CD Review – Hello, Dolly! – 2017 Broadway Cast

HELLO, DOLLY! – 2017 Broadway Cast (Masterworks Broadway – 88985405922)

At times like this I wish more than anything that I lived in New York. I would love to actually see this production onstage.

Perhaps by now you may have gathered that I am in love with this recording of the 2017 Broadway cast of Hello, Dolly!

I read many reviews of the show and there were a couple that berated it for Bette Midler playing Bette Midler – well, I say to those critics: ‘And your point being?’

The character is so well suited to Midler’s persona that it could have been written for her. In fact, I would be willing to bet that if Jerry Herman were writing it today he would be penning it with that wonderful artist in mind.

The show sounds so fresh. The orchestrations are new – the Philip J Lang ones (which were excellent) have been superseded by Larry Hochman’s and he has done an absolutely wonderful job (they are also serviced magnificently by musical director Andy Einhorn).

The whole cast is fantastic and you can’t fault any single one of them.

David Hyde Pierce brings a new twist to Horace Vandergelder – he even gets his number back that was cut in the original out-of-town try-outs – ‘Penny in My Pocket’.

Gavin Creel and Taylor Trensch work wonderfully together as Cornelius and Barnaby and Kate Baldwin’s rendition of ‘Ribbons Down My Back’ (as Irene Molloy) is beautiful.

But it all hinges on Dolly Levi – that exasperating woman – and Midler absolutely shines in the role. It’s no carbon copy of those who have gone before and her little ad-libs, especially in the title number, just add the cherry on top of a perfectly iced cake.

I could fill this page with superlatives but I think the best way of summing it up is this: up until now my favourite recording of Hello, Dolly! has been the one with Pearl Bailey, but I am so sorry Pearl – Bette has topped it – and some!

Nick Wakeham

This CD is available HERE.

 

Readers may also be interested in:

Hello, Dolly! – Sam S. Shubert Theatre, New York – Review

 

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