Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hello Bernadette! (Hello Dolly! on Broadway)

First things first. On February 19, 2018 at 3pm, I was blessed to be in the presence of Queen Bernadette
Peters and Victor Garber. I’m still dead almost a month later. To be able to watch these two amazing
actors and performers on stage was an experience I will never forget and it’s moments like this that
remind me how amazing it is to live in this city.

Second, Hello Dolly! was a show I did not want to see. Part of it was because I could never seem to get
through the movie with Barbra Streisand. When it was winning all the Tony Awards, I felt that other
shows should’ve won (like Miss Saigon, hello where was Jon Jon Briones’ nomination or Eva
Noblezada’s win). I was that person that was saying why are people paying big money to see this show,
no one asked for a revival. We all want a My Fair Lady revival (can’t wait to see this show soon!).
However, I am happy to say that I retract most of my statements made against this show.

Two of the biggest things that stood out for me in the show besides the costumes and the cast were
the horse during “Call on Dolly” and the train during “Put on Your Sunday Clothes”. I’m always amazed
by the magic that people can create for the stage. My mind automatically questions how they store
those two items in the wings. I can also see how the costumes for this show won Best Costume, even
though Anastasia’s costumes were also breathtaking, tough choice to decide between the two. The
colors they used for these intricate period appropriate costumes were so bright and so gorgeous.
They still looked brand new, even though some cast members have been wearing them for almost a
year most likely.

The orchestra was also amazing. This show has such great orchestrations and the audience gave
the orchestra an enthusiastic applause after the overture, which I hadn’t seen seen the 2015 revival
of The King and I. I’m a sucker for a good overture for a show and I was argue with someone over how
I believe Andrew Lloyd Webber and Rodgers and Hammerstein compose the best overtures for their
shows. About every song in the show is catchy, especially “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” and “Hello,
Dolly”, both show stopping numbers.

Bernadette Peters owns this role. She brings a different aspect to the role. There are many layers to
her Dolly. She brings such humor to the role and her timing for everything was perfect, but she also
played the grieving widow who is trying to decide if she is ready to move on from the death of her
husband. The mix between the two was flawless and Peters made the audience feel the different
layers of emotion in the show. It was amazing the smooth transition from a big number such as
“Dancing” to the tenderness of running into an old friend to the emotional beginning of “Before the
Parade Passes By” with its strong company finish. Two comedic scenes that stood out for me was
in Irene’s shop when she’s trying to convince Horace that there weren’t any guys in the shop,
highlight was when she was talking about seeing the muscles rippling under Horace’s shirt, and
when she was eating during the court scene. When thinking of the latter scene, I could not stop
thinking about how Peters was able to extend the scene of making the audience watch her eat for
a good five minutes without making it feel awkward. Whenever it seemed like it was starting to get
awkward, she would add another element to the scene and continued to build on it each time it
could have turned into an awkward moment.

Victor Garber, for me, was an added bonus when they announced that he would be joining
the cast with Peters. I’ve been a fan of him through Titanic and Legally Blonde and was excited for
the opportunity to see him on Broadway. Again, I’m not familiar with how the role of Horace
Vandergelder, but Garber was entertaining in the role. While I was not a fan of David Hyde Pierce’s
performance of “Penny in my Pocket” at the Tony Awards as I felt the show could have picked a
better number to perform, I loved Garber’s interpretation of it. The chemistry between Peters and
Garber was great and I loved how they played off each other. I honestly have no clue how he
managed to keep a straight face during the scene in Irene’s shop that I talked about previously.

Another standout in the show was Christian Dante White who was on for the role of Cornelius for
our performance. His character stood out among the cast and everything about his performance was
captivating. He was very playful with the character and captured the essence of a man who is
discovering the world outside of his town for the first time. He was such a great performer to discover
in this show and I can’t wait to follow his career on Broadway. (Also side note, Santino Fontana just
started a temporary run as Cornelius and I would love to see his take on the role.)  

Special shout outs to the following cast members. First there is Molly Griggs as Minnie Fay. Her
opening scene was hilarious and it was joyful to watch her play with the audience. Charlie Stemp
also stood out in his performance as Barnaby. Along with his brilliant comedic performance, his
dancing skills were perfection and great joy to watch. And a huge shout out to the male ensemble
as the wait staff in both “The Waiter’s Gallop” and especially in the title song “Hello, Dolly!”

I read recently that Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber are scheduled to perform until about
mid July, so make this show a priority on your list of shows to see in the coming months if possible.
Hello, Dolly! Is also about to launch a new national tour with Betty Buckley as Dolly Gallagher Levi.
One can also currently buy discounted tickets through TKTS, Today Tix, and also through the TDF

Hello, Dolly! Is currently playing at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre on W. 44th street and Shubert Alley.

Shop my outfit:
Top: Loft
Necklace: Target
Shoes: Arturo Chiang (similar here and here


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