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"Pretty much everything Midler does stops the show...Midler never pushes for effect. Her every bit of shtick has been precisely chosen and honed, and rather than forcing it down our throats, she makes us come to her to admire it. Much of the rest of Zaks’ production charges at us like a prancing elephant, festooned in shades of pink…A tone of sunny desperation isn’t out of keeping with what seems to be this production’s escapist mission, which is to deliver nostalgia with an exclamation point." Full Review
"Midler serves up a star performance of glowing luster, rambunctious clowning and, on just a few occasions, surprising emotional delicacy...Midler transforms this cotton-candy cloud of a musical into a bona fide theatrical event...The aesthetic approach here is more a matter of loving restoration than reinvention...It remains a featherweight piece of pure escapism...A star shines best when there are strong talents around her to reflect her light, and Midler has been so surrounded here." Full Review
“Midler is dishing out comic gold in a joyous revival that will remind you why you fell in love with Broadway in the first place…‘Dolly’ is as catchy and irresistible as ever. Jerry Herman's hit-parade score will stick with you for weeks…The cast brings pristine comic timing to Michael Stewart's hilarious book…Midler embraces the audience and the energy it brings with a giant bear hug...A rare experience that even the most jaded theatergoer will have trouble resisting.” Full Review
“Looks so fresh, you want to pinch its cheek...Helmer Jerry Zaks and choreographer Warren Carlyle have done a great restoration job on the old girl, while refraining from the urge to tart her up for modern tastes…Midler instinctively understands the avid thirst for life that prompts Dolly’s comic desperation and gives depth to her character…Although none of the secondary players will knock you out, Zaks has cast an entirely watchable cast of reliables." Full Review
“A blissful Broadway revival…The part of Dolly is exquisitely suited to Midler’s enormous warmth, savvy and drive. It’s hard to imagine a better match of actor and role: It is, in a word, perfection…‘Hello, Dolly!’ may be a vehicle for its star, but this revival treats it like a vintage Rolls-Royce. From the rousing overture on, everything about the production, directed with joyful aplomb by Jerry Zaks, gleams with old-fashioned charm…Jerry Herman’s exuberant score is a show-tune bonanza.” Full Review
“A bluntly nostalgic and volubly entertaining revival…If Midler once had the voice for the part, seven decades and eight shows a week have worn it into something a lot raspier...But the spirit of the show is so infectious, and Midler such an adored and adorable presence, that the audience applauds her at entrance, exit and several times in between…This relentless energy sometimes feels exhausting…But when it works, especially in the ensemble numbers, the show is a riotous delight." Full Review
“Midler brings all of her considerable talents to bear in this scintillating revival…Director Jerry Zaks, Midler, and a superb company breathe new life into the old gal. Zaks and choreographer Warren Carlyle give the show speed and youthful energy…Though her voice is limited, she brings reams of subtext to each number…Hyde-Pierce’s ultra-stuffy Horace Vandergelder is the perfect foil for Midler’s life-embracing Dolly…This joyous ‘Hello, Dolly!’ is a loving salute to a past tradition.” Full Review
“Hello, Dolly!’ itself is terrific, and director Jerry Zaks and his unassailable company have elevated it to a stratospheric level…It's dopey, predictable, and perfect. This is due in no tiny part to the airtight construction of Stewart's book…Herman's score is more memorable still…To the extent that this ‘Hello, Dolly!’ stumbles—and it isn't much—it's because Midler falls short…She may be a gleaming star, but she's not a transformative one…About as good as the Broadway musical gets.” Full Review
“Jerry Zaks’ zingingly wonderful revival…For decades, Midler has known how to make the stage her own. She does so here…She makes every one of Jerry Herman’s cheerfully melodic tunes a tied-with-a-ribbon gift…Hyde Pierce bombasts beautifully…Baldwin is stunning and stately…Especially, and not to be forgotten, are the dancers and their tireless, athletic, work-like-play antics before, during and after the unforgettable title number.” Full Review
“Ms. Midler’s singing voice is in a desperate, sometimes shocking state of disrepair…As for the rest of the performance, Ms. Midler doesn’t even bother to act…She can’t dance and isn’t funny…David Hyde Pierce is all wrong as Horace…What’s more, he and Ms. Midler have no romantic chemistry at all, which makes the show even less dramatically plausible...Every supporting performance is a grotesque caricature…As for the musical numbers, they’re camped up to the hilt.” Full Review
