Hello Again, Dolly! Festival Kicks Off in Hudson Highlands

The long awaited 50th Anniversary Hello Again, Dolly! community-wide festival in Peekskill, Garrison, Cold Spring, and West Point kicks off this month as these Hudson river towns celebrate their shared cultural history through the lens of a delightful major Hollywood motion picture. For six months, there will be celebrations in these Hudson Rivertowns, where the 1968 film Hello, Dolly! was filmed. The renowned film musical, starring Barbra Streisand and Walter Matthau, was directed by legendary Hollywood musical star Gene Kelly, who discovered the charming hamlet of Garrison-on-Hudson (“Yonkers” in the film) on a location scouting tour. Said Kelly, “Garrison was a natural.”
Now, 50 years later, the community that for a brief passing summer doubled as “Hollywood on the Hudson,” is taking part in over 18 different events, sponsored by the area’s local nonprofits, and benefitting the area’s arts, theatre, and history programs. The beloved musical is a Valentine to the Hudson Highlands, nominated for 7 Academy Awards, and taking home 3, for Best Sound, Best Production Design, and Best New Musical. 
Events commence on June 16 with a flash mob parade led by Broadway veteran Tommy Tune down Garrison Landing, to the song “Put On Your SundayClothes,” recreating the scene he filmed a half-century earlier in the same place. The West Point Band will honor showman Jerry Herman with a tribute to his songs as part of their outdoor summer evening series. 
An outdoor screening of Hello, Dolly! will be shown just a few hundred feet from the film’s original Vandergelder’s Hay and Feed Shop. 
The Putnam History Museum’s exhibit, curated by Christopher Radko, opens in May, and will feature rare film memorabilia, including Barbra Streisand’s once thought to be missing paisley burgundy costume. Ace Broadway tapper Tommy Tune (Ambrose in the film) will present his special FATHER’S DAY matinee  Tommy Tune Tonight on June 17, at the Paramount Hudson Valley in Peekskill. 
This Festival also honors the legacy of Broadway’s Hello, Dolly! Legendary director Jerry Zaks will be one of the many celebrity speakers during the educational talk series. Hudson Valley Shakespeare will be performing Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker, the comedy precursor on which the musical is based. Garrison Art Center will be offering a romantic RIVERBOAT cruise, and Victorian hat making classes. The local schools, library, Cold Spring Lions Club, and other organizations will be offering Festival events as well. 
Festival organizer Christopher Radko says, “This once-in-a-lifetime event is of great interest to our community, but everyone world over is welcomed to come join in and celebrate this heartwarming and mirthful story.” 
Submitted by Brewster, NY

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