Two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone is in talks to star in a revival of Hello, Dolly! and already the chatterati are concerned.
“Does she have the warmth for the role?” some of them are nattering on various bored boards.
Um, yes she does.
First of all, Patti has been socko in a bunch of old Ethel Merman roles, and let’s not forget that Dolly! was originally written for Merman, who eventually even played the part.
“But the Merm wasn’t the warmest tool in the Broadway prop shed,” I hear you say, snapping your Fosse fingers.
Well, while Patti certainly can summon the brassy manipulativeness of the moxieish matchmaker woman, I bet she could ladle up the charm too.
After all, in Gypsy, she and Boyd Gaines made something special of their romantic scenes, playing up the playfulness, with lots of physicality and humor.
After an imperfect fit in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, she deserves a juicy, classic starring role.
So hush up and just let her do it before the parade passes by.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 10, 2011