Last year, I was invited to review “Hello, Dolly” when it starred Bette Midler as Dolly Levi, and I was moved beyond words by the fabulous production and cast. I wanted to see it again with Bernadette Peters. This Dolly is different but still magnificent. Bernadette Peters brings a distinct charm to the role. She plays Dolly with a girly- cute charm. It is refreshing and fun to watch. She is a vision in her red dress, and you believe that all of the waiters love her in the second act.
The cast has changed. Leslie Donna Fleshner who filled in for a terrific Kate Baldwin was perfection. Christian Dante White played Cornelius, and his voice and dance moves were glorious in the role. He was filling in for Gavin Creel who had back surgery. Beanie Feldstein who played Minnie Fay was terrific in the last production, and her raw happy, goofy energy was missed in this production, my only problem with this cast.
My favorite thing about this show is the choreography by Warren Carlyle; it is so energetic and thrilling for someone who loves to watch great dance.
Shout out to Jennifer Simard for her funny performance as Ernestina; she is always a riot. If Bernadette ever got sick, Jennifer could do her as Dolly. She played her in “Forbidden Broadway” for many years.
The incredible dancers and ensemble remain, and you won’t find a more entertaining or feel good show on Broadway. When I see this show, it gives me a sugar high, an energy that is both intoxicating and exciting. It is addictive, and the joy is contagious. If you want a show that will pick up your spirits, Hello, Dolly will do it. I had a very tough year and seeing this show changes my mood. It is life changing. It will make you want to dance and sing all the way home.