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Bette Midler already a box office smash as Dolly Levi

The Divine one, Miss Bette Midler, is already breaking Broadway records.

First-day ticket sales for a new production of Hello, Dolly! with Bette in the role of matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi reached $9.08 million today – a record for all of Broadway.

Bette shared the news on Twitter and wrote: ‘Wow!!!’

Start saving your pennies. Tickets are pricey going for $189 for non-premium seats and $275 and $375 for premium seats, according to the Shubert Theatre-owned ticket service Telecharge.

The new Broadway production will be directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks and will begin performances on Broadway on 15 March in 2017.

The show’s composer Jerry Herman has described Midler is ‘the singular, outsized personality that I was looking for in a 21st Century Dolly.’

Midler made her Broadway debut in the original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof in 1967. Throughout the 1970′s, she brought to Broadway three well-loved concert events: Bette Midler (in 1973, and for which she received a special Tony Award), Bette Midler’s Clams on the Half Shell Revue (in 1975), and Bette! Divine Madness (in 1979).

In 2013, Midler returned to the Broadway stage, after a nearly 40-year absence, to star in the one-woman play I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers in which she played the legendary Hollywood agent.

The iconic role of Dolly was, of course, originated by the great Carol Channing on Broadway in the 1960s after Ethel Merman, who it was written for, passed on the show. Channing went on to win the Tony Award and star in subsequent revivals and national tours of the show.

Merman eventually stepped into the role at the end of an original Broadway run that also had such stars as Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, Betty Grable, Martha Raye and Ginger Rogers.

Barbra Streisand, coming off the success of Funny Girl on stage and screen, landed the lead in the 1969 film version of the show but was widely considered to be too young for the role of story of a meddlesome widow who strives to bring romance to several couples and herself.

FILE UNDER: Broadway

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  1. The best news I read thus far this year.

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