Theater preview: ‘Hello, Dolly!’ national tour arrives at the Fox with

Nothing higher than coincidence brings the national tour of “Hello, Dolly!” to the Fox Theatre all through each week that options Valentine’s Day.

But the timing is kismet, as the beloved old-school musical (and film) services on love. Whether dropping it, discovering it or manipulating it, the titular character of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a brassy New York widow who excels at matchmaking, requires some sort of romance in her life.

With Dolly’s story – she’s intent to find a partner for cranky “half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder – comes the elaborate items and costumes that adorned the musical’s 2017 Broadway revival. The comparable mannequin launched right into a national tour in 2018 and might wind its choice to Atlanta Tuesday by way of Sunday. Feb. 11-16.

“This show is one for the classic Broadway enthusiast, the one that loves a big spectacle, huge dance numbers, clever comedy – anyone would enjoy it,” talked about Russ Belin, vice chairman of the southeast space for Broadway Across America, which is bringing the current to the Fox. “It is a throwback to old Broadway and it’s going to have that feel, but the story still resonates today and the comedy will be appreciated.”

Indeed, each little factor beforehand is new as soon as extra. The smash revival, which brilliantly stable Bette Midler as Dolly (and later, one different intelligent choice in Bernadette Peters) provided out its restricted run and, in line with Forbes, grossed $128 million – higher than each different revival in Broadway historic previous apart from “Chicago.”

The genuine 1964 Broadway manufacturing earned a trove of Tonys – a then-record-breaking 10 out of 11 nominations – whereas the 2017 mannequin added 4 further, collectively with the biggest revival of a musical and biggest actress in a primary operate in a musical for Midler’s flawless portrayal.

Donning Dolly’s feathered hats and headdresses require a mixture of chutzpah and vulnerability – she is, in any case, a widow who nonetheless lovingly talks aloud to her deceased husband. At the starting of the revival’s tour, the reliably chameleonic Betty Buckley embodied Dolly’s sass; in September, Broadway veteran – and three-time Tony nominee – Carolee Carmello assumed the corsets and might stick with it the Dolly title until the tour ends in March.

Her resume is dotted with roles in high-profile reveals collectively with “Parade,” “Mamma Mia!,” “Sister Act” and “Finding Neverland,” nevertheless Carmello moreover has familiarity with Atlanta productions. In 2015, she portrayed Mae Tuck in the Alliance Theatre’s world premiere of “Tuck Everlasting” and remained with the current when it transferred to Broadway.

“It was nice to be there so long to explore the city and have chicken and waffles,” Carmello talked about with an enjoyable remaining week from Naples, Florida, the place “Hello, Dolly!” had merely pulled in for each week of performances.

Carmello assured that the touring musical is, a few minor set changes aside, much like the New York present. That the current requires eight vans of producing supplies – staging, costumes, lighting – is testimony to the spectacle theatergoers can anticipate.

While Carmello’s career has provided a substitute for portraying completely different spirited women – Donna Sheridan in “Mamma Mia!” and Aimee Semple McPherson in the short-lived “Scandalous” amongst them – having fun with Dolly Gallagher Levi requires one factor just a bit further layered.

“I think I didn’t realize when I started this job how deep it was going to be. I have this image in my head of (Dolly in the) red dress and coming down the stairs, that glamorous part. But what really surprised me was the humanity of her that comes out in those monologues, alone on stage talking to her deceased husband and baring her soul,” talked about Carmello. “It just makes her so much richer as a character. You see the face she’s putting on for the public and how hard she’s trying to be fun with her wit and being this fast-talking manipulator. But when you see the underbelly, it adds so much to what you take away.”

While Carmello agrees that the current’s music, written by the not too way back deceased Jerry Herman, is “immortal,” she moreover praises the e-book, written by Michael Stewart and based on Thornton Wilder’s “The Merchant of Yonkers,” later revised and renamed in 1955 to “The Matchmaker.”

“Wilder was such a wonderful writer, so you have those funny scenes between Dolly and Horace and (Horace’s clerks) Cornelius and Barnaby. It’s rare to have a musical with such a good score and a really brilliant book,” she talked about. “Even though the story takes place in 1895, it’s still very relevant. It’s about trying to find your person and attach yourself to someone and feeling lonely and surviving the death of a spouse. So many things people can relate to differently at different ages.”

Having carried out her 100th current in January, Carmello is attuned to the generational span that fills the audiences. Even so, she’s been shocked at the turnout of college-aged followers prepared at the stage door after reveals.

“Many of them had heard about the show but didn’t know anything about it. I just assumed everyone knew the show or movie, but there’s a lot who don’t,” Carmello talked about. “It’s fun to bring the show to new people because it’s so good and works on so many levels. It doesn’t feel creaky. It’s fun. I think at this time in this country, we’re desperate for something that is joyful.”


“Hello, Dolly!”

7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $35-$129. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499,

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