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Tony-Winner Betty Buckley Steps Into 'Hello, Dolly!' for National Tour

From Grizabella the Glamour Cat to the faded star of Norma Desmond, Betty Buckley's portrayed a number of iconic roles on the Broadway stage. 

But one she's not tackled until now is the famous matchmaker in Jerry Herman's 1964 classic "Hello, Dolly!"


Betty Buckley

Buckley never had much interest in the role of Dolly Levi until she saw the Tony-award winning revival directed by Jerry Zaks and starring Bette Midler.

"I was crying with rapture, and then I turned to my companions and I said: 'This may be the best piece of musical theater I've ever seen,'" Buckley said.


Hello, Dolly! Original Broadway Company of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival [photo: Julieta Cervantes]

Buckley praises Zaks for spotlighting the farce and fun of the show while also finding the deeper meaning in it's story for today's audiences.

"Beneath [the humor] there's real poetry and great, great heart in the storytelling," she said.

Now it's Buckley's turn to share this new approach to Dolly Levi's story based on a 1938 comedy by Thornton Wilder.

"Besided the privilege of being able to be the quarterback for the national tour and doing the job, I feel there's an added bonus that I've been in comedy school for the past several months with Professor Jerry Zaks," she said.


Hello, Dolly! Original Broadway Company of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival [photo: Julieta Cervantes]

Also contributing to her comedy tutorial is her co-star Lewis J. Stadlen who plays Horace Vandergelder, the wealthy bachelor in need of a wife.

"He's a brilliantly funny, wonderful actor," she said.

Having made her Broadway debut in 1969 as Martha Jefferson in the musical "1776," Buckley loves where she is today.

"It's great to be where I'm at in life and my age and with all that I've done in my career to still be learning and growing and being given that opportunity to do so.  It's wonderful," she said.

Betty Buckley stars in "Hello, Dolly!" in the Connor Palace at Playhouse Square through Sunday, October 21

View this post on Instagram @blbuckley onstage @playhousesquare in @hellodollybway with @dpolletta1565 for more visit Applause.ideastream.org A post shared by ideastream (@ideastreamneo) on Oct 3, 2018 at 11:38am PDT

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