"For the record, I love many musicals, but only a handful from before the late ’60s. “Hello, Dolly!” was on an ever-shrinking list of classic titles that I had somehow managed to avoid, even in movie form, over more than 10 years of reviewing theater in Arizona."
First, considering all the great musical from before the late 1960s, I'd like to know what he considers a "handful".
Second, I equate his "10 years of reviewing theater in Arizona" with the line from Auntie Mame: "How bleak was my puberty in Buffalo." I know I am a NY & London snob when it comes to theater, but I would venture a guess that this production of Hello Dolly in Tempe, Arizona is one of the best things they have seen or are going to see.
He clearly has no concept of history & society before 1900, and (luckily for him, I suppose) has never allowed himself to be turned into a "flibbertigibbet" by adolescent love, or ever seen it others.