Shaw Festival 2012

Stratford Festival 2012: The Matchmaker is a Delicious Lesson on Life, Love and the Pursuit of Money

Reviewed by Herbert Simpson

Photo: Stratford Festival. I’ve loved this play ever since I saw the incomparable Ruth Gordon enchant her audience and everyone on stage in it as Dolly Levi some 56 years ago. What I did not know was that Wilder completed it in Stratford, Ontario when

Tyrone Guthrie invited him to work there on revising his unsuccessful source-play, The Merchant of Yonkers. In fact, Guthrie, Stratford’s founding director, won a Tony Award for best direction on Broadway with The Matchmaker. It now plays less often than the musical adapted from it, Hello, Dolly! ; but much of Wilder’s beloved wit and even a lot of his madcap farcical comedy get lost in the musical.

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