By Michael Gioia
22 May 2012
Directed by Dori Berinstein ("Show Business: The Road to Broadway"), the new film features interviews with Channing, her late husband Harry Kullijian, Jerry Herman, Lily Tomlin, Margie Champion, Betty Garrett (who has since died), Chita Rivera, Barbara Walters, Tyne Daly, Debbie Reynolds, Phyllis Diller, Loni Anderson, JoAnne Worley, Bruce Vilanch and many more. Running time is 89 minutes plus extras.
The bonus features on the DVD include "Creating Dolly," Hello, Dolly! opening-night crew stories, "Barbara Walters on Carol" and Joan Crawford's wedding, among others.
"The story of legendary performer Carol Channing's life is as colorful as the lipstick on her big, bright smile," according to production notes. In the film director Berinstein, with co-writer Adam Zucker, capture the "magic and vivacity of the 90-year-old icon — both onstage and off...past and present. The film is both an intimate love story and a rarefied journey inside Broadway's most glamorous era. It is, above all, a look at an inspiring, incomparable and always entertaining American legend."
Berinstein's Broadway producing credits include Legally Blonde, Enchanted April, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Crucible, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Fool Moon and Golden Child. Read the Playbill Brief Encounter with Berinstein.
In addition to her 1964 Tony for playing Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!, Channing received a Special Tony in 1968 and a Lifetime Achievement Tony in 1995. Her other major Broadway credit is creating the role of golddigger Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She would sing the character's signature songs "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and "A Little Girl From Little Rock" for the next 60 years in nightclubs, concerts and on TV.