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
  • In turn-of-the-century New York, professional meddler and matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi decides she’s going to marry miserly half-a-millionaire hay & feed dealer Horace Vandergelder (“I Put My Hand In”)—and that’s where the fun begins.

    At first, Horace hires Dolly to find him a second wife. Dolly arranges for him to meet widowed milliner Irene Molloy, but she has no intention of letting that match be completed.

    When Mr. Vandergelder leaves Yonkers for New York City to pay suit to Mrs. Molloy, his clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, decide to take an unauthorized holiday themselves (“Put On Your Sunday Clothes”). While strolling in New York, they spy Mr. Vandergelder and take refuge in the closest shop, Irene Molloy’s hat store. Cornelius and Barnaby frantically try to conceal themselves when Horace enters. Irene and Dolly – late for the appointment, as usual – finally divert the irate Mr. Vandergelder (“Motherhood March”) until he leaves in a huff.

    As partial recompense, Dolly decrees that the clerks must take Irene and Minnie, her assistant, to the Harmonia Gardens for dinner. When they try to plead an inability to dance, the versatile Mrs. Levi teaches them on the spot (“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”).

    As the second act opens, Cornelius and Barnaby persuade the ladies that it is much more elegant to walk to the restaurant than it is to hire a hack (“Elegance”).

    Inside the Harmonia Gardens, Rudolph, the majordomo, exhorts his waiters to give even better and faster service tonight—Dolly is coming back. “The Waiters’ Gallop” follows, a welter of dazzling precision, criss-crossing at breakneck speed, which invariably brings down the house. Meanwhile, Cornelius and party occupy one dining booth (complete with drawn curtain). Horace and Ernestina Money, reputed by the conniving Dolly to be an heiress, are in another. Ernestina soon gets drunk and passes out.

    Dolly makes her grand entrance to a triumphant “Hello, Dolly!” production number. As she eats with Horace, she repeatedly rejects his proposal of marriage… a proposal he has never made. As the dance contest begins, 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. The judge agrees with Dolly Levi, Counselor-At-Law, that only Horace Vandergelder is guilty. During the courtroom scene, the court clerk records Cornelius’ declaration that “It Only Takes a Moment” to fall in love.

    Back in Yonkers, a subdued and thoughtful Horace Vandergelder realizes that Dolly is the wonderful woman he wants to be his wife. Dolly convinces him to take Cornelius as his business partner, and then finally agrees to marry him—as she had intended all along.

  • 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

    1 Trumpets I and II
    1 Trumpet III
    1 Trombone I
    1 Trombone II

    2 Percussion I and 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
    1       Original Cast CD

    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.

  • 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
    CenterPoint Legacy Theatre CENTERVILLE, UT 08/08/2016 09/03/2016
    Theatre of the Republic CONWAY, SC 08/17/2016 08/28/2016
    Elmira Little Theatre Inc. ELMIRA, NY 10/07/2016 10/16/2016
    Island Players SAINT SIMONS ISLAND, GA 10/13/2016 10/29/2016
    Burlingame High School BURLINGAME, CA 10/22/2016 10/30/2016
    Winnebago Lutheran Academy FOND DU LAC, WI 11/03/2016 11/06/2016
    Parkrose High School PORTLAND, OR 11/10/2016 11/19/2016
    Supporting Theatre At Ranch CYPRESS, TX 11/10/2016 11/13/2016
    Providence St. Mel School CHICAGO, IL 11/11/2016 11/12/2016
    Trylight Theatre Company KENORA, ON 11/17/2016 11/26/2016
    Darlington High School DARLINGTON, WI 11/25/2016 11/27/2016
    Leominster High School LEOMINSTER, MA 12/09/2016 12/10/2016
    Musical Theatre Academy of Orange County NEWPORT BEACH, CA 01/13/2017 01/22/2017
    First United Methodist Church SANTA MONICA, CA 01/20/2017 01/22/2017
    Sherwood Christian Academy ALBANY, GA 01/26/2017 01/28/2017
    Fredericksburg Theater Company FREDERICKSBURG, TX 02/17/2017 03/05/2017
    Chipola College MARIANNA, FL 02/22/2017 02/26/2017
    Jewish Community Center of Cleveland BEACHWOOD, OH 02/23/2017 03/05/2017
    Fraser Valley Stage ABBOTSFORD, BC 02/23/2017 03/04/2017
    Francis Wilson Playhouse CLEARWATER, FL 02/23/2017 03/12/2017
    Elba Central School ELBA, NY 02/24/2017 02/25/2017
    Brookfield Academy BROOKFIELD, WI 03/03/2017 03/05/2017
    Virginia Musical Theatre, Inc. VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 03/03/2017 03/05/2017
    Performance Now Theatre Company HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO 03/24/2017 04/09/2017
    Divine Child High School DEARBORN, MI 03/30/2017 04/02/2017
    The Morgan School CLINTON, CT 03/30/2017 04/02/2017
    Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre NEWTOWN, PA 03/31/2017 04/08/2017
    Spotlight Players CANTON, MI 03/31/2017 04/09/2017
    Granville Little Theatre OXFORD, NC 04/20/2017 04/23/2017
    Children's Theatre of Winnetka WINNETKA, IL 04/27/2017 04/30/2017
    87 After School NEW YORK, NY 06/08/2017 06/10/2017
    Sunset Playhouse ELM GROVE, WI 07/13/2017 08/06/2017
    Back Alley Musicals OWENSBORO, KY 07/22/2017 07/30/2017
    Theatre Company of Bryan BRYAN, TX 08/04/2017 08/20/2017
    Hale Center Theater-Orem OREM, UT 09/30/2017 11/18/2017
    Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma Inc. OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 06/26/2018 06/30/2018