David Richardson

"Hello, Dolly!" Revisited

Jul 18, 2017

Someone told me the other day that Bette Midler was not long for this world in "Hello, Dolly!" and that she would be replaced. Well, now it’s clear that she is going to take some time off at least since I subsequently found out that an old friend Donna Murphy was going to do some of the performances. Discovering that, and because "Hello, Dolly!" is the best musical I have ever had the pleasure of seeing, I went off to see Ms. Murphy the other night, and I will say she is just as good if not better in some cases as Bette.

Well, we finally have a terrific show for kids under 12 and in fact, have a marvelous show for anyone still living. It’s called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which opened last night at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater, and it would make Gene Wilder smile even if Willy Wonka is no longer with us.

There's not much point in writing a review or talking about Hello, Dolly! since even if I told you it is fantastic (which it is), you can’t buy a ticket for under $5,000. Well, maybe $10,000. Not to worry, seeing Bette Midler playing Dolly is worth every penny of that sum. But hold on, there’s lots more to love about this revival of Jerry Herman’s best musical which first showed up on Broadway in 1964.

Groundhog Day which opened at the August Wilson Theater the other day is the most confusing nonsensical musical I have ever seen. It is taken from a silly 1993 movie starring  Bill Murray and Andie  MacDowell about an unhappy weatherman who gets stuck doing the same thing every day of his life except that each day ends up quite differently from the previous one especially when personal relationships are involved. He falls for another broadcaster named Rita and tries to convince her he’s the guy for her. That’s it. End of story.

War Paint, Reviewed by David Richardson, Theater Critic

Apr 17, 2017

I love to see and hear Patti Lupone (although without the unintelligible German accent she used the other night) and the always on top of her game Christine Ebersole, but was it necessary to have them in a Broadway musical with little plot and performing songs you will never care about. So here they are in something called War Paint which at least is close to being a real Broadway musical and not one of those pocketbook musicals which have no sets or props which have been cropping up way too often.

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