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A matchmaker named Dolly Levi takes a trip to Yonkers, New York to see the "well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire," Horace Vandergelder. While there, she convinces him, his two stock clerks and his niece and her beau to go to New York City. In New York, she fixes Vandergelder's clerks up with the woman Vandergelder had been courting, and her shop assistant (Dolly has designs of her own on Mr. Vandergelder, you see). Written by
Randy Goldberg <email@example.com>
This gargantuan musical was the last of its kind. It's like a dinosaur ear-marked for extinction and yet it's highly entertaining. Parts of it are terrible, (mostly those scenes in which Babs doesn't appear), and Gene Kelly's direction is never as light on its feet as his dancing used to be but when the aforementioned Miss Striesand is on screen, the movie soars. Critics complained that at 27 she was much too young for the part of Dolly Levi but she's a bona-fide star, so what the heck; her Dolly is ageless and as musical-comedy performances go this is one of the best.
The Jerry Herman score is decidedly old-fashioned Broadway. Sondheim may be the greater composer but Herman gave us tunes we could hum and the production numbers here are terrific, in particular the title song which gives us Striesand, high-kicking waiters and Louis Armstrong. Purists will always prefer the Joseph Anthony version of Thornton Wilder's original play "The Matchmaker" but this is no disgrace, so put on your Sunday clothes and let's have a whale of a time.
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