Thursday, April 25, 2024

First Image: Bette Midler Starts Tonight in “Hello, Dolly!” with Biggest Advance in History


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!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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