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PLAYBILL PICKS: Readers Share Their Wish List for Bette Midler’s Next Broadway Show

PLAYBILL PICKS: Readers Share Their Wish List for Bette Midler‘s Next Broadway Show
By Playbill Staff
02 Jun 2013


Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that producers were eager to lure Bette Midler back to Broadway, possibly in a revival of Hello, Dolly! following her current engagement in I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers.

It’s been over 30 years since Midler shared her musical talents on the Broadway stage, and the prospect of having the Divine Miss M bite into a musical role got the Playbill staff thinking about the various shows and roles we’d like to see her tackle. We opened up the dialogue with our readers, who shared their picks for Midler’s stage return.

Gap Yonks Mame
Janet Moskowitz Mame
Tom Quicksell MAME
Cheryl Newman-Whaley MAME!!!
Nicole Tori Mame!
Pam Creasman Wheeler Mame!
NBRobin She would be a fabulous and sassy “Mame”

In addition to Hello, Dolly!, the Jerry Herman musical Mame would be a fantastic vehicle for Midler, who could make a meal out of “It’s Today” and “If He Walked Into My Life.”

Jon Rybka-Wachhaus Oh wow. Where to start. What about Mame? Or Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.

There are only a handful of divas who missed out on the chance to play Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black and Christopher Hampton’s Sunset Boulevard – and Midler might be at the top of that list. Like original Broadway star Glenn Close, Midler has the Hollywood cache to add an extra level to the role.

Meg Little Madame Morrible!
Tracey Chiriboga Madam Morrible in Wicked!
Brian Bacon Madame Morrible in Wicked
DKlintworthMD I’d love to see Bette Midler’s take on Madame Morrible in “Wicked”. It gives her the chance to be both funny and evil all at once.

The deviously imperious school mistress in Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman‘s Wicked would take Midler back to her “Hocus Pocus” roots.

Hocus Pocus: The Musical

Speaking of…. fans of the “Hocus Pocus” film – a Halloween must for Midler lovers – have been begging for a musical adaptation of the Disney film that co-starred Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson Sisters. Bring back Kenny Ortega to direct and choreograph!


Woody Allen is currently at work on his Broadway-aimed musical adaptation of the Academy Award-winning film “Bullets Over Broadway” – which is aiming for a 2014 arrival at the St. James Theatre. Midler is an ideal choice to step into the role of stage diva Helen Sinclair, originated on screen by Dianne Wiest.

Topher Layton Cinderella’s fairy godmother
Kevin Riddagh Fairy God Mother in Cindy!!

Midler would look fantastic flying into Broadway’s Cinderella as Marie, Ella’s Fairy God Mother in the new production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

Roger Gindi She’s perfect for Call Me Madam, but the show is far from perfect.
Gaspar Marino I would like her in a revival of “Call Me Madam.”

Irving Berlin’s 1950 Broadway musical Call Me Madam, about American party hostess with the mostest Sally Adams, would be a fun fit for Midler.

BenWagnerArts I would KILL to see her play matron mama Morton in @ChicagoMusical #heavenonstage
dustin_cvt Not roles big enough for her talent but Madame Morrible in Wicked or Mama Morton in Chicago would be great stunt casting!

Midler would be a fun choice for the “keeper of the keys, countess of the clink, the matron of murderess row” – Mama Morton! She’d bring down the house with “When You’re Good to Mama” and one can just imagine her line deliveries during “Class.”

Tim Stuff Cora Hoover Hooper in Anyone Can Whistle!!!

Theatre lovers have been hoping that someone might take a risk and revive Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents’ Anyone Can Whistle on Broadway. Midler’s star casting would certainly keep seats filled, and we’d love to hear her sing “Me and My Town” and “Is There A Parade in Town?

Andy Salcedo Gypsy! She was fabulous in the TV movie years ago.
Michael C. Krickmire I agree…Mama Rose!
Maureen Grady Carrita Yup–Mama Rose…..again!
Juan Carlos Garza Segovia Mama Rose in Gypsy or Mame would be awesome!!

It would make the fifth Broadway revival of Gypsy since it premiered in 1959 with Ethel Merman. Midler played the role of Rose on television in the 1990s, and the chance to see hear tackle the role live would be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Rhonda Yeager-Hutchinson Joanne in Company

Just picturing Midler doing “The Little Things You Do Together” is reason enough – and we haven’t even begun imagining what she’d do with “Ladies Who Lunch” in the Tony Award-winning 1970s musical by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth.

Raymond Barone Mrs. Lovett!

Murderous pie-maker Nellie Lovett, first originated by Angela Lansbury, is a choice role for Midler.

For the Boys

A stage musical adaptation of the 1991 film premiered at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, IL, in 2011. The stage production uses musical material from the film including “Stuff Like That There.” Returning to the role of USO singer Dixie Leonard would be a thrill for audiences.

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