“And what do you do for a living, Mrs. Levi?” asks Ambrose Kemper in the first scene of this most delightful of musical comedies. “Some people paint, some sew… I meddle,” replies Dolly. HELLO, DOLLY! is full of memorable songs including Put On Your Sunday Clothes, Ribbons Down My Back, Before the Parade Passes By, Hello, Dolly!, Elegance, It Only Takes a Moment and So Long, Dearie. And we are off on a whirlwind race around New York at the turn of the twentieth century, as we follow the adventures of America’s most beloved matchmaker!
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.
Book by Michael Stewart Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman
Based on the play “The Matchmaker” by Thornton Wilder
Original Production Directed and
Choreographed by Gower Champion
Produced for the Broadway Stage by
David Merrick and Champion Five, Inc.
Such credits for all purposes shall be in type size equal to that of any other credits except for those of the producer and star(s) above the title. The credit for the authors shall be in a type size at least 75 percent of the size of the title of the play; and wherever the name of one of the authors appears, the other name(s) shall also appear. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.
The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
is presented by arrangement with
MusicScope & Stage Musicals Ltd. of New York
2 Violin I (optional)
1 Violin II (optional)
1 Viola (optional)
1 Cello (optional)
1 Bass & optional Tuba
1 Reed I: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed II: Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed III: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1 Reed IV: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Baritone Saxophone
1 Trumpets I and II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
2 Percussion I and II:
Timpani (2 Drums)
Cymbals, Suspended & Hand
1 Guitar & Banjo
1 Piano & Celeste
Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.
Orchestra parts are cued so the score may be played with the following minimum number of parts: 3 Reeds, 2 Trumpets, 1 Trombone, 1 Percussion, Bass and Piano. Add parts in the following order to build the full orchestra: Reed IV, Trombone II, Trumpet III, Cello, Violins, Viola, Percussion II and Guitar-Banjo.
(5 female; 4 male)
Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi — an indefatigable meddling matchmaker; a widow in her middle years
Mrs. Irene Molloy — a millineress with a hat shop near 14th Street in New York City
Minnie Fay — a young girl who works in Irene’s Shop
Ernestina — a heavy-set girl in need of Mrs. Levi’s services
Ermengarde — the 17-year-old niece of Horace Vandergelder
Horace Vandergelder — proprietor of a hay and feed store in Yonkers, NY and a client of Mrs. Levi’s
Cornelius Hackl — Vandergelder’s chief clerk, 33 years old
Barnaby Tucker — an assistant to Cornelius, 17 years old
Ambrose Kemper — a young artist seeking to marry Ermengarde
Supporting (from the Chorus)
Mrs. Rose — sells vegetables from a street cart, a friend of Mrs. Levi’s from years before
Coachman — non-speaking
Horse — two chorus/dancers
Rudolph Reisenweber — the Prussian major-domo of the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant
Stanley — a young waiter
Fritz, Harry, Louie, Danny, Manny and Hank — Harmonia Gardens waiters; non-speaking chorus/dancers
First Cook — Harmonia Gardens employee with a German accent
Second Cook — Harmonia Gardens employee
Judge — white-whiskered, red-nosed, New York night court
Policemen — several New York City officers; only one speaking
Court Clerk (Recorder) — male chorus member
Paperhanger — non-speaking
Townspeople of New York
Feed Store Customers
Harmonia Gardens Customers
Polka Contest Contestants
14th Street Parade Ensemble
Suggested: 8 female dancers, 8 female singers, 6 male singers, 12 male dancers.
(Can be done with fewer)
The original Broadway production had a cast of 45 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.
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.
10 Tony Awards for Musical, Actress, Author, Producer, Director, Composer/Lyricist, Musical Director, Scenic Designer, Costume Designer and Choreographer
The New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Musical
2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Actor and Actress
The Theatre World Award (Jack Crowder)
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance (Ethel Merman)