Hello, Dolly!

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HELLO, DOLLY!, the blockbuster Broadway hit, bursts with humor, romance, high-energy dancing, and some of the greatest songs in musical theater history. The romantic and comic exploits of Dolly Gallagher-Levi, turn-of-the-century matchmaker and “woman who arranges things,” are certain to thrill and entertain audiences again and again.

The show’s memorable songs include “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Ribbons Down My Back,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Elegance,” and “It Only Takes a Moment.”

Music samples provided courtesy of Masterworks Broadway and MPL Music Publishing

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • ACT I

    At the turn of the century, everyone in Yonkers, New York turns to professional meddler and matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi for advice on romance, practical matters, and everything else (“Call on Dolly”). Dolly, of course, is happy to oblige (“I Put My Hand In”).

    The town’s miserly half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder, a widowed hay & feed dealer, seeks a second wife (“It Takes A Woman”) and hires Dolly to find him a suitable match. Though she arranges for Horace to meet the young widow Irene Molloy, Dolly clearly has her own interest in Horace—and his money. Meanwhile, a young artist named Ambrose Kemper seeks Dolly’s assistance in acquiring the hand of Vandergelder’s niece, Ermengarde.

    When Vandergelder leaves Yonkers for New York City to court Mrs. Molloy, his clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, decide to take an unauthorized holiday themselves, vowing to find adventure in the big city (“Put On Your Sunday Clothes”). Meanwhile, in her New York hat shop, Irene wistfully considers pursuing a new relationship, or at least a flirtation, after years of mourning her late husband (“Ribbons Down My Back”).

    Barnaby and Cornelius arrive in New York City and excitedly explore the sights. They spot Vandergelder on the sidewalk and hurriedly take refuge in the nearest shop, which happens to be Irene’s millinery. Cornelius and Irene are immediately smitten, but Vandergelder appears at the shop door, and the young men scramble to hide. Dolly, arriving just in time, joins Irene and her assistant Minnie Fay as they distract the irate Vandergelder (“Motherhood March”). Frustrated and thoroughly flummoxed, Vandergelder leaves in a huff.

    As partial recompense, Dolly orders the clerks to take Irene and Minnie to the lavish Harmonia Gardens restaurant for dinner. Cornelius, who clearly could never afford such an extravagance, claims he can’t dance, but the versatile Mrs. Levi teaches him on the spot, and soon the two couples are waltzing romantically (“Dancing”). The young foursome runs off to watch a parade, and Dolly – addressing her late husband, Ephraim – reaffirms a desire to move on with her life (“Before the Parade Passes By”).

    ACT II

    Cornelius and Barnaby, too poor to afford a taxi, persuade the ladies that walking to the restaurant is far more elegant than hiring a hack (“Elegance”).

    At the Harmonia Gardens, Rudolph, the majordomo, exhorts his waiters to provide even better and faster service tonight—Dolly Levi is coming back! In a welter of dazzling precision, criss-crossing at breakneck speed, the staff prepares for Dolly’s arrival (“The Waiters’ Gallop”). Cornelius and party arrive and occupy a luxurious private dining booth, complete with drawn curtain. Horace and his date, Ernestina Money, reputed by the conniving Dolly to be an heiress, sit in another. Ernestina, who proves to be less refined than Horace had hoped, soon gets drunk and passes out.

    Finally, Dolly makes her grand entrance and the entire restaurant celebrates (“Hello, Dolly!”). Dolly settles down to eat with Horace, talking incessantly and repeatedly rejecting a proposal of marriage… which he never makes.

    A dance contest begins (“The Polka Contest”), and just as Ambrose and Ermengarde are declared the winners, Horace discovers he has the wrong wallet; he and Barnaby, through a mix-up, have exchanged them. In the melee that follows, Rudolph calls the police, and the whole party is arrested. In the courthouse, Cornelius admits he’s no playboy millionaire, but it doesn’t matter; he loves Irene and he’ll always have the memory of one miraculous day (“It Only Takes A Moment”). The judge, moved by Cornelius’s sentiment and persuaded by Dolly Levi, Counselor-At-Law, dismisses everyone except Horace Vandergelder. Horace expects Dolly to help him, but instead she chooses to walk away (“So Long, Dearie”).

