Celebrating 50 Years of Hello, Dolly!

Carol Channing with TW 182 dpi.jpgThornton Wilder with Carol Channing after a performance of Hello, Dolly!
Hello, Dolly! is the story of Mrs. Dolly Levi's efforts to marry Horace Vandergelder, the well-known half-a-millionaire, and send his money circulating among the people like rainwater the way her late husband, Ephraim Levi, taught her. Along the way she also succeeds in matching up the young and beautiful Widow Molloy with Vandergelder's head clerk, Cornelius Hackl; Cornelius' assistant, Barnaby Tucker, with Mrs. Molloy's assistant, Minnie Fay; and the struggling artist, Ambrose Kemper, with Mr. Vandergelder's weeping niece, Ermengarde.

Mrs. Levi tracks Vandergelder to his hay and feed store in Yonkers, then by train back to Mrs. Molloy's hat shop in New York, out into the streets of the city where they are all caught up in the great Fourteenth Street Association Parade, and finally to the most elegant and expensive restaurant in town, the Harmonia Gardens. There, Dolly is greeted by the waiters, cooks, doormen and wine stewards in one of the most famous songs in the history of American musical comedy, Hello, Dolly!

What happens in the end? Dolly gets her man, of course. Even makes him glad she caught him. Dolly leaves the stage at the end of Act II with a wink to the audience as she takes a peep into Vandergelder's bulging cash register, and promises that his fortune will soon be put to good use. She quotes her late husband as she says, "Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow."

Hello, Dolly! is an ebullient and irresistible story of the joy of living, glittering with happy songs, shining with loving scenes, alive with the personality of one of the most fabulous characters on the musical stage...Dolly Gallagher Levi!

Classic musical numbers include Put On Your Sunday Clothes, Ribbons Down My Back, Before the Parade Passes By, Elegance, It Only Takes A Moment and So Long, Dearie.

Hello, Dolly! played for 2844 performances on Broadway at the St. James Theatre with Carol Channing in the title role. At the time it was the longest playing Broadway musical. The London production played for 794 performances at the Drury Lane Theatre. The show has been revived several times on Broadway, most recently in 1995 for 116 performances at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, again with Carol Channing as Dolly Levi.

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Noting the Nature of Farce, by Thornton Wilder
On January 8, 1939, many years before Dolly Levi graced the Broadway boards, Thornton Wilder published his thoughts on farce, a genre "which depends on extreme improbability and on the laughter aroused by the spectacle of someone's mental and physical anguish" in the New York Times.

An invitation to the Motion Picture Industry's Gala Presentation of Hello, Dolly!

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A letter from Theatre Guild's Lawrence Langner to Thornton Wilder's agent Harold Freedman shows early interest in a musical adaption of The Matchmaker.
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Licensing Information

Hello, Dolly! is licensed by Tams Witmark

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