This is the first image of Bette Midler as Dolly Levi in “Hello, Dolly!” The musical with the biggest advance in history starts tonight with a dress rehearsal. Official previews begin tomorrow night. When I was a kid we saw Ethel Merman on Broadway. Subsequently I also saw Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey. Barbra Streisand was miscast in the movie version, which was a huge bust. (She was too young.) Now comes Bette. If this isn’t perfect Broadway casting, then what is? And Donna Murphy fills in for her on matinees, maybe takes over when Bette leaves. It’s all good! We’re back at the Harmonia Gardens restaurant on 14th Street, where now there’s a Best Buy and an NYU dorm. Never forget!