Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Hello, Dolly! | Playbill

Photo Features Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Hello, Dolly!

The musical, based on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker, first premiered at the St. James Theatre January 16, 1964.

Carol Channing in Hello, Dolly! Martha Swope / The New York Public Library

Look at the old girl now, fellas! Hello, Dolly! is celebrating its 60th anniversary January 16.

The original production premiered on Broadway January 16, 1964. With music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Michael StewartHello, Dolly! tells the story a meddlesome matchmaker who brings together the young clerk of a wealthy Yonkers merchant and his assistant with a widowed milliner and her assistant, while making sure she herself gets to marry the merchant. The musical, based on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker, first opened at the St. James Theatre in 1964.

The title role, one of the greatest leading lady roles in musical theatre, was written for Ethel Merman, but was ultimately originated by Carol Channing, who won the Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical for the role, and also starred in several tours and a 1995 Broadway revival of the musical. During its original run, the role was played by Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Phyllis Diller, Bibi Osterwald, Thelma Carpenter, Pearl Bailey and, at last, Merman. Barbra Streisand starred in the film version.

Take a Look Back at Hello, Dolly!

An acclaimed revival of Hello, Dolly! opened at the Shubert Theatre April 20, 2017. The production, starring Bette Midler as Dolly Levi, played 34 previews and 550 performances before closing August 25, 2018. The musical earned 10 Tony Award nominations, winning four, including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress and Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Midler and Gavin Creel.

The revival also featured Donna Murphy and Bernadette Peters assuming the role of Dolly Levi during the course of its run.

Look Back at the 2017 Revival of Hello, Dolly! With Bette Midler, Donna Murphy, and Bernadette Peters

An Imelda Staunton-led London revival of Hello, Dolly!, originally scheduled to begin performances at the Adelphi Theatre in August 2020 but postponed due to the pandemic, will play a limited run at the London Palladium later this year. Performances at the London venue are scheduled for July 6-September 18, with opening night set for July 18.

Staunton has won the Olivier for Best Actress in a Musical for playing the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, and Rose in Gypsy. Additionally, she won a Best Supporting Performance for her two performances in A Chorus of Disapproval and The Corn Is Green. The West End star played Sally in the National Theatre production of Follies that was filmed and broadcast in movie theatres.

Visit HelloDollyLDN.com.

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