The original...musical...Dolly Gallagher Levi!
The book was based on Thornton Wilder's
"The Merchant of Yonkers" and "The Matchmaker".
Carol Channing got the part after both
Ethel Merman and Mary Martin turned it down!
Eileen Brennan and Charles Nelson Reilly,
as Irene and Cornelius.
Eileen with Sondra Lee, who played Minnie Fay...
Yes, the same Sondra Lee who played Tiger Lily
in the original Peter Pan!
(Okay, the hats are a bit "over the top,"
but Irene WAS supposed to have a hat shop!)
Carol...just saying Hello!
to all those wonderful dancing waiters.
Choreography was by Gower Champion,
who also directed.
(Hal Prince, Jerome Robbins and Joe Layton
had all turned down the directorship!)
Carol, 43 years old at the time,
during the recording session for the original cast album,
which subsequently received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
And she's still going strong...at 93!