Hennepin Theater Trust Company presents Hello Dolly
“HelloDolly” is the epitome of old fashioned theater. The musical premiered in 1964, and even then, had a retro feel to it. The end of America’s nineteenth century setting, the costumes, and even the music had a dated feel. Regardless of being dated, the nostalgia of this musical is incredibly strong, making the love of it huge.
Bette Midler took over the Broadway run of 2018, but the touring cast was by far a superior one. Betty Buckley had her role in the touring version. For those familiar with touring shows, you know when you are viewing a poor touring cast. It’s a hard thing to watch. This cast and crew was incredible from the director to the actors, musicians, and designers, holding ten Tony nominations between them. For those not familiar with the musical, it is a rendition of “The Matchmaker” by Thornton Wilder. What’s that, you ask? It’s a story about a widow who is a matchmaker in Manhattan while falling for a widower herself. It’s a fairly simple story posing as a romantic comedy.
One of the aspects of this musical that stands out to me is the age of Betty Buckley. The woman is seventy-one years old and was on the stage in a well known, popular role. It’s not often that you see a woman of that age in Broadway musicals, so that is particularly meaningful. I’ve been to many plays recently and there are still fewer women on stage than men, so seeing a woman in her seventies play a leading role is really something you don’t see a lot. Not only that, but she nailed the role. She made the audience feel a part of her numbers in a way that pulled them into the overall story.
This musical is very loved and the Minneapolis show was enjoyed as much as any other. With an outstanding cast and a heavily engaged audience, you truly couldn’t ask for a better time at the theater.