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Monday, October 4, 2010

You're still growing, you're still crowing...

You can snuggle up with your cash register!

Carol Channing, one of the most recognizable women for starring in Hello, Dolly! and was the first of the musical Dollys. She performed in the initial run for 1275 performance in New York and on the road. This Hello, Dolly! feature was in the first issue of After Dark (May 1968) and so it doesn't even include the performances she made in the revival many years later.

Einen Jux will er sich machen was a comedy play by Johann Nestroy which was one of Dolly's antecedents. Like Hello, Dolly!, the play tells the tale of two grocery clerks on the town, but the Dolly character does not appear. She was borrowed by Thornton Wilder from Moliere's The Miser. Here is Josef Meinrad and Lotte Ledi in the Vienna Burgtheatre production.

Percy Waram and Miss Jane Cowl in The Merchant of Yonkers, Thornton Wilder's first version of the play which was to become Hello, Dolly!.

Ruth Gordon was Dolly Gallagher Levi in The Matchmaker, the successful later version of The Merchant of Yonkers.

The film version of The Matchmaker featured Shirley Booth as the irrepressible Dolly Levi with Anthony Perkins and Robert Morse in drag.

David Merrick decided to produce a musical version called Hello, Dolly! with Carol Channing, David Burns and Charles Nelson Reilly. Carol wouldn't be the last Dolly Levi singing and dancing in the role. Ginger Rogers was the second Dolly to appear on Broadway and then Las Vegas as well as on tour.

Martha Raye succeeded Ginger Rogers as Dolly on Broadway, and also played the role in Vietnam.

Betty Grable (here with Leland Palmer) left the Las Vegas Dolly to take over the role on Broadway, succeeding Martha Raye.

Others who have played the role included Mary Martin in the International Company,

Dorothy Lamour who played in Las Vegas as well as on tour,

and Pearl Bailey who gave Dolly a new lease on life on Broadway.

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