Thursday, May 23, 2024

Broadway: Headline for “Hello, Dolly!” Review at The Wrap Either Anti-Semitic or Just Stupid


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The Wrap, a terrible entertainment website, gets it wrong again. The headline for their “Hello,Dolly!” review is either anti-Semitic or just stupid.


Bette plays a widow named Dolly Gallagher Levi. Dolly is Irish. Her husband, Ephraim Levi, may have been Jewish. We don’t know. She is not Jewish. Barbra Streisand, who player her in the movie, is Jewish. Bette Midler is half Jewish. But that doesn’t make Dolly Jewish.

Dolly Gallagher Levi was invented by Thornton Wilder for his play “The Matchmaker,” which had two previous incarnations as well. It’s a story dating back to the 1850s in fact, about German and Irish immigrants.

In the New York Times, circa 2006, Carol Channing and Tovah Feldshuh discussed this. Tovah was playing Dolly at the Paper Mill Playhouse.

CHANNING — She’s a goy who got lucky. FELDSHUH — Right — a few stomach problems, great jewelry, no afterlife. But she didn’t convert. And now he’s died, and she sold the jewelry, and she ain’t got nothing left. Of course, she’s learned some things about Judaism, but she’s as Christian as she was 20 years ago.

Oy vey!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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