Saturday, May 18, 2024

Broadway: “Hello, Dolly!” Will Close August 25th After Bette Midler Makes a 6 Week Return at Top Dollar


Well, what else can you do?

“Hello, Dolly!” has been playing to respectable houses since January when Bernadette Peters took over. Peters, many feel, is made a better Dolly Levi and a better show after Bette Midler played for months at hundreds and thousands of dollars a ticket for a show that was more like “Hello, Bette!”

But now, obviously, the returns are good enough. So producer Scott Rudin will close “Hello, Dolly!” on August 25th– but not before Midler returns for six weeks beginning July 17th. That should double the box office and give everyone involved one last big cash grab before they sing “So Long, Dearie.”

Peters and her cast deserve a standing ovation. After seeing Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, and Pearl Bailey at different times in my young life, Peters was just sensational. Bette Midler was, well, a superstar in the role. Interesting that Rudin is giving up before the fall season starts and “King Kong” and other fascinations come to town. Plus, he’s got “Carousel” running, “My Fair Lady” is up at Lincoln Center, and attention must be stretched for “classic” musicals. In the dead of summer, Midler will certainly draw business away from those shows.


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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