Tonight, Bette Midler returns for a second cash grab at “Hello, Dolly!” on Broadway. She’ll close the show on August 25th.
Midler’s return comes not a minute too soon. Last week, “Hello! Dolly!” reached a weekly box office nadir of $777K with Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber (and their production was superior).
The Midler version was scoring $2 million a week during first run because crazy people were paying $500 and up to see her live. With Peters, ticket prices returned to normal.
But Midler’s return isn’t a total sell out this time around. Looking at Telecharge, there are still plenty of seats every night for this run. The orchestra seats are $600 premium seats. Not worth it. But there are plenty of mezzanine and balcony seats right through August 24th. They’re just fine, too. Bring binoculars, and a walking stick for the climb upstairs at the theater.
Producers must be counting on good walk up business. *The joke is, the audience will walk up and up and up.
For great seats, go see Donna Murphy on one of the four Tuesdays she fills in for Midler. There are loads of tickets available. Murphy, like Peters, is a Broadway superstar. It would be worth hearing her Dolly Levi.
Sad that producer Scott Rudin didn’t want to go on, maybe have a black Dolly the way the really legendary producer David Merrick did in the 60s with Pearl Bailey. Queen Latifah, Audra McDonald, R&B legend Gladys Knight– there were lots of choices. But the idea now is to get out with cash in hand. This was never about the art.