At the first preview of “Hello, Dolly!” fans were kvelling and Bette Midler received four standing ovations — but backstage members of the production got a sickness bug, and rumors spread along the Great White Way that the cast had come down with food poisoning.
“There was buzz that people in the cast were sickened by some cookies brought backstage by the show’s David Hyde Pierce,” said a theater source, who added, “Half the cast were throwing up offstage and running to the bathroom whenever they weren’t onstage.”
But a show insider countered, “He did give the cast cookies, but they did not cause anyone to get sick. There was one person backstage with a tummy bug.”
Either way, any nauseous stars in the show have time to recover: Opening night is April 20 at the Shubert Theatre, and the production already has a $40 million advance.
In fact, that take is so big, Page Six has exclusively learned that Midler won’t be doing any press for the show.
The production did release one still from the show on Tuesday. Another source said, “They have the luxury” of not doing press, and pointed to a similar policy with another Scott Rudin-produced hit, “The Book of Mormon.”
Meanwhile, one superfan at the first preview commented online that he was “on the verge of tears” during the revival and it was all “too much for my poor little gay heart to handle.”