Buckley received a hot reception from a supportive and enthusiastic opening evening audience during the Pantages Theater after being sidelined by a short disease during its run at Segerstrom Hall the past week.

Buckley received a hot reception from a supportive and enthusiastic opening evening audience during the Pantages Theater after being sidelined by a short disease during its run at Segerstrom Hall the past week.

By Steve Gottfried on February 6, 2019 in Theatre

Betty Buckley could be the latest Broadway diva to select the baton up since the irrepressible matchmaker Dolly Levi within the Touring Production of hi, Dolly!

that’s been the toast of Broadway since Bette Midler’s triumphant go back to the fantastic White Method in 2017. Buckley undoubtedly gets the Broadway bonafides, having won the Tony on her depiction of Grizabella in Cats in 1983 and soon after donning the role of silent display screen celebrity Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard in 1996.

I happened to be rooting for Buckley combined with the other countries in the audience and I’m very happy to report that she did a commendable work, headlining a show which will be a bit shopworn and dated, redeemed by a fetching rating that has stood the test of the time. Without having seen Bette Midler’s Dolly that is scalp-worthy or passage through of the baton to Bernadette Peters, we can’t actually compare Buckley’s performance to theirs. And maybe that’s a thing that is good. Possibly it is better to judge each Dolly as a separate and distinct take on an role that is iconic. Though her vocals aren’t just what they had previously been, Buckley brings a worldly, seasoned approach to your role and manages to pull it well with aplomb. Buckley’s performance delivered to mind tips of Angela Lansbury, whom though she never ever played Dolly, most likely might have nailed it. To Buckley’s credit, she wears the mantle regarding the iconic matchmaker well and shines through the most significant areas of the show, such as for instance her victorious come back to the Harmonia Gardens where she’s worshipped and adored by the delay staff. Buckley’s timing that is comedic spot-on throughout the scene where she’s savoring her premium dinner during the Harmonia Gardens, oblivious to your courtroom procedures around her.

The supporting cast turns in commendable work that seemed to please the audience, but for this reviewer seemed to miss the mark beyond Buckley’s performance. Lewis J. Stadlen as Horace Vandergelder is suitably gruff, miserly and misanthropic, but their Vandergelder leans more toward cartoonish and caricature when more measurement and depth will have offered the type better. Nic Rouleau as Cornelius Hackle impresses with goosebump-inducing vocals which filled the Pantages, particularly on his first outing “Put On Your Sunday Clothes.” But their performance seemed a little over-the-top and extremely wanting to remind us that we’re viewing a larger than life MUSICAL. Jess LeProtto turns in a winning performance as Cornelius’ sidekick/co-worker Barnaby, but his duplicated “Holey Moley” refrains seemed more cloying than charming. We suppose you can just argue that he’s playing the part as scripted and fully investing in it. LeProtto’s performance evened out (and enhanced) during the period of the show, especially when he had the opportunity to show his rather off impressive party moves. As for Cornelius and Barnaby’s love interests, Irene Molloy and Minnie, played correspondingly by Analisa Leaming and Kristen Hahn, we can’t actually fault their shows, but every thing felt only a little paint-by-the-numbers. “Ribbons Down My Back” is a song that is lovely while there’s nothing wrong with Leaming’s rendition, it sounded like one thing you may hear at a beauty pageant. It lacked the measurement and level for the notes that are minor draw out the richness with this character. It appeared like a opportunity that is missed mine the greater amount of nuanced layers of the character. Alternatively, it felt a lot more like this is basically the area of the show where we hear a favorite that is familiar.

The actual heroes for this manufacturing would be the chorus. Their power, their collective vocal energy and their energetic dancing rescued this production from a rather by-the-numbers revival. They offered the “oomph” that appeared to be lacking from the cast that is supporting. Their contribution that is indispensable was obvious when you look at the lead-up to Dolly’s very expected come back to the Harmonia Gardens. The Waiters’ Gallop party sequence from hi, Dolly! is virtually since iconic as the Bottle Dance from escort services in Pasadena that other Broadway basic, Fiddler on the top. And it was brought by this crew. Whenever Buckley comes, resplendent inside her shimmery red gown and feathered hat, the hold off staff keep without doubt that Dolly is definitely straight back where she belongs. Had been here much chemistry between Dolly and Horace that made their ultimate union plausible?I can’t actually respond to with a resounding yes, but that’s one of many integrated challenges with this show that has eluded numerous pairings before and certainly will probably continue steadily to bedevil future productions for a long time in the future.