Call On Dolly: From Carol Channing to Bernadette Peters and Beyond!
(a multi-media presentation)

In celebration of the current National Tour of "Hello Dolly!" book Richard for your next event to celebrate all things Dolly!

With Betty Buckley traveling around the country in the first National tour of this show since Channing last took it on the road in 1997, what better time than now to celebrate this landmark musical? It is such an important part of our rich musical theater history. Call on Dolly! is a celebration of the wonderful women (and a few good men) who have returned time and time again to the Harmonia Gardens and into our hearts. Channing related a quotation by Sir John Gielgud to TV host Charles Osgood: "You Americans forget your classic characters – I do Hamlet every fifteen years or so. You should continue to do Hello, Dolly! Your contribution to American art form is the American musical comedy – musical theatre." Call on Dolly: From Carol to Bernadette is based on over 700 interviews that Richard has conducted regarding the various productions and those lucky enough to share the experiences of working with these legendary ladies. The title, Call on Dolly, refers to the opening song of Hello, Dolly and is not just about the show. It is about an entire "family" of actors and theater professionals who share this common bond.

From 1964 until 1970, Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller and Ethel Merman would put their individual stamp on a star vehicle which we will never see the likes of again. Through the genius of David Merrick’s producing and marketing savvy, by constantly rotating his leading lady, and in the case of Pearl Bailey, an entire company, he was able to keep the show a vital part of the Broadway scene for seven years…even as shows such as Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar were arriving upon the scene. During the course of the Broadway run, Carole Cook led the Australian company. Mary Martin led the international tour (which included Japan, Vietnam, and London).

Through photos, video clips, and audience interaction including a time for Q & A, Richard brings this history to vibrant life. In the words of Carol Channing, "There are very few individuals who know more about Dolly Gallagher Levi than I … Oh, and Jerry Herman, of course. However, Richard Skipper certainly comes close. When it comes to the history of Jerry’s brilliant production, beyond the 5000 plus performances of my own, even I turn to Richard Skipper when I have questions about the remarkable ladies who followed me in the role that the world fell in love with over 50 years ago." (Read More)