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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
"Midler glows...as she lands schticky gags, sings with moxie, conveys sincerity and leads the colorful parade proudly strutting across the stage. That said, it must be stressed that under the care of director Jerry Zaks...the star of the evening is 'Hello, Dolly!.' Its reputation as a glitzy star vehicle may overshadow the fact that this is a superbly written work of bubbly fun and warm sentiment enhanced by a score full memorable melodies and smart lyrics." 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
"The characters address the audience from time to time, which gives Midler a chance to connect with us by drawing on who she really is, as well as whom she wants to portray...The role of Dolly isn’t necessarily tailor-made for Midler—she’s infinitely more complicated and funny and there isn’t a corny bone in her body—but she has remade the character in her own image: as a scrappy trickster with needs and vulnerabilities." 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's outsized comic personality merges beautifully with Dolly...She has an ideal partner in David Hyde Pierce…It doesn't take very long for one to realize how efficient ‘Hello, Dolly!’ is when it comes to spreading delight. Not that it is a perfect piece of entertainment...At times the plot barely tracks...But...those irresistible Jerry Herman songs just keep on coming...And, a few instances of overplayed comedy aside, the supporting cast catches the wave of the star's exuberance." Full Review
"There are moments in Bette Midler’s 'Hello, Dolly!' that offer unsurpassed entertainment…There are not enough of those perfect moments, however, to justify the ardor for this unexceptional, pastel-hued fourth Broadway revival, nor to explain fully the exuberant acclaim for its star…The real heavy-lifting is done by the vigorously athletic, inexhaustible and sometimes exhausting ensemble…Bette does own Dolly, but Dolly doesn’t always live in Bette; the melding of the two is only periodic." 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
“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
“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
“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 eats up the wild applause as if it is food to her soul and gives back as good as she gets...Is her voice perfect for this music? No...but she gets the intent across in spades. If you want a beautiful voice, look no further than Baldwin’s hauntingly gorgeous tones...This show is in every way over-the-top broad, campy, kitschy and corny, taking it all to a new level, but the genius of this production is everyone is on the same page thanks to Jerry Zaks." 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
"A cheery production that brings back nostalgia for classic musical comedy...It’s hard to do this show wrong. The story is silly, but we forgive it simply because of the nostalgia attached to it...Midler knows how to hit the comedic beats without batting an eye...This ensemble of supporting players was more than capable to help carry the show...'Hello, Dolly!' is a sweet production that stays in bounds. If anything it brought Midler back to musical theater. And that’s a triumph right there." Full Review
"It's a treat to once again see a fabulous Dolly and ensemble sing and dance their way through Jerry Herman's hit parade of ear-candy tunes and witty lyrics...Time and that demanding performance schedule have taken their toll on Midler's voice but she nevertheless belts out her songs with such verve that it doesn't matter...While Midler is the star, this revival offers an abundance of other pleasures...A delightfully silly, eye- and ear-pleasing few hours of escape from the real world. " 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
“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
“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
See it if You want to have fun! This is a super fun play with Bette Midler being AMAZING and fun. The story is cliche but fun, go for the experience.
Don't see it if You really need a good storyline to make things work. Go for Bette's amazing presence and the fun people have watching her, and a fun play!
See it if you want to see a Dolly Levi for the ages in Bette Midler, as well as an extremely talented supporting cast, well-directed in a classic show
Don't see it if you expect perfection in the lead--or if you don't like Bette on spec. Her voice isn't always perfect, but her performance is spot-on.
See it if You love old-fashioned musicals performed by actors who really know how to act, dance, etc. BETTE MIDLER is so hilarious!!
Don't see it if No reason not to see it Maybe you miss Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey and Barbra Streisand's versions
See it if You love Bette, or want to see this classic musical as it was meant to be, or need to fall in love with Bette. It's a fantastic confection.
Don't see it if You don't like over the top fun or gorgeous musicals from days gone by.
See it if It takes a woman with great comic timing to joyously bring a classic musical to life. Great cast of prized hams make this: Bette-r than Cats
Don't see it if Playful, spritely company in well-mounted production will pull you out of the depression you so richly earned paying too much for Hamilton.
See it if You enjoy great musicals. This was a joy from beginning to end. Bette Midler was beyond great and I am not a nut over her.
Don't see it if You don't like musical theatre; however you may be surprised. It is perfection.
See it if Dances were superb, Costumes were superb. Under-leads esp.G. Creel and Kate Baldwin were superb. Loved the 2 sets (horse and train)
Don't see it if if you think that no one can match Carol Channing,
See it if You want to transcend to a truly happy place. STUNNING production values all around, and Bette and the whole cast are amazing.
Don't see it if You don't like Bette Midler (standing ovations throughout), or if you're looking for a "serious musical with substance"
See it if you love the score (it's GREAT), or Bette (she's marvelous), or big brassy musicals (it is). Choreography and costumes are wonderful.
Don't see it if you want something that will make you think (it won't), that isn't sexist (it is--Dolly has to win by tricking a man). But it's good fun.
See it if you love Bette Midler, whose singing is mediocre at best; she can act though. Supporting cast is excellent; orchestrations are weak
Don't see it if Want a Dolly with a great voice; want a less traditional staging; don't like dealing with theater-going amateurs.
See it if You want to see Bette Midler be her charming self, you love classic musicals, and you want to see some impressive staging and costuming
Don't see it if You want something more modern, more clever, more thought-provoking, and less kitschy
See it if You love Bette Midler and this classic. The best choreography and passionate audience that I have ever seen.
Don't see it if You don't like old-time musicals. You don't want to be entertained.
See it if you are a Bette Midler or David Hyde Pierce fan; love the show, period; like great dancing and comedy timing; like classic Jerry Herman.
Don't see it if you're averse to old-fashioned musicals; are not a Bette Midler fan; were never a fan of the show or Jerry Herman's songs; prefer Hamilton.
See it if you love a perfectly done classic. Even without Bette Midler this show would be a must see.
Don't see it if you aren't a fan of classic musical theatre or "diva moments" piss you off
See it if you love Bette Midler, David Hyde Pierce, Jerry Herman, superb revivals of classic musicals, beautiful costumes, wonderful dancing, etc.....
Don't see it if you've decided to live as a hermit.
See it if You love the show and old- fashioned spectacle - done to perfection, with Bette at the helm. The joy on the stage is infectious.
Don't see it if You don't have a sense of nostalgia and wonder.
See it if The whole cast is amazing, but Bette is so charming & compelling in her role as Dolly, that I was thoroughly absorbed & invested in her scam
Don't see it if Its an old timey, nostalgic musical.. so if if that's not your thing, or you are not all about seeing Bette before she leaves in Jan 2018.
See it if you like a good, old-fashioned musical. Big sets. Big costumes. Big music. Big talent. Classic Broadway from start to finish.
Don't see it if you're turned off by big, showy production numbers and like something more reserved.