Play the Songs
HELLO, DOLLY!, the blockbuster Broadway hit, bursts with humor, romance, high-energy dancing, and some of the greatest songs in musical theater history. The romantic and comic exploits of Dolly Gallagher-Levi, turn-of-the-century matchmaker and “woman who arranges things,” are certain to thrill and entertain audiences again and again.
The show’s memorable songs include “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Ribbons Down My Back,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Elegance,” and “It Only Takes a Moment.”
Music samples provided courtesy of Masterworks Broadway and MPL Music Publishing
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
At the turn of the century, everyone in Yonkers, New York turns to professional meddler and matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi for advice on romance, practical matters, and everything else (“Call on Dolly”). Dolly, of course, is happy to oblige (“I Put My Hand In”).
The town’s miserly half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder, a widowed hay & feed dealer, seeks a second wife (“It Takes A Woman”) and hires Dolly to find him a suitable match. Though she arranges for Horace to meet the young widow Irene Molloy, Dolly clearly has her own interest in Horace—and his money. Meanwhile, a young artist named Ambrose Kemper seeks Dolly’s assistance in acquiring the hand of Vandergelder’s niece, Ermengarde.
When Vandergelder leaves Yonkers for New York City to court Mrs. Molloy, his clerks, Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, decide to take an unauthorized holiday themselves, vowing to find adventure in the big city (“Put On Your Sunday Clothes”). Meanwhile, in her New York hat shop, Irene wistfully considers pursuing a new relationship, or at least a flirtation, after years of mourning her late husband (“Ribbons Down My Back”).
Barnaby and Cornelius arrive in New York City and excitedly explore the sights. They spot Vandergelder on the sidewalk and hurriedly take refuge in the nearest shop, which happens to be Irene’s millinery. Cornelius and Irene are immediately smitten, but Vandergelder appears at the shop door, and the young men scramble to hide. Dolly, arriving just in time, joins Irene and her assistant Minnie Fay as they distract the irate Vandergelder (“Motherhood March”). Frustrated and thoroughly flummoxed, Vandergelder leaves in a huff.
As partial recompense, Dolly orders the clerks to take Irene and Minnie to the lavish Harmonia Gardens restaurant for dinner. Cornelius, who clearly could never afford such an extravagance, claims he can’t dance, but the versatile Mrs. Levi teaches him on the spot, and soon the two couples are waltzing romantically (“Dancing”). The young foursome runs off to watch a parade, and Dolly – addressing her late husband, Ephraim – reaffirms a desire to move on with her life (“Before the Parade Passes By”).
Cornelius and Barnaby, too poor to afford a taxi, persuade the ladies that walking to the restaurant is far more elegant than hiring a hack (“Elegance”).
At the Harmonia Gardens, Rudolph, the majordomo, exhorts his waiters to provide even better and faster service tonight—Dolly Levi is coming back! In a welter of dazzling precision, criss-crossing at breakneck speed, the staff prepares for Dolly’s arrival (“The Waiters’ Gallop”). Cornelius and party arrive and occupy a luxurious private dining booth, complete with drawn curtain. Horace and his date, Ernestina Money, reputed by the conniving Dolly to be an heiress, sit in another. Ernestina, who proves to be less refined than Horace had hoped, soon gets drunk and passes out.
Finally, Dolly makes her grand entrance and the entire restaurant celebrates (“Hello, Dolly!”). Dolly settles down to eat with Horace, talking incessantly and repeatedly rejecting a proposal of marriage… which he never makes.
A dance contest begins (“The Polka Contest”), and just as Ambrose and Ermengarde are declared the winners, Horace discovers he has the wrong wallet; he and Barnaby, through a mix-up, have exchanged them. In the melee that follows, Rudolph calls the police, and the whole party is arrested. In the courthouse, Cornelius admits he’s no playboy millionaire, but it doesn’t matter; he loves Irene and he’ll always have the memory of one miraculous day (“It Only Takes A Moment”). The judge, moved by Cornelius’s sentiment and persuaded by Dolly Levi, Counselor-At-Law, dismisses everyone except Horace Vandergelder. Horace expects Dolly to help him, but instead she chooses to walk away (“So Long, Dearie”).
