Bette Midler returning to Broadway in a HELLO DOLLY
It’s a match made in musical theater heaven — Bette Midler will star in a Broadway revival of “Hello, Dolly!”
Movie and theatrical producer Scott Rudin said Tuesday that the Divine Miss M will take on the role of Dolly Gallagher Levi in a revival of the classic musical due to start next year.
“There has not been a new production in 50 years,” Rudin told The Associated Press. “Partly it was the difficulty of who could play Dolly. It had to be someone who could take it to a different level. Bette is the only one who can. Never has there been something more inevitable than her in this role.”
The musical tells the story of matchmaker and schemer Dolly Levi who receives her toughest challenge yet when a rich grump seeks a suitable wife. It’s a musical version of Thornton Wilder’s play “The Matchmaker.”
Performances on Broadway begin on March 13, 2017, with an official opening night of April 20, 2017. Rehearsals begin one year from Tuesday.
Midler and Rudin were in conversations about the role for a year. The actress and singer threw herself into researching it, reading and watching all she could, Rudin said. He added that both wanted to explore Dolly’s warmth, desperation and humanity.
The show features a rousing score by Jerry Herman that’s bursting with joy and tunes like “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” ”Before the Parade Passes By” and “It Only Takes a Moment.”
The revival will be directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks and have choreography by Tony-winner Warren Carlyle. The creators say the new work will pay tribute to Gower Champion, the show’s original director and choreographer.