|Igor in role:||Horác Vandergelder|
Brno City Theatre, along with their systematic efforts to put on international and Czech premieres also of course feel the duty to perform titles from what can be called “the golden fund of musical theatre”. Among such works definitely belongs the piece from composer Jerry Herman and librettist/playwright Michael Stewart, a musical of truly international fame – Hello, Dolly! This production, which after its premiere in New York in 1964 enjoyed worldwide success, is a very clever musical adaptation of a theatre play by Thornton Wilder, ‘The Matchmaker’, the inspiration for which was the crazy comedy by Johann Nepomuk Nestroy, “He Wants to Go Off On a Spree”, which in turn was inspired by John Oxenford’s witty single-act “A Day Well Spent”. The genesis of this work was thus somewhat complicated – but then again it’s such an exciting theme!
For anyone who does not know this musical, it’s the story of an enterprising marriage-arranger from the New York suburbs – matchmaker Dolly Levi, who naturally leaves the best client for herself and with the magic of her personality manages to get a grumpy bachelor, Horace Vandergelder, to change (against his will) into a gallant and loving man. The central song has already been recorded countless times, but it was Louis Armstrong who made it a hit with his characteristic ‘gravelly’ voice. The 1969 film version gained the musical ever-lasting fame, created by the renowned dancer, choreographer and director Gene Kelly and starring Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau in the leading roles. From its premiere this musical was played on Broadway until the year 1970, reaching the fantastic sum of 2844 reprises.