HELLO, DOLLY! Launches Fox Theatre Broadway Series In Style

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Carolee Carmello in HELLO, DOLLY! 2019 National Tour, photo credit: Fox Theatre Website

The Fabulous Fox Theatre kicked off their 2019-2020 US Bank Broadway Series with one of the most popular and enduring classics of the genre in Hello Dolly! Since the curtain first rose on this show back in 1964, launching headliner Carol Channing's career into orbit, the Michael Stewart (book) and Jerry Herman (music and lyrics) sensation has earned the admiration of millions of fans the world over. First-timers and longtime fans alike cheered and clapped enthusiastically throughout the performance at the Fox.

And rightly so, because the cast was tremendous. This was one of the best national tour casts I've seen in quite some time. Leading the way as the unflappable matchmaker Dolly Gallagher, three-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello was wonderful. Playful, maternal, determined, resourceful, and vulnerable from scene to scene, Carmello turned in one of the most complete and captivating performances I've seen at the Fox.
 
Her costar was certainly up to the task of holding his own against Camello's many talents. John Bolton played half a millionaire Horace Vandergelder with a gruff, no-nonsense businessman mentality--in some ways a more American Ebenezer Scrooge. Instead of being visited by three ghosts he's haunted by feelings for the woman who drives him up the wall. Bolton debuted on Broadway with the legendary Jerry Lewis and was a member of the original cast of Spamalot, and has numerous appearances on television including a four season run on Gossip Girl. I don't remember when I've seen a more illustrious pair of lead actors in a tour show before. 
 
Daniel Beeman and Sean Burns play Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, respectively.  Overworked and underpaid clerks at Vandergelder, they sneak away the moment their boss leaves. They soon found themselves thoughly and delightfully caught up in Dolly's game of catch as catch can with Yonkers hat maker Irene Molloy played by a Analisa Leaming, and her more buttoned up assistant Minnie Fay, played by Chelsea Cree Grown. Along with the Ensemble, this group energy, particularly during the dance numbers, was commendable.
 
With an array of interesting sets and backdrops vividly colored like the costumes in bright hues that likely lampoon the pressumably drab tones of late 19th century New York, Hello Dolly! still manages to delight audiences with it's devil may care sense of adventure and perseverance. The role of a professional matchmaker still exists but it's a tiny niche in the marketplace dominated by 21st century phone apps. It's a testament to the importance of good writing that this musical has withstood the test of time and will continue to be enjoyed by theatre patrons for years to come. 
 
Hello Dolly! runs October 1-13, 2019 at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis. For more information and tickets, please visit www.FabulousFox.com
Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0