“Hello, Dolly!”: What I Thought

You thought I would write a proper review? Hah! It was only the first preview and I wouldn’t dream of passing judgment so soon. Here’s what I can say: It’s all about the costumes — and that’s not an insult. Santo Loquasto’s finery is absolutely splendid and since I barely remember the Freddy Wittop designs from the Carol Channing show of my youth I can certainly live with Loquasto’s work as the definitive visual reflection of the life story of the widow Levi. As for the actors, David Hyde Pierce (pictured) makes an amusing Horace and he makes a comic meal of “Penny in My Pocket,” a number that, with Jerry Herman’s permission, has been restored to the musical. Gavin Creel makes a sprightly Cornelius and Kate Baldwin, who has long deserved to dazzle in a big hit, finally has one. (She’s Irene.) And what can I say about Bette other than the title number will have you feeling the rush of spring after a long, cold winter. Goose bumps.

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