“Midler is ideal to inherit the sacred mantle of Dolly Gallagher Levi…Midler still appears to be adjusting to the role, looking and sounding tentative at times. But more often than not, she eagerly commands the stage and keeps the audience in a state of euphoria…The production lovingly recreates the look and feel of Gower Champion’s iconic 1964 production, bursting at the seams with old-fashioned showmanship, hyperkinetic energy and stylized movement." Full Review
“The good news is that director Jerry Zaks' production matches Midler's life-giving work every step of the way…Zaks' direction is more an act of loving restoration with modifications than an overhaul, but it benefits immeasurably from a cast that takes its cue from the two leads' expert timing…As a shot of sparkling, old-fashioned popular entertainment, this deluxe revival of ‘Hello, Dolly!’ is about as good as it gets, crowned by star casting that fits like a glove.” Full Review
“The brilliant alignment of performer and role is all that really needs to have happened here…The production is as close to homage as a modern show dares get to a work that even in 1964 was something of a throwback…It’s so old-fashioned it seems almost avant-garde...In the long line of memorable Dollys I’ve seen or heard, Midler is by far the most natural and inviting…Even when the staging is a bit sloppy and the comedy not so forthcoming, Midler sails right through as if tickled.” Full Review
“A dazzling revival…The show is an old-school comic jewel filled with great songs. The book then as now is as tight and bouncy as a late-19th century corset and bustle...The whole cast shines…But this show’s all about Dolly...It’s a role made for personality. And Midler has that—and then some….Type out all the superlatives you can because nights like this in the theater—in which tingles continue from overture to final bow—make you feel overjoyed. That is a tonic for troubled times!” Full Review
“Midler gives the customers what they paid for, along with a ton of heart…There’s plenty more to love as well in this somewhat mixed-bag of a production…The two other principals are every bit as endearing as the star…Act I is a less sure affair for Midler...Dolly’s big Act I closer was limp the night I saw it…More problematic is Warren Carlyle’s choreography...which lacks precision and power...By Act II, Midler was in full command of the show.” Full Review
“It is the happiness exuded by Midler that makes this first-rate revival of Jerry Herman’s 1964 chestnut so delightful and, yes, so deeply touching. The pop-culture icon gets to use all her stage savvy and intelligent fabulousness in director Jerry Zaks’ deliriously old-fashioned new production…A few too many characters shriek too loudly, and the volume could be turned down a few notches, but this is comedy admirably without mugging." Full Review
“All the visual and audible cues suggested that no one in the building that night had the slightest interest in being anywhere else but in that room. With this adored star. In this beloved show…David Hyde Pierce squeezes some laughs out of what can often seem like a thankless part…I don't want to imply there is some revisionist revelation at work here, for there is not, nor any deep emotional probation. But you can easily intuit the really, really good time everyone seems to be having." Full Review
“Director Jerry Zaks and designer Santo Loquasto treat the show as an antique, but cover its frayed seams with a crackerjack cast…Playing the matchmaker, Midler does not disappoint fans of her Vegas shows. The much greater revelation of this revival is the offbeat casting of nearly everyone around her…Midler’s best moments (and they’re riotous) are when she’s verbally sparring with Hyde Pierce or eating alone and not saying a word. Less wonderful are Dolly’s prayers to her dead husband.” Full Review
“Hearing Midler sing ‘Hello, Dolly!’ is such a tingly experience that you eventually sit back down and wonder: Is this what it was like when Carol Channing debuted ‘Dolly!’ on Broadway half a century ago? And, was Midler put on Earth to carry forth that legacy? It sure feels that way. This ‘Hello, Dolly!’ is as blissful an escape as anyone could want…A robust and full-bodied tribute to the original work...Midler has an ideal sparring partner in David Hyde Pierce." Full Review
“It’s one of the most perfect role/show matches made in Broadway casting heaven. Bette dominates this musical and the stage with an ease and a flick of the wrist that will forever be remembered in the Broadway history books…Joining her on stage is the incredibly talented David Hyde Pierce…It will not redefine Broadway or musicals for that matter, it won’t enlighten our minds about the world or personal relationships, but it will give us joy, a laugh, and a big grin.” Full Review
“Midler delivers an all-stops-out, look-at-me performance for the ages…Zaks can be faulted for directing parts of the show as if it were an episode of a CBS sitcom. But he is also to be praised for surrounding Midler with a cast that can stand up to – or at least beside – her…I place my bet on Bette for leaving any theatergoer with an ear-to-ear grin and the desire to say hello to her, and this joyful production, again and again.” Full Review
