Hello, Dolly at the Aronoff: Journey in a Theatrical Time Machine
The latest entrant in the Broadway in Cincinnati series opened at the Aronoff Center on Tuesday night for a two-week run.
The musical is based on 1954’s The Matchmaker, a play by Thornton Wilder. It follows Dolly Levi, an ‘1885 version of a dating app’. Over time, many big-name personalities have stepped into the character’s shoes like Bette Midler, Mary Martin, Pearl Bailey, and Babra Streisand in the movie version.
By comparison, it would be easy to say that the current showing does not have a big-name star, but that would not be taking away from Carolee Carmello’s outstanding performances. Whether it’s her singing or her comedy, Carmello is up there with the best.
‘Hello, Dolly’ is one of the shows that retains it’s ‘old’ feeling amidst a really evolved Broadway scene where shows like Hamilton and Wicked are beyond what anyone would have imagined they could be way back when.
Its overture is quite expansive, its sets low-tech and a score full of memorable melodies. Its 2017 revival brought with it an extravagance of its kind, with powerhouse dancing in costumes that might have as well been taken right out of a widescreen Technicolor film.
For audiences wanting just to enjoy the show, it has quite the treat in store for them. However, those looking for shows that split from tradition, skip this one.