The next morning, back in Yonkers, a chastened Horace Vandergelder reflects on the recent events in his life and realizes he’s hopelessly in love with Dolly. Dolly enters the store and convinces Horace to take Cornelius as his business partner and allow Ambrose and Ermengarde to marry. Still unsure about marrying Horace, Dolly asks her late husband Ephraim for a sign. Horace, who has hired a fledgling businessman to renovate his home, spontaneously repeats an old saying of Ephraim’s: “Money is like manure. It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread about, encouraging young things to grow.” Satisfied, Dolly agrees to marry Horace and vows she’ll “never go away again” (Finale: “Hello, Dolly”).
Book by Michael Stewart Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman
Based on the play “The Matchmaker” by Thornton Wilder
Original Production Directed and
Choreographed by Gower Champion
Produced for the Broadway Stage by
David Merrick and Champion Five, Inc.
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The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
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2 Violin I (optional)
1 Violin II (optional)
1 Viola (optional)
1 Cello (optional)
1 Bass & optional Tuba
1 Reed I: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed II: Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
1 Reed III: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
1 Reed IV: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Baritone Saxophone
2 Trumpet I & II
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II
2 Percussion I & II:
Timpani (2 Drums)
Cymbals, Suspended & Hand
1 Guitar & Banjo
1 Piano & Celeste
Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.
Orchestra parts are cued so the score may be played with the following minimum number of parts: 3 Reeds, 2 Trumpets, 1 Trombone, 1 Percussion, Bass and Piano. Add parts in the following order to build the full orchestra: Reed IV, Trombone II, Trumpet III, Cello, Violins, Viola, Percussion II and Guitar-Banjo.
2 Piano Conductor’s Scores
20 Libretto/Vocal Books
Optional Additional Materials
1 Stage Manager’s Guide
Medium-Voice Transpositions for the role of Dolly Levy
As sung on the original cast album by Carol Channing, the keys for Dolly Levi’s nine numbers are too low for many singers. The Medium-Voice Transpositions provide a comfortable range for most soprano “belters.”
The computer-engraved transposition books contain complete musical numbers and playoffs, if necessary, to make rehearsals and performances as smooth as possible. The Medium-Voice Transpositions are specially made to accommodate Dolly’s role; all the other musical numbers remain in their original keys. The transpositions are carefully crafted to minimize range adjustments necessary for the other singers in ensemble numbers. Performing HELLO, DOLLY! with the Medium-Voice Transpositions requires both a complete set of the original performance materials and the transposition materials.
The set of materials includes:
Piano-Conductor’s Score for the transposed numbers.
Chorus-Vocal Books with transpositions for each of the principals and the chorus.
Orchestra parts with transpositions for each orchestra player are available at an additional charge.
Dolly Keys: Original (Channing) vs. Medium-Voice Transpositions
No. 2 • I Put My Hand In (written up a major third) Channing Medium Voice bar 1-9 A-flat C bar 10-208 E-flat G No. 4 • Put On Your Sunday Clothes (bars 53-90 up a fourth) bar 1-10 E = bar 11-18 A = bar 19-52 D = bar 52 (B7) (E7) bar 53-90 E A bar 91 al fine E-flat etc. = No. 6 • Motherhood March (bars 1-35 up a fourth; bars 36-101 up a fifth) bar 1-28 G C bar 29-61 G D bar 62-101 A-flat E-flat No. 7 • Dancing (bars 1-65 up a ﬁfth; bars 66-121 up a major sixth) bar 1-65 G D bar 66-122 E-flat C bar 122-129 music is in the same key, but different key signature bar 130 al fine C etc. = No. 8 • Before The Parade Passes By (bars 1-123 up a fourth) bar 1-79 D G bar 80-123 E-flat A-flat bar 123a-123d new 4-bar modulation bar 130 al fine E-flat etc. = No. 9 • Finale — Act I (same key, but sounding at pitch) bar 1-21 E-flat E-flat No. 13 • Hello, Dolly (bars 1-42 up a fifth; bars 77-127 up a major seventh) bar 1-42 C G bar 43-76 E-flat = bar 77-127 B-flat A bar 128 al fine C etc. = No. 17 • So Long, Dearie (up a fourth) bar 1-14 G C bar 15-95 B-flat E-flat bar 96-141 B E No. 18 • Finale Ultimo (bars 24-42 up a ﬁfth) bar 1-23 B-flat = bar 24-42 B-flat F bar 43 al fine E-flat etc. =
