The musical Hello, Dolly!, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, opened at the St. James Theatre on January 16, 1964 starring Carol Channing. In 1969 it was made into a movie, starring Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau.
Based on The Matchmaker by Thornton Wilder, it is the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi. She has been hired to make a match for wealthy, but parsimonious, Yonkers store-owner Horace Vandergelder. Dolly, however, is recently widowed and lonely, and sets her sights on Horace and his fortune for herself. She sows doubts in his mind about Irene Molloy, a pretty young widow she has picked out for him, before sending him off to New York to meet Irene.
Meanwhile two of Horace's employees, Cornelius and Barnaby, have decided to take advantage of his absence and see the big city for themselves, and have some fun and adventure. Once there, they spot Horace on the street, and sneak into the hat shop where Horace has arranged to meet Irene, in an attempt to hide. Dolly and Irene hide the boys, but Horace decides that Irene is concealing 'strange men' and storms out saying he will meet with the rich Ernestina Money (an invention of Dolly's) instead.
This idea suits everyone, because Cornelius has fallen for Irene, and she has already told her assistant, Minnie Fay, that the only reason she is prepared to accept Horace is to escape the drudgery of her hat shop.
Dolly suggests that the boys take Irene and Minnie to dinner at the Harmonia Gardens to make up for spoiling the meeting with Horace, and they all soon find themselves standing in front of the expensive restaurant, with no idea how to pay. When Horace too shows up, looking for the mysterious Ernestina, chaos ensues.
Everything works out in the end, of course -- this is a musical after all. The show is pure farcical fluff, but has some great songs and if you don't demand anything more challenging than mind candy, it's fun to watch.
1. Just Leaving Everything To Me
2. It Takes A Woman
3. It Takes A Woman - (reprise)
4. Put On Your Sunday
s Down My Back
7. Before The Parade
9. Love Is Only Love
10. Hello Dolly
11. It Only Takes A Moment
12. So Long Dearie