BootLeg Betty

Jerry Herman Wants Bette Midler for Broadway Revival of HELLO, DOLLY!

Broadway World
Jerry Herman Wants Bette Midler for Broadway Revival of HELLO, DOLLY!
Thursday, July 11, 2013; 05:07 PM

12-25-2010 2-24-35 AM

In The Courant’s feature story about Goodspeed’s current production of HELLO, DOLLY!, the musical’s composer and lyricist Jerry Herman reminisced about the show’s original opening on Broadway in 1964 and talked about the possibility of a revival on the Great White Way — with a new star.

“I would toss my hat in the air if Bette Midler ever decided to do it,” Herman told the newspaper.

Bette Midler just finished a Broadway run in I’LL EAT YOU LAST, starring as the legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers – her first Broadway appearance in almost 40 years, and is in talks to bring the show to LA.

When asked by The New York Times in a recent interview if she’d consider returning to Broadway in a musical, Midler responded: “I always have ‘Mame’ in the back of my mind, and people do mention it, but I don’t think I have eight shows in me. I’m too old. I think people don’t understand how hard this is. Those kids who work so hard in eight shows a week, I bow to them. And I bow to the theater owners, too.”

In HELLO, DOLLY!, Dolly Levi meddles in many a person’s affairs while at the same time seeking her own “half a millionaire.” Herman’s score is bursting with joy and tunes such as “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” “Before the Parade Passes By,” and “It Only Takes a Moment.” Music and lyrics for Hello, Dolly! are written by Herman, with book by Michael Stewart, based on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker.

Bette Midler began her legendary career as an entertainer in 1965, in New York, where she developed the trademark act that would make her one of the most renowned talents of her generation. Her debut album, 1972’s The Divine Miss M set her on the path that has led her to earn Grammys, Emmys, Golden Globes and Academy Award nominations in a career that has spanned over 40 years. She has toured the world, sold millions of albums, published two books and appeared in over two dozen films, including The Rose, Beaches, Ruthless People, Hocus Pocus, First Wives Club and For The Boys.

In addition to her work on stage and in films, Bette has made her mark in television, with the Emmy Award-winning CBS special of Ol Red Hair Is Back, and several HBO concerts, Live at Last and Art or Bust, and the Emmy Award-winning Diva Las Vegas. In 1992 she starred in the CBS television adaptation of the musical Gypsy, for which she won both a Golden Globe and the national board of review award for her performance.

In January 2009 she concluded her sold-out Vegas spectacular The Showgirl Must Go On, at Caesar’s Palace, with over 200 performances. In 1994, she returned to New York after nearly 20 years in Los Angeles, and started the New York Restoration Project, a non-profit organization devoted to bringing abandoned and neglected parks, gardens, and open spaces in all five boroughs back to life. NYRP includes the beautiful New Leaf Cafe in Fort Tryon Park as part of its success, and is committed to helping restore parks and gardens devastated by Hurricane Sandy. She most recently appeared on stage in I’LL EAT YOU LAST: A Chat With Sue Mengers.

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2 thoughts on “Jerry Herman Wants Bette Midler for Broadway Revival of HELLO, DOLLY!

  1. Oddly, Jerry Herman, who composed “Hello, Dolly” and “Mame”, is pushing Bette for “Hello, Dolly”. I would have thought the opposite. Although “Dolly” has perhaps more a memorable songlist, Bette’s persona is a better fit (IMHO) for Mame.

    And now the comparisons: Hello, Dolly: Carol Channing and Barbra Streisand (not to mention the irreplaceable Louis Armstrong–do we have a modern day equivalent?).

    Mame: Rosalind Russell, Angela Lansbury, Lucille Ball (Lucy was pretty much crucified for her lack of singing chops).

    Either way, it’s a win for us (and for Bette!). Maybe she can re-think having 8 shows a week in her.

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