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  The Matchmaker at Goodman Theatre

The Matchmaker

Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn Street Chicago

Get ready to say "Hello, Dolly!" and welcome Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker to Chicago's Goodman Theatre. This comedy of mistaken identities, secret rendezvous and separated lovers was the basis for the musical and film Hello, Dolly! When matchmaker Dolly Levi meets Horace Vandergelder, she sets her sights on a match for herself. Of course, complications ensue -- but so does adventure, love and a touch of insanity. Wilder's play has proven to be an audience favorite in all its various incarnations, charming audiences wherever it's staged.

Thru - Apr 10, 2016

Price: $25-$82

Stage: Albert Theatre

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 312-443-3800

Running Time: 2hr, 45mins; one intermission

Goodman Theatre Seating Charts

Suggested Nearby Restaurant

  The Matchmaker Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...So there are times within the two hours and 45 minutes of running time that it will feel things are proceeding at a likable simmer, rather than the kind of boil that might jolt us all out of our assumptions. But then Wilder did indeed espouse the virtues of balance — and that is exactly what you have here: a little bit of progressive adventure, a few good laughs, and some times of sitting quietly, always in the presence of a great 20th century writer who, for the record, always said he loved Chicago more than any other city."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...It is a testament to the Goodman production that even if the infectiously familiar score of “Hello, Dolly!” is absent, the Wilder play sings in its own zanily wonderful way. This is not just because popular songs of the period in which it is set (1896) have been laced into the story, but because the message of “The Matchmaker” is so on target: That life is to be fully lived, that having just enough money is an excellent lubricant for happiness, and that love, appetite and adventure are, in the end, the most valuable things of all. And all this shines through in Wishcamper’s interpretation of the play as a sort of all-American, yet almost Shakespearean-style romantic comedy."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Not Recommended

"...A few modern tweaks-proactively diverse casting, sitar music, comedic interludes-do little to make the G-rated adventures feel like they haven't been ripped from a time capsule. Comedically, director Henry Wishcamper's women run laps around the men, particularly Marilyn Dodds Frank, who makes a meal out of an otherwise forgettable role. Without Herman's score, though, there's little left behind besides the beats of a children's play no child would have the patience to sit through."
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Dan Jakes

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Of course, The Matchmaker requires a commanding and appealing Dolly who must be as earnest as she is charmingly devious. Kristine Nielson delivers the goods, balancing Dolly's caginess with a touch of the madcap, and savoring one of the few juicy leading lady roles for women of a certain age."
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Jonathan Abarbanel

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...That this ensemble, in a six-decade old play set six decades before that, is as casually inclusive in terms of race, ethnicity, ability and gender identity as any Loop lunch spot near the Goodman on a weekday shouldn't be remarkable but is. The Matchmaker makes a case study that Shakespeare and A Christmas Carol aren't the only classics that can benefit from letting modern audiences see all of ourselves in them. That's just one more reason, in modern matchmaking parlance, to swipe right on this thoroughly enjoyable production."
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Kris Vire

ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...The Goodman Theatre’s “The Matchmaker,” a romantic farce directed by Henry Wishcamper, follows love liaison Dolly Gallagher Levi (Tony Award Nominee Kristine Nielsen) who plans to match herself with wealthy widower Horace Vandergelder (Allen Gilmore). Vandergelder has retained Dolly’s services to find him a suitable mate, and she takes every opportunity to secure her place by his side. The show is funny and joyous with witty monologues and great female characters for the period."
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Stacey L. Crawley

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...It's Dolly's world, the charming milieu and crazy circumstances of Thornton Wilder's perdurable farce "The Matchmaker." All the other characters on stage just live in it. So say hello to a delightful Dolly whose world is well worth a visit in the Goodman Theatre production starring - with a capital S - Kristine Nielsen."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Somewhat Recommended

"...Goodman Theatre touts Matchmaker as an “outrageous comedy.” That’s the problem. However pretty to behold and sometimes behear, this premediated production remains contrivedly calculated for shock effects (and not of recognition) that don’t detonate. And–yet, still, notwithstanding—The Matchmaker is the last labor of love from Thornton Wilder. Even his lesser efforts beat 2016 trifles hands down."
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Lawrence Bommer

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...In summary, I give mixed ratings to The Matchmaker. It had its moments, but overall, it just tried too hard. It lacks the sweetness and charm of Jerry Herman’s Hello Dolly! It may be more enjoyable to those who don’t know the musical and those who love over-the-top humor."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Overall, it would be obvious to say this entire production is heartwarming, endearing, and chock-full of wit, while also expressing the humor and celebrating the obstacles of life, love, and romance. I say this with confidence as there was not one single moment throughout its 2 hour and 40 minute run time where you didn't hear uproarious laughter and applause throughout."

Luke Simone

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Long before Dolly Gallagher Levi won our hearts in the famed “Hello Dolly”, her story was told in the original version “The Matchmaker” written by Thornton Wilder (the man who gave us “Our Town”). While “The Matchmaker” tells us the same basic story, without the music and allows the audience to learn much more about the smaller, but very important characters who take us on this journey into a place they have never been. The basic story is about one Horace Vandergelder ( richly portrayed by Allen Gilmore). He is a man of means with a business in Yonkers but an empty heart since his wife passed. He has retained Dolly Gallagher Levi (gloriously played to perfection by Kristine Nielsen) to find him a match. This is where our story begins, with much more."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Kudos to the Goodman Theatre for bringing back this funny, heartwarming play by one of America’s finest playwrights. Thanks, too, for presenting it with such style, polish and finesse. Kristine Nielsen and the rest of this ensemble makes this comedy sing. It’s a joyous way to herald in the Spring and it offers up so many important life lessons in such a charming, humorous manner. We should all remember that a good balance of cozy calm and exciting experiences is what makes life interesting. Cultivating just one vice, acquiring just the proper amount of money and living life to its fullest, as Thornton Wilder would say, makes the world go round."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"...“The Matchmaker” is a canny choice by Goodman, a chance to introduce patrons to a major comedy pushed off the radar by the success of “Hello, Dolly!” The ensemble is also a feast of ethnic, sexual, and racial variety, but the show wears its diversity lightly. Ultimately, there are four good reasons to see this production, the Thornton Wilder script and the performances by Elizabeth Ledo, Allen Gilmore, and Marc Grapey."

Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...THE MATCHMAKER produces a union I loved. Thornton even ends with a moral of the story. He encourages people to seek out new adventures. What's not to love about that? I highly recommend this play for light-hearted romantic fools like me."
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Katy Walsh

  The Matchmaker Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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