This begins with a mea culpa. Last week, as part of my ongoing "Before the Parade Passes By" series, I posted a video of Ginger Rogers performing the number from Hello, Dolly! -- forgetting that I'd posted it about three weeks earlier. Ack, sorry. I've since deleted the second incarnation. But to make up for it, I have a treat.
For all the actresses I've posted performing the number on stage, there was one I didn't have -- and not only "one, but the one: the original, Carol Channing. We can now rectify that.
The issue had always been that there wasn't a proper video of it. And there still isn't. But fear not, we've got it handled.
What existed was a very good version of Channing recreating the number for 1971 Tony Awards. But it was her alone without the full company for the production number, and it was very edited down. What I recently discovered was yet another very good version of her performing it live on stage during the 1983 revival of the show. But the video quality was just fair, most-particularly during the soliloquy leading into the song.
But -- thanks to the magic of technology, I've edited the two together! Okay, sort of. I've edited the two version, though don't have a way to put them together as one video. But I'll post the first from the Tony Awards which ends right at the spot I've begun the second video from the revival. So, when the first one ends, just click on the one below.
And yes, she's wonderful. And this is just one reason why the show made her an even greater legend than she was, and was identified with the role for 50 years. (P.S. keep in mind that by the time she did that 1983 revival, she had performed the role several thousand times -- already -- and had even already done a revival tour and second Broadway production about seven years prior, and yet there is absolutely no "walking through" the song here.)
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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