Dolly Levi (Barbra Streisand) is an outgoing, flamboyant and extremely resourceful matchmaker a.k.a. “marriage broker” in turn of the century New York City. Since her husband's untimely death, Dolly finds that “arranging” things for other people proves to be relatively profitable. Her motto has always been “Just leave everything to me”.
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Successful feed store merchant and wealthy Yonkers widow, Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthau), hires Dolly to find him a suitable new bride. Dolly seemingly has the perfect match for Horace: pretty Irene Molloy (Marianne McAndrew) who works in a New York millinery shop. Grumpy Horace also requests Dolly to take his niece Ermengarde (Joyce Ames) to New York, in the hopes that the young girl will forget about her poor, artist boyfriend Ambrose Kemper (Tommy Tune). Horace will meet up with his niece and Irene later that day, as he will be in the city marching in the 14th Street Parade.
Left to her own cunning devices, Dolly convinces Ermengarde (and Ambrose) to come with her, promising that Horace will change his mind and give permission for the sweethearts to wed. Dolly also persuades Horace's hapless clerks, Cornelius Hackl (Michael Crawford) and Barnaby Tucker (Danny Lockin), to go to New York to woo the hats off Irene Molloy and her bubbly assistant Minnie Faye (E.J. Peaker). At the age of twenty-eight (and three quarters), Cornelius has never kissed a girl, let alone has experienced true love. At Dolly's urging, if Cornelius and Barnaby want to get anywhere with the two milliners, they must say they are rich and powerful Yonkers businessmen.
With the hopeful gang all bound for New York, a day of trickery, deceit and hi-jinks ensues. When the revelations come to a boil at the exclusive Harmonia Gardens restaurant, Dolly drops the final bombshell: she wants Horace all to herself.
The review of this Movie prepared by Tara Dugan
Dolly Levi (Barbra Streisand) makes her living as a matchmaker and she is highly successful at it, except when she tries to matchmake for herself. Dolly hasn't been interested in men since her beloved husband died, until she met the irrascible Horace Vandergelder (Walter Matthaeu). Determined to catch him for herself, she creates a madcap scheme to find the perfect woman for Horace's two employees while keeping Horace all to herself. Dolly sends Horace's two employees, Cornelius Hackl (a VERY young Michael Crawford) and Barnaby Tucker (Danny Lockin) into the city where she sets them up with Irene Molloy (Marianne McAndrew) and Minnie Fay (E.J. Peaker), the owner and employee of a lady's hat shop, respectively. Of course, Dolly fails to mention that Horace is courting Irene and, before you know it, Horace dumps Irene, Cornelius and Barnaby are learning how to dance so they can take the ladies to the ritziest restaurant in town, and Dolly's trap is simply waiting to be sprung....
I simply adore this musical. It is true that it does not have much of a plot, but who watches a musical for the plot?! The music is wonderful and all of the singers were perfectly cast. Barbra Streisand is riveting as the eccentric and determined matchmaker; Walter Matthaeu is hilarious as the curmudgeonly old employer who is determined not to change a bit, but wants to get married anyway; Michael Crawford and Danny Lockin are charming as young men from a small town set loose in the city for the first time and Marianne McAndrew and E.J. Peaker are their perfect counterparts; and Louis Armstrong very nearly steals the whole show in his cameo in the restaurant. The dancing sequences are also stunning - there are intimate, one on one dance sets and huge, all cast numbers that are simply fabulous. I know that this musical was not very popular when it came out, but if you enjoy musicals, you would be a fool to miss this classic!
The review of this Movie prepared by Debbie