry Zaks and the spritely choreography of Warren Carlyle. Read MORE

Review: It’s so nice to have ‘Hello, Dolly!’ touring production here

“Hello, Dolly!” has always felt a little more like “goodbye.” It’s not only set in the twilight of a 19th-century America on the cusp of major change, but bears the air of a final bow for a certain type of old-fashioned musical theater.

When it premiered in 1964, it was already retro as all get out. Jerry Herman’s tunes had a ragtime flavor, several culminating in big, flashy full-cast dance numbers. And then there’s the grande dame of a title role: That aging matchmaker may have made Carol Channing a star, but it soon provided among the last great star turns for Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable, Ethel Merman and Mary Martin.

Which leads us to the touring version of Broadway’s latest revival of “Hello, Dolly!,” which has set down stakes for a fortnight at Minneapolis’ Orpheum Theatre.  Read MORE