    The next morning, back in Yonkers, a chastened Horace Vandergelder reflects on the recent events in his life and realizes he’s hopelessly in love with Dolly. Dolly enters the store and convinces Horace to take Cornelius as his business partner and allow Ambrose and Ermengarde to marry. Still unsure about marrying Horace, Dolly asks her late husband Ephraim for a sign. Horace, who has hired a fledgling businessman to renovate his home, spontaneously repeats an old saying of Ephraim’s: “Money is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread about, encouraging young things to grow.” Satisfied, Dolly agrees to marry Horace and vows she’ll “never go away again” (Finale: “Hello, Dolly”).

  • HELLO, DOLLY!
    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:

    HELLO, DOLLY!
    is presented by arrangement with
    TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

  • Full Orchestration:

    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

    2 Trumpet I & II
    1 Trumpet III
    1 Trombone I
    1 Trombone II

    2 Percussion I & II:
    Timpani (2 Drums)
    Bass Drum
    Snare Drum
    Cymbals, Suspended & Hand
    Vibraphone
    Xylophone
    Glockenspiel
    Bell Plate
    Wood Block
    Cow Bell
    Slide Whistle
    Ratchet

    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.

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book with Vocal Parts for Director
    25     Prompt Books with Vocal Parts for Cast & Chorus

    Original Cast CD, if available, is sent with perusal material.

    Optional Additional Materials

    1       Stage Manager’s Guide

    Medium-Voice Transpositions for the role of Dolly Levy

    As sung on the original cast album by Carol Channing, the keys for Dolly Levi’s nine numbers are too low for many singers. The Medium-Voice Transpositions provide a comfortable range for most soprano “belters.”
    The computer-engraved transposition books contain complete musical numbers and playoffs, if necessary, to make rehearsals and performances as smooth as possible. The Medium-Voice Transpositions are specially made to accommodate Dolly’s role; all the other musical numbers remain in their original keys. The transpositions are carefully crafted to minimize range adjustments necessary for the other singers in ensemble numbers. Performing HELLO, DOLLY! with the Medium-Voice Transpositions requires both a complete set of the original performance materials and the transposition materials.

    The set of materials includes:

    Piano-Conductor’s Score for the transposed numbers.
    Chorus-Vocal Books with transpositions for each of the principals and the chorus.

    Orchestra parts with transpositions for each orchestra player are available at an additional charge.

    Dolly Keys: Original (Channing) vs. Medium-Voice Transpositions

    No. 2 • I Put My Hand In (written up a major third) Channing Medium Voice
              bar 1-9   A-flat   C
              bar 10-208   E-flat   G
    No. 4 • Put On Your Sunday Clothes (bars 53-90 up a fourth)    
              bar 1-10   E   =
              bar 11-18   A   =
              bar 19-52   D   =
              bar 52   (B7)   (E7)
              bar 53-90   E   A
              bar 91 al fine   E-flat etc.   =
    No. 6 • Motherhood March (bars 1-35 up a fourth; bars 36-101 up a fifth)    
              bar 1-28   G   C
              bar 29-61   G   D
              bar 62-101   A-flat   E-flat
    No. 7 • Dancing (bars 1-65 up a fifth; bars 66-121 up a major sixth)    
              bar 1-65   G   D
              bar 66-122   E-flat   C
              bar 122-129 music is in the same key, but different key signature
              bar 130 al fine   C etc.   =
    No. 8 • Before The Parade Passes By (bars 1-123 up a fourth)    
              bar 1-79   D   G
              bar 80-123   E-flat   A-flat
              bar 123a-123d new 4-bar modulation  
              bar 130 al fine   E-flat etc.   =
    No. 9 • Finale — Act I (same key, but sounding at pitch)    
              bar 1-21   E-flat   E-flat
    No. 13 • Hello, Dolly (bars 1-42 up a fifth; bars 77-127 up a major seventh)    
              bar 1-42   C   G
              bar 43-76   E-flat   =
              bar 77-127   B-flat   A
              bar 128 al fine   C etc.   =
    No. 17 • So Long, Dearie (up a fourth)    
              bar 1-14   G   C
              bar 15-95   B-flat   E-flat
              bar 96-141   B   E
    No. 18 • Finale Ultimo (bars 24-42 up a fifth)    
              bar 1-23   B-flat   =
              bar 24-42   B-flat   F
              bar 43 al fine   E-flat etc.   =
  • Principals

