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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
"Bette Midler won our love in 'Hello, Dolly!' just by wiggling her pinky finger. Donna Murphy has to work harder, earning our affection with a beautifully acted, powerfully sung and earnestly felt performance. Best of all, she has the comic chops to laugh her way into this iconic role. In the brief three months since it opened, this pristine production...has become smoother, slicker and more sure of itself." 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
“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 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
"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'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
"Donna Murphy breathes her own distinctive brand of joy and generosity into the revival...She brings her own megawatt glow; her peerless musical-comedy technique, deep-dish characterization and supple vocals are like a new coat of lacquer on a perfect production...What makes this revival so satisfying is that it goes beyond the rewards of a champion star turn to deliver pleasure in every aspect." 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
"I’ll just come right out and say it: I prefer Donna Murphy over Bette Midler in 'Hello, Dolly!'...Murphy fires from all cylinders and never lets up, bursting with vitality and comic ingenuity...Murphy is also in full voice. Her powerhouse singing takes the production numbers up by more than just a notch...People should not shy away from this lavish, lovingly old-fashioned, euphoric revival simply because they cannot score tickets to see it with Midler." 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
“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
"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
“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
"'Hello, Dolly!' is still a joyous, giddy delight with two-time Tony winner Donna Murphy in Bette Midler’s role...Murphy is a star with dazzling comic chops and a voice to match — and she’s giving the gutsiest star turn in town. And, at times, the funniest." Full Review
"Murphy is absolutely wonderful as the meddling, multitasking matchmaker...Murphy’s Dolly is gabby, game and gleeful as she dispenses the pleasures of Jerry Herman’s songs and Michael Stewart’s lines...Jerry Zaks’ production is better. The dancing of Warren Carlyle’s choreography is sharper and funnier. The sound is more crisp, the ensemble more assured and the accompanying stars perfectly aligned." 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
“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
"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
"The role of Dolly Gallagher Levi fits Midler like a glove. She captures Dolly’s energy, determination, vulnerability and humor effortlessly. Her voice is still a pleasure to hear and her dancing ain’t bad either...The producers cast the show profligately, splurged on lavish costumes and sets, excellent choreography, a large orchestra, and a top-notch director...Jerry Herman’s sturdy songs hold up very well. They don’t make shows like this anymore. For sheer entertainment, it is hard to beat." 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 see muscial comedy perfection. it's still so funny and well constructed and joyous
Don't see it if you expect to be overwhelmed by high tech spectacle. Stage felt too small, production a little small scale and dancing a bit sluggish.
See it if This a big show, big songs, characters and staging as well as direction. Fabulous music and creativity. Liked War Paint better, Lupone as
Don't see it if best actress, however, you will not be disappointed. Do not see if you don't like a big stage musical with the bravado and staging like this
See it if you love big, old-fashioned musicals, you are a fan of Bette (or Donna on some days), you like lovely costumes and sets. It won't disappoint
Don't see it if you like recent or edgy theatre. This is total fluff and mostly a chance for Better to mug (which can get old). But the cast is great.
See it if You're a fan of Bette Midler and love Broadway musicals. They don't get any better. Bette is amazing. Her comedy talent is at its best.
Don't see it if you don't like Jerry Herman music or Bette Midler or spending lots of $$$ for a ticket.
See it if Donna Murphy’s performance is perfection; reminding people why they fell in love w/ musical theater. It’s a lovely setting for this jewel.
Don't see it if You want innovative theater. Dolly is back where she belongs, the way she should be seen. This is Broadway at it’s classic, glorious best.
See it if you love Bette. It is a perfect show piece for her range of comedienne and singer. It really is a compliment to her capabilities.
Don't see it if you are not a fan. The show IS her.
See it if You want a big fun revival, and want great acting. We saw Donna Murphy, and we’re glad we did. It was an ensemble, and everyone was great.
Don't see it if You just want a star turn. The whole cast was wonderful, and having a great time together. The book should be cut way down.
See it if Terrific cast led by a great diva who harkens to Lucille Ball and David Hyde Pierce who harkens to Art Carney with wonderful staging.
Don't see it if You’re a curmudgeon who doesn’t like classic Broadway musicals
See it if you like the songs from Hello Dolly or enjoy fun and happy musicals. Very uplifting show that leaves you wanting to sing and dance.
Don't see it if you want something serious.
See it if high energy, exquisitely performed dancing, singing and The Divine Miss M will make you laugh and smile and have a never-to-forget it night.
Don't see it if Too much sugar makes you sick.
See it if You want a fun show that just flies by! Donna Murphy is a delight! The costumes are great and the dance numbers energetic.
Don't see it if You're in the mood for substance, character development. you're turned off by fluffy musicals. You dislike characters talking to audience
See it if you want to experience Broadway at it's very best. Bette Midler and David Hyde Pierce together is pure magic.
Don't see it if you don't want to rob a bank to buy a ticket.
See it if Bette Midler! Wonderful set, wonderful cast. Songs are catchy, and Bette Midler is soooo charming. I couldn't take my eyes off her!
Don't see it if you don't like grand productions. If you're not a fan of Ms. Midler, skip this as this is a show that focuses on her. She is the show.
See it if You enjoy a good old fashioned b'way show full of fun and for us older theatre devotees "memories".
Don't see it if Bad Yonker's accent (at times) is a turn off.
Also Have time? Go to Sardi's for lunch/dinner and more memories and fun.