Goodbye, Dolly, once again.
Starting tomorrow Bette Midler takes her second full week off from “Hello, Dolly!” The first back at the beginning of July.
Midler has also set her closing date for “Dolly!” as January 14, 2018. That should be the end of the run unless they can find someone to come in and take over. That’s unlikely.
The “Hello, Dolly!” cash grab is one of the most onerous in the history of Broadway. Tickets were priced well above $500-$700. Midler is likely taking home $100,000 a week or more. And she hasn’t performed matinees and missed other performances.
Donna Murphy fills Midler’s shoes this week, which means ticket prices go way down and availability goes way up. Murphy is said to be outstanding. Of course, she’s the real deal on Broadway.
Me? I saw Ethel Merman play Dolly. And Carol Channing. And Pearl Bailey. And you can reconstruct the whole show on YouTube if needed. Channing didn’t miss a performance in four years, by the way. Most shows play more than nine months after winning their Tony awards.
Meantime, in other Broadway news, Tony winner Ben Platt– scheduled to leave “Dear Evan Hansen” on November 11th–has announced he will no longer perform matinees either. Platt is 23, Midler is 71. So age is not what’s keeping contemporary performers from doing what decades of Broadway actors did without complaint.