Discover his inspiration for the children’s story about a cheeky little fellow with big dreams of being in the spotlight.
Here’s some absolutely wonderful news: The hilariously entertaining musical Hello, Dolly! is coming to the West End. What’s more, Imelda Staunton will take on the iconic role of Dolly Gallagher Levi in the brand new production.
Set to open on 11 August 2020 at the Adelphi Theatre, Hello, Dolly! will be helmed by director Dominic Cooke following his heavily lauded, bittersweet production of Follies at the National Theatre that also starred Staunton.
In addition, the show will re-unite her with producers Michael Harrison and David Ian. Their 2015 production of Gypsy scored Olivier Awards for Best Musical Revival and Best Actress in a Musical for Staunton’s acclaimed portrayal of Momma Rose.
“Well, I’m delighted and daunted in equal measure to be doing a new production of Hello, Dolly! in London next year,” said Staunton, about the role and working with the trio again. “We all can’t wait to bring Hello, Dolly! – which is a truly joyous show – back to the West End after all these years.”
Set in New York at the turn of the century, the musical follows socialite-turned-matchmaker Dolly Levi who travels to Yonkers in search of love for the grumpy, “half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder. But everything changes when she decides that, as a widow, it’s time she finds someone for herself… and sets out to make the miserly merchant fall for her instead.
Full of meddling and mischief, Dolly gets up to all sorts of antics while helping other characters in the show – Ambrose Kemper, Cornelius Hackl, Barnaby Tucker, Irene Molloy, Minnie Fay and more – find love too.
The musical traces its roots back to the English play A Day Well Spent by John Oxenford in 1835. It went through several adaptations before premiering in Broadway in 1964 as Hello, Dolly! and has been revived four times, most recently starring Bette Midler. The musical made an Oscar-winning leap to the silver screen in 1969, starring Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau and Michael Crawford.
Staunton is sure be incredible in the lead role next year as well. Along with Sally in Follies and Momma Rose in Gypsy, she’s delivered award-winning performances as the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Hannah Llewellyn in A Chorus of Disapproval and Bessie Watty in The Corn Is Green. She was Oscar nominated and won a BAFTA for her titular turn in Vera Drake. Staunton has been BAFTA nominated three times since, most recently in 2014 for her moving performance in Pride.
Rumours have also been circulating that Staunton may be tapped to follow Claire Foy and Olivia Colman as the Queen in Netflix’s hit series The Crown.
Hello, Dolly! first opened in the West End in 1965. It has played in London for three runs in 1979, 1984 and 2009 and also toured the UK in 1989.
With a book by Michael Stewart and music and lyrics by the legendary Jerry Herman, Hello, Dolly! boasts a timeless score including Put on Your Sunday Clothes, Before the Parade Passes By, Ribbons Down My Back, Elegance, It Only Takes a Moment and the titular anthem.
Hello, Dolly! will run for a strictly limited 30-week season from 11 August 2020 – 6 March 2021 at London’s Adelphi Theatre.
Tickets go on sale at 10:00 on Wednesday 27 November via Ticketmaster.co.uk.