Can You Compare Dolly’s? Before The Parade Passes By from Channing, Pearl Bailey, Ethel, Diller, Ginger, Buckley, Peters, To The Queen Of Broadway, Bette Midler. Which Is Your Favorite? Take A Poll

Greg In Hollywood (Source)
Showtune Sunday: Comparing Dollys – from Channing & Merman to Bailey, Bernadette, Buckley, Bette & more!
By Greg Hernandez on Sep 10, 2023

Before the Parade Passes By is a classic song from the musical Hello, Dolly! written by Jerry Herman1It was first performed by Carol Channing in the original Broadway production in 19641
Since then, many other actresses have played the role of Dolly Levi and sung this song on stage and screen. Here are some of the versions that you mention

Carol Channing

Barbra Streisand: She starred as Dolly in the 1969 film adaptation directed by Gene Kelly2Her version of the song is more upbeat and energetic, with a large chorus and a cameo by Louis Armstrong


[Pearl Bailey]: She was the first African-American actress to play Dolly on Broadway, in an all-black cast in 1967. She won a Tony Award for her performance and later reprised the role in a 1975 revival. Her version of the song is more soulful and jazzy, with a lot of personality and humor.

[Ginger Rogers]: She replaced Carol Channing in the original Broadway production in 1965. She was already a famous movie star and dancer, known for her partnership with Fred Astaire. Her version of the song is more elegant and graceful, with a touch of nostalgia and charm.

[Phyllis Diller]: She was a comedian and actress who played Dolly in a 1969-1970 Broadway run. She was known for her self-deprecating humor and eccentric personality. Her version of the song is more comedic and quirky, with a lot of laughs and surprises.

[Ethel Merman]: She was the original choice for Dolly, but turned down the role in 1964. She finally agreed to play it in a 1970 Broadway revival, which was her last appearance on stage. She was a legendary Broadway star with a powerful voice and presence. Her version of the song is more dramatic and confident, with a lot of belting and bravado.

Bette Midler]: She starred as Dolly in the 2017 Broadway revival, which won four Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical for her. She is a versatile entertainer who can sing, act, and make people laugh. Her version of the song is more lively and fun, with a lot of charisma and flair.

[Bernadette Peters]: She replaced Bette Midler in the 2017 Broadway revival, playing Dolly from January to July 2018. She is a Broadway icon who has won two Tony Awards and starred in many musicals such as Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods. Her version of the song is more sweet and tender, with a lot of emotion and warmth.

[Betty Buckley]: She played Dolly in the national tour of the 2017 Broadway revival, from October 2018 to August 2019. She is a Tony Award-winning actress who originated the role of Grizabella in Cats on Broadway and sang the famous song Memory. Her version of the song is more mature and wise, with a lot of grace and dignity.

I hope you enjoy listening to these different interpretations of Before the Parade Passes By. Which one is your favorite??

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