BWW Review: HELLO, DOLLY is Looking Swell!

As the house lights went down and the familiar strains of “Before the Parade Passes By” wafted through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre, a buzz of excitement and a ripple of clapping could be heard from the front of the house on up to the balcony seats. The sound of times gone by, captured by the tuneful Jerry Hermanscore, ushered the audience into the opulent gift of gilded age perfection, the revival of Michael Stewart‘s 1964 musical, Hello, Dolly.

If the U.S. followed the British tradition of bestowing the honor of damehood on its most prolific grand dames of the theatre, then certainly the star of the touring show of Hello, Dolly, Betty Buckley, would deserve such a title, as do her predecessors. She follows Broadway legends Carol Channing (the SF native who originated the role), Pearl BaileyMary MartinEthel Merman and now Bette MidlerDonna Murphy and Bernadette Peters — and Buckley is superb.

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