Bernadette Peters will star in Hello, Dolly! from Jan 20

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

It has been officially confirmed that two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters will assume the leading role of Dolly Gallagher Levi from Tony winner Bette Midler in the current Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! at the Shubert Theatre. As previously announced, Ms. Midler will play her final performance on January 14, 2018, with Ms. Peters now assuming the role from January 20, 2018. A new "opening night" for Ms. Peters has also been scheduled for February 22.

Bernadette Peters released the following statemnet:

"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."

Bette Midler added:

"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."

Bernadette Peters is one of the most celebrated actresses in Broadway history. She won Tony Awards in 1986 for 'Song and Dance' and in 1999 for 'Annie Get Your Gun' and received the special Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award in 2012. In addition, she earned Tony nominations for 'On the Town' (1972), 'Mack & Mabel' (1975), 'Sunday in the Park with George' (1984), 'The Goodbye Girl' (1993), and 'Gypsy' (2003). Other notable Broadway credits include 'A Little Night Music' and 'Into the Woods' and she made her Broadway debut in 'The Most Happy Fella' in 1959. On screen, she won a Golden Globe in 1982 for "Pennies from Heaven" and earned two further Golden Globe nominations in 1977 for "Silent Movie" and "All's Fair." She received Emmy Award nominations for "Ally McBeal" in 2001 and for "The Muppet Show" in 1978. Her many screen credits include "The Good Fight," "Mozart in the Jungle," "Smash," "Coming Up Roses," "Ugly Betty," "Let It Snow," "Anastasia," "Animaniacs," "The Jerk" and "Annie," among others.

The principal cast of Hello, Dolly! currently includes Tony Award, three-time Emmy and three-time Golden Globe winner and two-time Oscar nominee Bette Midler (as Dolly Gallagher Levi), Tony and four-time Emmy winner David Hyde Pierce (as Horace Vandergelder), Tony winner Gavin Creel (as Cornelius Hackl), Tony nominee Kate Baldwin (as Irene Molloy), Taylor Trensch (as Barnaby Tucker), Will Burton (as Ambrose Kemper), Melanie Moore (as Ermengarde), and Tony nominee Jennifer Simard (as Ernestina).

As previously reported, Taylor Trensch will also leave the production to assume the title role in the Tony Award-winning "Best Musical" Dear Evan Hansen in January. A replacement will be announced at a future date. The New York Times has also reported that four-time Tony nominee Victor Garber would join the production on the same date as Ms. Peters, replacing David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandergelder, although this is still awaiting an official confirmation.

Hello, Dolly! began previews at the Shubert Theatre on March 15, 2017, and officially opened to excellent reviews on April 20.

Hello, Dolly! features a book by Michael Stewart, and music & lyrics by Jerry Herman.

Directed by four-time Tony winner Jerry Zaks, this production features choreography by Tony winner Warren Carlyle, based on the original work by Gower Champion.

Synopsis: "At the turn of the 20th century, all of New York City is excited because widowed but brassy Dolly Gallagher Levi is in town. Dolly makes a living primarily through matchmaking and is currently seeking a wife for grumpy Horace Vandergelder, the well-known half-a-millionaire, but it becomes clear that Dolly intends to marry Horace herself."

The creative team behind Hello, Dolly! features scenic & costume design by Santo Loquasto, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Scott Lehrer, music direction by Andy Einhorn, orchestrations by Larry Hochman, vocal arrangements by Don Pippin, and dance arrangements by Glen Kelly.

At the 71st Annual Tony Awards, the production took home the trophy for "Best Revival of a Musical," as well as "Best Costume Design of a Musical," "Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical" (for Gavin Creel) and "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical" (for Bette Midler).

Hello, Dolly! first premiered on Broadway at the St James Theatre in 1964, picking up a grand total of 10 Tony Awards, including "Best Musical." It has since been revived three times - 1975 at the Minskoff Theatre, and 1978 and 1995 both at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. A film adaptation was released in 1969, directed by Gene Kelly and starring Barbra Streisand.


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