Play the Songs
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
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
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.
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:
is presented by arrangement with
TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022
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)
Cymbals, Suspended & Hand
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. =
(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
Townspeople of New York
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.
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
2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Actor and Actress
The Theatre World Award (Jack Crowder)
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance (Ethel Merman)
Find upcoming performances near you.
Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance Berkeley Playhouse BERKELEY, CA 05/27/2017 06/04/2017 Public School 87 After School Assoc. NEW YORK, NY 06/08/2017 06/10/2017 Abbeville Opera House ABBEVILLE, SC 06/09/2017 06/24/2017 Minnesota State University - Moorhead MOORHEAD, MN 06/20/2017 06/23/2017 Jackson Theatre Guild JACKSON, TN 07/12/2017 07/16/2017 Sunset Playhouse ELM GROVE, WI 07/13/2017 08/06/2017 Quincy Community Theatre QUINCY, IL 07/19/2017 07/30/2017 Christian Academy of Performing Arts AUSTIN, TX 07/19/2017 07/22/2017 Garland Summer Musicals GARLAND, TX 07/21/2017 07/30/2017 Englewood Recreation Department ENGLEWOOD, CO 07/28/2017 07/30/2017 RSVP Community Theatre ASHEBORO, NC 07/28/2017 08/06/2017 Great Northern Theatre Company COLD SPRING, MN 08/03/2017 08/11/2017 Red Curtain Theatre CONWAY, AR 08/04/2017 08/13/2017 Christian Youth Theatre - North Idaho DALTON GARDENS, ID 08/11/2017 08/20/2017 Mac-Haydn Theatre, Inc. CHATHAM, NY 08/24/2017 09/03/2017 Bloomington High School South BLOOMINGTON, IN 10/14/2017 10/28/2017 Elon University ELON, NC 10/26/2017 11/04/2017 Slinger High School SLINGER, WI 11/03/2017 11/05/2017 Perth County Players STRATFORD, ON 11/17/2017 11/25/2017 Main Stage Productions, Inc. SPRING, TX 02/09/2018 02/25/2018 Haldane Central High School COLD SPRING, NY 03/16/2018 03/18/2018 Christian Youth Theater Wichita WICHITA, KS 04/26/2018 04/28/2018 Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma Inc. OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 06/26/2018 06/30/2018 Sherwood Foundation for the Arts SHERWOOD, OR 06/27/2018 06/30/2018