Is Carol Channing joining Bette Midler on Broadway?
By Cindy Adams
July 10, 2016
Bette Midler after Thursday’s Dallas horror: “Cry about our beloved country. What is happening to us?”
So now as we march to Cleveland’s GOP convention with “Hello, Donny,” Bette Midler is rehearsing for Broadway’s “Hello, Dolly!”
Be it known, the “Hello, Dolly!” song was commandeered back in the Stone Age by Barry Goldwater, who used it as “Hello, Barry!” Result was producer David Merrick, a donkey Democrat, brayed that they were breaking copyright law.
Then came Lyndon Johnson, who schlepped ab-fab Carol Channing from the St. James Theatre to Atlantic City, NJ, to open his “Hello, Lyndon!” campaign. That phrase became LBJ’s rallying cry. Later, he phoned her dressing room to personally say thanks. Even later, the Johnsons, plus Jackie with young Caroline and John came to see the show.
Meanwhile, now, several potential presidents later, award-winning Channing, 1964’s original SRO musical-comedy smash star playing Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi from Yonkers, invited Bette to her Palm Springs, Calif., home to talk script, character, songs, tweaks, etc.
“Hello, Dolly!” starring Midler figures to be such a hit that it might make he United States of America’s historic Founding Father “Hamilton” into an intern.
A rumor. Rumor. Just a rumor. You won’t believe it. I don’t believe it. No one who’s in their right mind should believe it. But being burbled is – ready? – Bette will let Channing – age 95! – do two matinees weekly.
The show’s p.r. Rick Miramontez says, “Not happening.” Producer Scott Rudin, known for his patience and politesse, thinks I’m a lunatic for asking.
OK, OK, I’m only repeating what I’m hearing.