(5 female; 4 male)
Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi — an indefatigable meddling matchmaker; a widow in her middle years
Mrs. Irene Molloy — a millineress with a hat shop near 14th Street in New York City
Minnie Fay — a young girl who works in Irene’s Shop
Ernestina — a heavy-set girl in need of Mrs. Levi’s services
Ermengarde — the 17-year-old niece of Horace Vandergelder
Horace Vandergelder — proprietor of a hay and feed store in Yonkers, NY and a client of Mrs. Levi’s
Cornelius Hackl — Vandergelder’s chief clerk, 33 years old
Barnaby Tucker — an assistant to Cornelius, 17 years old
Ambrose Kemper — a young artist seeking to marry Ermengarde
Supporting (from the Chorus)
Mrs. Rose — sells vegetables from a street cart, a friend of Mrs. Levi’s from years before
Coachman — non-speaking
Horse — two chorus/dancers
Rudolph Reisenweber — the Prussian major-domo of the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant
Stanley — a young waiter
Fritz, Harry, Louie, Danny, Manny and Hank — Harmonia Gardens waiters; non-speaking chorus/dancers
First Cook — Harmonia Gardens employee with a German accent
Second Cook — Harmonia Gardens employee
Judge — white-whiskered, red-nosed, New York night court
Policemen — several New York City officers; only one speaking
Court Clerk (Recorder) — male chorus member
Paperhanger — non-speaking
Townspeople of New York
Feed Store Customers
Harmonia Gardens Customers
Polka Contest Contestants
14th Street Parade Ensemble
Suggested: 8 female dancers, 8 female singers, 6 male singers, 12 male dancers.
(Can be done with fewer)
The original Broadway production had a cast of 45 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.
The 2017 Broadway revival has a cast of 33 performers, including chorus. Again, some doubling is employed.
HELLO, DOLLY! opened on Broadway on January 16, 1964 at the St. James Theatre. Opening with Carol Channing in the title role, the show ultimately played for 2,844 performances, making it – at the time – the longest-running Broadway musical in history. The West End production ran for 794 performances at London’s Drury Lane Theatre.
HELLO, DOLLY! has been revived several times on Broadway, and is slated to return in 2017 with Bette Midler in the starring role.
10 Tony Awards for Musical, Actress, Author, Producer, Director, Composer/Lyricist, Musical Director, Scenic Designer, Costume Designer and Choreographer
The New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Musical
2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Actor and Actress
The Theatre World Award (Jack Crowder)
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance (Ethel Merman)
Find upcoming performances near you.
Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance Notre Dame Academy TOLEDO, OH 10/18/2018 10/28/2018 John Brown University SILOAM SPRINGS, AR 10/25/2018 11/02/2018 Vernon Hills High School VERNON HILLS, IL 10/26/2018 11/03/2018 The Arts Center of Cannon County WOODBURY, TN 11/02/2018 11/17/2018 John Carroll School BEL AIR, MD 11/09/2018 11/11/2018 Encore Musical Theatre Company DEXTER, MI 11/15/2018 12/23/2018 City of Newton NEWTON, MA 11/27/2018 11/29/2018 California Regional Theater CHICO, CA 01/25/2019 02/03/2019 Marist College Theatre POUGHKEEPSIE, NY 02/27/2019 03/03/2019 St. Stephen's Parish Players GRAND ISLAND, NY 02/28/2019 03/02/2019 Mesa Encore Theatre MESA, AZ 03/01/2019 03/17/2019 Clearwater Valley High School KOOSKIA, ID 03/13/2019 03/16/2019 Four County Players BARBOURSVILLE, VA 03/15/2019 04/14/2019 Sunlake High School LAND O LAKES, FL 03/29/2019 03/31/2019 College of the Albemarle ELIZABETH CITY, NC 04/11/2019 04/20/2019 Perry Players Community Theatre PERRY, GA 04/25/2019 05/12/2019 University of Texas at El Paso EL PASO, TX 07/05/2019 07/21/2019 Smash Productions THE VILLAGES, FL 12/07/2019 12/09/2019