Without Bette Midler in the title role, the musical “Hello, Dolly!” fell to unheard of lows last week. The show sold less than half the dollar amount of its capacity– $722K out of a possible $1.5 million. It was down by $214,000 from the previous week, which was way down from its prior week.
The average ticket cost $81. The regular ticket– ha ha ha– costs $748 when Midler is up on stage. But she’s taken a two week vacation, and the result is we see what’s really going on here. Donna Murphy is an award winning, wonderful performer. I’ve no doubt her performance is as good if not better than Midler’s. But when the big star is away, “Hello, Dolly!” is in dire straits.
What’s interesting about this is other musicals, who don’t have marquee names like Midler, are doing much better. But such emphasis has been put on Midler as the star that the show can’t survive without her. What a mess. And this is even with a bunch of Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical.
Think about it: “Dolly!” did less well last week than the revivals of “Cats” and “Miss Saigon.” It did only about $25,000 better than the 20 year old revival of “Chicago.” Ouch!