Broadway star and three-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello will succeed star Betty Buckley in the title role on the National Tour of Hello, Dolly! Buckley who has been on the road since the tour commenced, will depart the production and Carmello will inhabit the part of everyone’s favorite matchmaker starting September 24, 2019. That debut in the role will occur in Kansas City, Missouri at the Starlight Theatre.
Carolee Carmello has appeared in fourteen Broadway musicals. She has been Tony-nominated for her roles Parade, Lestat, and Scandalous. Additional Broadway outings include Mae Tuck in Tuck Everlasting; Mrs. du Maurier in Finding Neverland (Drama Desk Award nomination); Mother Superior in Sister Act; Alice Beineke in The Addams Family (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations); Donna in Mamma Mia!; Ms. Pennywise in Urinetown; Kate in Kiss Me, Kate; Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel; Abigail Adams in 1776; Cordelia in Falsettos; and Oolie in City of Angels.
Hello, Dolly! is based on the Thornton Wilder play The Matchmaker, adapted for the musical stage in 1964 by composer-lyricist Jerry Herman and book writer Michael Stewart. The musical was an enormous hit, under the direction and choreography of Gower Champion. A parade of great actresses made their way through the role including Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, Betty Grable, Martha Raye, Ginger Rogers, Ethel Merman. For the recent Broadway revival, director Jerry Zaks helmed the production with Bette Midler in the lead, with Donna Murphy serving as her alternate. Bernadette Peters took over for Midler, and Betty Buckley played the role of Dolly for the touring production.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.