As the Broadway community mourns the loss of Carol Channing, the theatre district will send her off with a tradition befitting of a stage legend. Broadway theatres will dim their marquee lights in memory of the Tony winner January 16 for one minute at 7:45 PM.
Ms. Channing died January 15 at the age of 97. Though she graced the stage in numerous productions and celebrated a varied film career, one role in particular became synonymous with the performer herself: Dolly Gallagher Levi of Jerry Herman’s Hello, Dolly! She played the title matchmaker on Broadway three times over a 30-year period, as well as myriad touring engagements in the musical.
“Carol Channing personified everything we love about American musical comedy: big, funny and joyous. To see her hold an audience in her thrall was a master class in star power,” said Broadway League Chairman Thomas Schumacher. “Hello, Dolly! opened 55 years ago tomorrow. She always was famous for her timing.”
Prior to Hello, Dolly!, Ms. Channing took center stage as Lorelei Lee in Broadway’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, making “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” a signature number that, like Dolly!, lasted throughout her career. Her additional credits include The Vamp and Lorelei (a reworked version of Blondes) onstage, as well as the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie.