Friday, June 14, 2024

Broadway: With Bette Midler Out for a 2nd Week, “Hello, Dolly!” Does Worse Than Revivals of “Cats” and “Miss Saigon”


Goodbye, Dolly.

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! 

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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