×

Bernadette Peters Will Replace Bette Midler in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ on Broadway

UPDATED: Bernadette Peters is Broadway’s new Dolly, with the theater-world fan favorite now confirmed to lead the cast of the mega-selling, Tony-winning revival of “Hello, Dolly!” in January.

The casting, which had been the subject of persistent rumors in the theater industry, was seemingly confirmed Aug. 5 in a social media post, now removed, that said that Peters and Victor Garber would join the cast early next year. By that evening, the producers of “Hello, Dolly!,” led by Scott Rudin, had confirmed that Peters would step into the role. Garber, who would replace Midler’s co-star David Hyde Pierce, was confirmed the next morning.

The question of who would replace Bette Midler in “Dolly!,” one of the top-selling shows on Broadway, has been a hot topic of speculation this summer. In the theater-industry rumor mill, a slew of names made the rounds — including Dolly Parton and Sutton Foster — but by August, Peters, last on Broadway in the 2011 production of “Follies,”  began to look like the frontrunner. At the time, Rudin commented with the coy, “There’s no replacement for Bette.”

But over the Labor Day weekend, Garber’s husband, Rainer Andreesen, mentioned the “Dolly” casting in a comment on an Instagram post. That post has since been removed, but a screenshot remains.

Like Donna Murphy, who currently plays the role of Dolly for one performance a week, Peters and Garber are fan favorites among theater lovers. Peters, who’s won two Tony Awards, has starred in a string of notable productions, including the original stagings of “Sunday in the Park With George” and “Into the Woods,” while Garber, who stars in CW series “Legends of Tomorrow,” has appeared in Broadway shows including “Deathtrap,” “Noises Off” and, most recently, “Present Laughter” in 2010.

In terms of box office impact, Midler, who’s kept sales in the stratosphere since the show began performances in the spring, will be a tough act to follow. It’s uncertain that Peters would keep weekly grosses as high, but at the very least she’d get an initial boost from theater avids anxious to see her in the role. The revival, one of the last season’s biggest buzzmagnets, also seems likely to benefit from the momentum built up for the title itself over the course of its big-money run.

Peters and Garber begin their run in “Hello, Dolly!” Jan. 20 prior to an opening night set for Feb. 22. Midler and Pierce play their final performance in “Dolly!” Jan. 14; there will be no performances between then and Peters’ start date.

 

More Legit

  • Because of Winn Dixie review

    Regional Theater Review: 'Because of Winn Dixie,' the Musical

    Watching the musical “Because of Winn Dixie” at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Conn., it’s hard not to think of another show that premiered in the same regional theater 43 years ago. It, too, featured a scruffy stray dog, a lonely-but-enterprising young girl and a closed-off daddy who finally opens up. But “Winn Dixie,” based [...]

  • MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOW MOSCOWby

    Off Broadway Review: 'Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow'

    There’s something about Anton Chekhov’s whiny sisters that invites comic sendups of “Three Sisters” like the one Halley Feiffer wrote on commission for the Williamstown Theater Festival. Transferred to MCC Theater’s new Off Broadway space and playing in the round in a black box with limited seating capacity, the crafty show feels intimate and familiar. [...]

  • the way she spoke review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The Way She Spoke' With Kate del Castillo

    Since the 1990s, scores of women in Juarez, Mexico have been mutilated, raped, and murdered at such a rate that some have called it an epidemic of femicide—killing women and girls solely because they are women. Isaac Gomez’s play “the way she spoke,” produced Off Broadway by Audible and starring Kate del Castillo, confronts the [...]

  • HBO's 'SUCCESSION

    Brian Cox Playing LBJ in Broadway Run of 'The Great Society'

    Brian Cox will play President Lyndon Johnson in the Broadway run of “The Great Society,” playwright Robert Schenkkan’s follow-up to “All the Way.” The role of Johnson, a crude, but visionary politician who used the office of the presidency to pass landmark civil rights legislation and social programs, was originally played by Bryan Cranston in [...]

  • Paul McCartney Has Penned Score for

    Paul McCartney Has Been Secretly Writing an 'It's a Wonderful Life' Musical

    The pop superstar who once released a movie and album called “Give My Regards to Broad Street” really does have designs on Broadway, after all. It was revealed Wednesday that Paul McCartney has already written a song score for a stage musical adaptation of the 1946 Frank Capra film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The [...]

  • The Night of the Iguana review

    West End Review: 'The Night of the Iguana' With Clive Owen

    If Tennessee Williams is the poet laureate of lost souls, none of his characters as are off-grid as the restless travelers trying to make it through his little-seen 1961 play, “The Night of the Iguana.” Holed up in a remote Mexican homestay, its ragtag itinerants live hand-to-mouth, day by day, as they seek refuge from [...]

  • Moulin Rouge Broadway

    Listen: The Special Sauce in Broadway's 'Moulin Rouge!'

    There are songs in the new Broadway version of “Moulin Rouge!” that weren’t in Baz Luhrmann’s hit movie — but you probably know them anyway. They’re popular tunes by superstars like Beyoncé, Adele and Rihanna, released after the 2001 movie came out, and they’ll probably unleash a flood of memories and associations in every audience [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content