Before it closes on Broadway, Hello, Dolly! is giving audiences the only thing they seemingly wanted from the musical: Bette Midler.
The lionine actress earned pretty much every acting accolade for her leading role as Dolly Levi, including the 2017 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She’ll carry the show through its final six weeks beginning July 17 before it ends its Broadway run on Aug. 25. Joining her will be he former co-stars David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandergelder and Gavin Creel, stepping back into his Tony-winning role as Cornelius Hackl on May 8.
The show opened in April 20, 2017, with Midler winning unanimous raves from critics — Vulture called her “real source of the warmth and color” of the production, while the New York Times’ review was headlined Bright, Brassy and All Bette.
In Midler’s final week of performances ending Jan. 14, 2018, the show brought in $2,436,208, second only to Hamilton. Ticket sales for the following week plummeted to $372,200, when her alternate Donna Murphy took on the role, then rose to $1.17 million the week after that when Bernadette Peters made her debut on Jan. 20, scoring show’s highest box office total since. Though she’s nobody’s understudy, the New York Times noted Peters brought a darker energy to the role, playing the widower Dolly as weighed down by her past.
“I am delighted to return to the scene of one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Midler said in a statement. “Dolly Levi is one of the most joyful characters in Broadway history, and Bernadette and I were lucky to to be able to step into her glorious shoes.”
Tickets for the show’s remaining dates go on sale Saturday, April 28 at 10 a.m. online at HelloDollyOnBroadway.com, by phone at 212-239-6200, or in person at the Shubert Theatre box office (225 W. 44th St.) A touring production starring Tony winner Betty Buckley is set to open in Cleveland, Ohio, on Oct. 2, 2018.