Last Edit: sergius 12:27 am EDT 04/20/17
Posted by: sergius 12:24 am EDT 04/20/17

It's 1964 all over again. This is probably the HELLO DOLLY! you remember if you saw that production, and it seems to be the point of this one. Nostalgia dominates here, and everyone involved is working hard to reconvene a past which invariably doesn't seem nearly as momentous as our memories of it. The entire show seems underpowered. Midler, particularly, is giving a careful and predictable performance. She neatly inserts her concert persona into the character of Dolly Levi--which seems fine since Levi has always been a sort of narcissistic extension of those who play her--but she's somewhat staid; her heart doesn't quite seem in it. And, inexplicably, the music seems to be a challenge for her. Only "So Long Dearie" really suits her stylistically and sits comfortably in her range. I don't know if it's possible for HELLO DOLLY! to ever be a surprising show--even new, it was old fashioned--but it can still be thrilling. But here, wishing--or remembering--doesn't make it so.

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