Bernadette Peters (Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com)
Producer Scott Rudin announced today that the legendary two-time Tony Award®-winning Bernadette Peters, capping a 60-years-long career of triumph after triumph as “the most accomplished musical comedy star of her generation” (The Washington Post), will take on the title role in the most successful and beloved Broadway production of the year: Hello, Dolly!. Ms. Peters will begin performances Saturday evening, January 20, 2018, prior to a Thursday, February 22 opening night. A new block of tickets goes on sale, via Telecharge.com and Shubert Theatre box office, Saturday, September 9, at 10:00 A.M. (ET).
Bette Midler, who received universal raves and every Broadway acting honor for her performance as Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!, including the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical, will play her final performance on Sunday, January 14.
In a statement, Ms. Peters said, “I’m absolutely thrilled to continue in the tradition of the incomparable Bette Midler, Carol Channing, and all of the other wonderful actresses who have played Dolly Levi, and I look forward to joining this wonderful company at the Shubert.”
Ms. Midler said, “I cannot imagine leaving Dolly Levi in better hands than those of Bernadette Peters. She has created more historic roles in more legendary musicals than any living Broadway star, and most of the dead ones, too. I cannot wait to see her in the show from my very expensive premium seat in Row G which I know I will have to pay for. She is joining the greatest group of people I have ever worked with, and when my run in this amazing show — and in this amazing part — is over, I will miss all of them more than I can express. I know they will take care of her the way they have taken care of me — with the heart and generosity they have shown me since day one of rehearsal.”
Ms. Peters has been heralded by The Washington Post as “a theater goddess.” Frank Rich, in The New York Times, proclaimed, “She has no peer in the musical theater.” Scott Simon of National Public Radio says, “she has stopped more shows on Broadway than the stagehands’ union.” She has been honored with two Tony Awards, three Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Drama League Award.
This production of Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman’s Hello, Dolly! instantly became the most coveted ticket of the year when it broke the record for best first day of ticket sales in Broadway history. By the time it began previews, it had the largest pre-performance advance sale in Broadway history. In addition to the Tony for Ms. Midler, it won three additional Tonys, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Gavin Creel), and Best Costume Design of a Musical (Santo Loquasto), and has continued to break the Shubert Theatre house record over and over and over and over again.
Directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, Hello, Dolly! began performances on Broadway on March 15, 2017, and officially opened on Thursday, April 20, 2017.
This Hello, Dolly!, the first new production of the classic musical (based on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker) to appear on Broadway since it opened more than fifty years ago, pays tribute to the work of its original director/ choreographer Gower Champion, which has been hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history.