(Eric Grode’s article appeared in the New York Times, 3/22.)
Carol Channing, who created the title role in the 1964 smash hit musical “Hello, Dolly!,” has been called many things: “a walking alarm clock,” “a moon-mad hillbilly,” “an Al Hirschfeld caricature in the flesh,” with “a vocal range from deep foghorn to squeaky hinge.”
But one thing she has never been called is a type.
“Everyone is unique,” said Carole Cook, who in originating the Australian production in 1965 became just the second woman to play Dolly Gallagher Levi. “But some are uniquer than others.”
So what happened when the irreplaceable Ms. Channing said, “So long Dearie” to the role?
She was replaced. Again and again and again.
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