All Music Review
By Blair Sanderson
June 3, 2017
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson [-]
Back on Broadway where she belongs, Bette Midler stars in this 2017 revival of Jerry Herman‘s Hello, Dolly!, and joins the impressive line of performers who have made the part their own. Mary Martin, Pearl Bailey, Ethel Merman, Ginger Rogers, and Barbra Streisand are among the most celebrated stars of this musical, which opened in 1964 with Carol Channing playing Dolly Gallagher Levi, a fin de siècle New York society lady and matchmaker. Midler easily withstands all comparisons with her predecessors and puts her own stamp on her part with her brassy persona and instantly recognizable voice. Joined by David Hyde Pierce as the “well-known, unmarried, half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder, and leading a cast that includes Gavin Creel as Cornelius Hackl, Kate Baldwin as Irene Molloy, and Taylor Trensch as Barnaby Tucker, Midler and her colleagues are confident and engaging as they tread the boards, and clearly deserve their ten Tony Award nominations. Directed by Jerry Zaks, with fresh orchestrations by Larry Hochman, and musical direction by Andy Einhorn, this presentation of Hello, Dolly! has the appropriate period feeling and quaint New York charm that have kept this old-fashioned musical fresh for more than half a century. The recorded sound is flawless and captures the voices and orchestra with credible front-row presence.