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
  • Materials
  • Cast
  • History
  • Musical Numbers
  • 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, A Concord Theatricals Company
    www.tamswitmark.com

    Additionally, you agree to include the above language hyperlinked to https://tamswitmark.com/ on all websites on which you promote the play.

  • 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.

  • Rehearsal Materials

    2       Piano/Conductor Scores
    20     Libretto/Vocal Books

    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, most recently in 2017, starring Bette Midler as Dolly Levi.

    Awards (1964)

    10 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Actress, Author, Producer, Director, Composer/Lyricist, Musical Director, Scenic Designer, Costume Designer and Choreographer
    The New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical

    Awards (1968)

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

    Awards (1970)

    The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance (Ethel Merman)

    Awards (2017)

    4 Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical, Actress, Featured Actor and Costumes
    3 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Musical, Actress and Featured Actor

  • Act I

    Overture – Orchestra
    1. Opening Act One – Chorus of Townspeople
    2. “I Put My Hand In” – Dolly
    2a.  Yonkers March – Orchestra
    3. “It Takes A Woman” – Horace, Cornelius, Barnaby, & Male Chorus
    3a. Reprise: “It Takes A Woman” – Horace & Dolly
    4. “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” – Cornelius, Barnaby, Dolly, Ermengarde, Ambrose, & Chorus
    4a.  Encore: “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” – Dolly, Cornelius, Barnaby, Ambrose, & Chorus
    4b.  Incidental: Hat Shop– Orchestra
    5. “Ribbons Down My Back” – Mrs. Molloy
    5a.  Reprise: “Ribbons Down My Back” – Mrs. Molloy
    6. “Motherhood March” – Dolly, Mrs. Molloy, & Minnie
    7. “Dancing” – Dolly, Cornelius, Barnaby, & Mrs. Molloy
    7a.  Incidental: I Put My Hand In – Orchestra
    8. “Before The Parade Passes By” – Dolly & Chorus
    9. Finale: Act One – Dolly

    Act II

    10.Entr’acte – Orchestra
    11. “Elegance” – Mrs. Molloy, Minnie, Cornelius, & Barnaby
    11a. March To Harmonia Gardens – Orchestra, then Ernestina
    12. Waiters’ Galop – Orchestra
    12a. Hello, Dolly (Agitato) – Orchestra
    13. “Hello, Dolly” – Dolly & Male Chorus
    13a. Reprise: “Hello, Dolly” – Male Chorus
    14. Reprise: Waiters’ Gallop – Orchestra
    15. Polka – Orchestra
    16. “It Only Takes A Moment” – Cornelius
    16a.  “It Only Takes A Moment” (Part II) – Mrs. Molloy, Cornelius, & Chorus
    16b.  End of Courtroom Scene – Orchestra
    17. “So Long, Dearie” – Dolly
    17a. Change of Scene – Orchestra
    18. Finale Ultimo – Company
    19. Curtain Music – Orchestra
    20. Exit Music – Orchestra

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

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    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Town Theatre Columbia, SC 09/06/2019 09/22/2019
    Theatre Cedar Rapids Cedar Rapids, IA 09/20/2019 10/13/2019
    Andria Theatre Alexandria, MN 10/03/2019 10/13/2019
    Hale Centre Theatre - Arizona Gilbert, AZ 10/10/2019 11/23/2019
    West Shore Jr/Sr High School Melbourne, FL 10/11/2019 10/14/2019
    Hebron Christian Academy Dacula, GA 10/17/2019 11/16/2019
    Independence Community Theater Independence, OH 11/01/2019 11/16/2019
    Wittenberg-Birnamwood H.S. Wittenberg, WI 11/01/2019 11/03/2019
    Orangewood Christian School Maitland, FL 11/07/2019 11/09/2019
    Douglas Morrisson Theatre CASTRO VALLEY, CA 11/08/2019 11/25/2019
    Augustine Christian Academy Tulsa, OK 11/14/2019 11/17/2019
    Pyramid, Inc. Pensacola, FL 11/15/2019 11/15/2019
    Portsmouth H.S. Portsmouth, OH 11/15/2019 11/18/2019
    Oak Lawn Park District Theatre Oak Lawn, IL 11/15/2019 11/24/2019
    St. James Academy Lenexa, KS 11/21/2019 11/23/2019
    Thayer Academy High School Braintree, MA 11/22/2019 11/24/2019
    Fredericton High School Fredericton, NB 11/26/2019 11/30/2019
    The Players, Inc. Sarasota, FL 12/03/2019 12/22/2019
    Harts Academy Harbor City, CA 12/06/2019 12/08/2019
    Immaculata-La Salle High School Miami, FL 12/11/2019 12/14/2019
    Royal West Academy Montreal West, QC 12/16/2019 12/19/2019
    McNary High School Keizer, OR 01/10/2020 01/19/2020
    Dawson High School Pearland, TX 01/23/2020 02/01/2020
    Springfield Little Theatre Springfield, MO 02/01/2020 02/17/2020
    West Genesee High School Camillus, NY 02/06/2020 02/08/2020
    Pennsbury High School FAIRLESS HILLS, PA 02/07/2020 02/09/2020
    Dr. Phillips High School Orlando, FL 02/13/2020 02/16/2020
    West High School Knoxville, TN 02/13/2020 02/15/2020
    Mukwonago High School Mukwonago, WI 02/14/2020 02/22/2020
    Ardmore Little Theatre Ardmore, OK 02/20/2020 02/29/2020
    Haddonfield Memorial High School Haddonfield, NJ 03/06/2020 03/14/2020
    Layton High School Layton, UT 03/06/2020 03/14/2020
    Waynesboro Area High School Waynesboro, PA 03/14/2020 03/16/2020
    Calvary Christian School Columbus, GA 03/19/2020 03/21/2020
    McAuley High School Cincinnati, OH 04/03/2020 04/05/2020
    Enumclaw High School Enumclaw, WA 04/03/2020 04/11/2020
    Oulu Community Theater Brule, WI 04/16/2020 05/10/2020
    Grant Park High School Winnipeg, MB 04/21/2020 04/24/2020
    Msgr McClancy Memorial High School East Elmhurst, NY 04/23/2020 05/01/2020
    Center Stage Theatre Goldsboro, NC 05/01/2020 05/03/2020
    Electric City Playhouse Anderson, SC 05/01/2020 05/17/2020
    Algonquin Arts Theatre Manasquan, NJ 05/02/2020 05/18/2020
    Mountain Play Association San Rafael, CA 05/23/2020 06/21/2020
    Theatre Lawrence Lawrence, KS 06/05/2020 06/22/2020
    Shenandoah University Winchester, VA 06/25/2020 07/05/2020
    Little Theatre of Virginia Beach Virginia Beach, VA 07/17/2020 08/09/2020
    Lofte Community Theatre Manley, NE 07/18/2020 08/02/2020
    Theatre at the Center, Inc. Munster, IN 09/10/2020 10/11/2020
    Temple Emanuel Newton, MA 01/30/2021 01/31/2021