    (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

    Ensemble

    Townspeople of New York
    Yonkers Band
    Lodge Members
    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.
    The 2017 Broadway revival has a cast of 33 performers, including chorus. Again, some doubling is employed.

  • HELLO, DOLLY! opened on Broadway on January 16, 1964 at the St. James Theatre. Opening with Carol Channing in the title role, the show ultimately played for 2,844 performances, making it – at the time – the longest-running Broadway musical in history. The West End production ran for 794 performances at London’s Drury Lane Theatre.

    HELLO, DOLLY! has been revived several times on Broadway, and is slated to return in 2017 with Bette Midler in the starring role.

    Awards (1964)

    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

    Awards (1968)

    2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Actor and Actress
    The Theatre World Award (Jack Crowder)

    Awards (1970)

    The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance (Ethel Merman)

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

    Search for performances near you
    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Hannett Thorn Productions VICTORVILLE, CA 09/07/2018 09/22/2018
    Music Box Players SWOYERSVILLE, PA 09/08/2018 09/23/2018
    Virginia Samford Theatre BIRMINGHAM, AL 09/13/2018 09/30/2018
    Niagara Regional Theatre Guild TONAWANDA, NY 09/14/2018 09/30/2018
    Erie Playhouse ERIE, PA 09/14/2018 09/30/2018
    Liberty University LYNCHBURG, VA 09/14/2018 09/30/2018
    Lincoln Community Playhouse LINCOLN, NE 09/14/2018 09/30/2018
    Diamond Head Theatre HONOLULU, HI 09/21/2018 10/14/2018
    Kalamazoo Civic Theatre KALAMAZOO, MI 09/21/2018 10/07/2018
    Lake of the Woods Players LOCUST GROVE, VA 10/12/2018 10/21/2018
    Notre Dame Academy TOLEDO, OH 10/18/2018 10/28/2018
    John Brown University SILOAM SPRINGS, AR 10/25/2018 11/02/2018
    Vernon Hills High School VERNON HILLS, IL 10/26/2018 11/03/2018
    The Arts Center of Cannon County WOODBURY, TN 11/02/2018 11/17/2018
    John Carroll School BEL AIR, MD 11/09/2018 11/11/2018
    Encore Musical Theatre Company DEXTER, MI 11/15/2018 12/23/2018
    City of Newton NEWTON, MA 11/27/2018 11/29/2018
    California Regional Theater CHICO, CA 01/25/2019 02/03/2019
    Marist College Theatre POUGHKEEPSIE, NY 02/27/2019 03/03/2019
    St. Stephen's Parish Players GRAND ISLAND, NY 02/28/2019 03/02/2019
    Mesa Encore Theatre MESA, AZ 03/01/2019 03/17/2019
    Clearwater Valley High School KOOSKIA, ID 03/13/2019 03/16/2019
    Four County Players BARBOURSVILLE, VA 03/15/2019 04/14/2019
    Sunlake High School LAND O LAKES, FL 03/29/2019 03/31/2019
    College of the Albemarle ELIZABETH CITY, NC 04/11/2019 04/20/2019
    Perry Players Community Theatre PERRY, GA 04/25/2019 05/12/2019
    University of Texas at El Paso EL PASO, TX 07/05/2019 07/21/2019
    Smash Productions THE VILLAGES, FL 12/07/2019 12/09/2019