Hello, Dolly! PARADE PASSING BY
Broadway revivals built around a star present a tricky challenge when they head out on the road. Unless, that is, the producer finds a star of equal magnitude (and greater endurance) to lead the charge out of Times Square and into the hinterland.
Such is the case with the national tour of Hello, Dolly! Betty Buckley is a firecracker, a roman candle, a rocket, as Dolly Gallagher Levi, that irresistible irritant of a meddler in affairs of the heart (and sundry lesser tasks, should you need them). When Buckley builds a number like “Before the Parade Passes By” from a mournful near-whisper to a balcony-blasting anthem of self-determination, she grabs you by the collar and shakes you to life. And when she looks out, somewhere between you in your seat and God in heaven, to chat with her dead husband Ephraim, your cynic’s heart undoubtedly will stir a bit.