"One for the ages…Under Jerry Zaks' masterful direction, this screwball of a show bounces from scene to scene with joyful abandon. What could so easily turn into parody or shtick is here a refreshing diversion that enthralls for the nearly three-hour running time…The company, across the board, is sensational…The 23-piece orchestra plays the score to perfection. And with the Divine Miss M to sing it, we've got a match made in heaven!” Full Review
“An unstoppable juggernaut of old-fashioned schmaltz and star power. Zaks’s staging sticks resolutely to that familiar formula and eschews any trace of directorial innovation…Midler’s magnetic stage presence duly compensates for a singing voice that displays limited range…It all adds up to a slick yet somewhat hollow package that cries out for a smidgen of pathos amid over two hours of relentless merriment…'Hello, Dolly!' nonetheless delivers a potent dose of high-spirited fun.” Full Review
“'Hello, Dolly!' is so surpassingly beautiful, propelled by such glorious razzle-dazzle, and crafted with such joy and intelligence that it deserves to be studied, emulated and above all celebrated…This is what Broadway is all about...A complete, resplendent show, not just the flimsy framework for a star turn…If Midler can't always keep pace with the rest of the performers, and if her voice these days sounds a little too rough and raspy, we're too swept up in the proceedings to care.” Full Review
“As Midler reveals, ‘Dolly!’ in the right hands is unalloyed joy…It delivers on exactly what’s craved by lovers of old-school musicals…You don’t go to ‘Hello, Dolly!’ for the art—although Herman’s score does epitomize the kind of tunesmith’s craftsmanship…A few of the younger actors are unfortunately encouraged to lay on the mugging too thickly...Put aside any expectation of subtlety. With Midler in charge, you know for certain what you’re in for: a rude, giddy burst of comic enchantment.” Full Review
See it if You want a light, bubbly & gorgeous production. You want fun & entertainment. You want to fall in love with musical theatre.
Don't see it if You want a new musical. You don't like romantic comedy.
See it if You're a Bette Midler fan and you like good old fashion musicals with a larger then life female lead and lots of hummable songs.
Don't see it if You don't like nostalgic/old fashion musicals with corny humor.
See it if you love a classic funny musical with high production value.
Don't see it if you want something modern with a more edgy message. Also on Tues 4/18 Bette's voice was hoarse hopefully she feels better!
See it if you love big, classic Broadway shows. This is a magical night and Bette Midler is an absolute vision!
Don't see it if You don't like classic musical theatre songs or flashy dances.
See it if Bette is sensational! She grabs you the moment she shows up on stage and brings you the much needed relief from the chaotic world outside.
Don't see it if Scenes without Bette suffer to different degrees. The show is a star vehicle, and when it isn't, it feels old and at times interminable.
See it if You love Bette, the Hello, Dolly! score and big Broadway musicals with lots of gorgeous sets, costumes and showstoppers.
Don't see it if If you don't like Bette. You won't enjoy it and the audience doesn't want you there either.
See it if You love classic musical theater. The entire cast is phenomenal and oh Bette Midler is pure perfection as Dolly! A must see.
Don't see it if You absolutely hate Bette Midler (go see it when she has a scheduled day off). Hate big over the top classic musical theater.
See it if You want to see a sparkling, entertaining revival of a Broadway classic performed by a talented cast. A great production even without Bette.
Don't see it if You don't like to be entertained and leave the theatre smiling and humming the score. Or if you don't like classics and need a modern show.
See it if you are a Hello Dolly fan!! if you enjoy a classic Broadway musical run don't walk to see Hello Dolly!!
Don't see it if you don't want to see a beautifully done revival of an iconic show!
See it if you like joyous colors and dancing, and want to witness, in Bette Midler, what will go down as one of Broadway's legendary performances.
Don't see it if if you don't like Bette Midler or classing Broadway musicals.
See it if You appreciate a classic musical, revived with care and love. You want to smile through a show from overture to curtain call.
Don't see it if You only like modern musicals. This is traditional but delightfully old fashioned.
See it if you what to see all the talents Broadway has to offer in a revival musical. The bonus is Bette's delivery of the lines with a message.
Don't see it if you want to see an avant garde perforance
See it if you love to see classic musicals done well. Bette M shines in this energetic show with great costumes, choreography and songs.
Don't see it if you don't like singing and dancing, or prefer more thought-provoking theater.
See it if You like big production broadway musicals that are light on meaning but heavy on fun and great music.
Don't see it if You like more modern productions or deep meaning. Also Bette can't really sing the way she used to but she performs the heck out of it!