Update, Wednesday Producer Scott Rudin confirmed this morning that Victor Garber will replace David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandergelder. Garber will begin performances January 20, 2018, prior to an official Thursday, February 22 opening.
Previous, Tuesday A mild Broadway mystery is solved today with the announcement from producer Scott Rudin that Bernadette Peters will play Dolly Gallagher Levi beginning in January, when she takes over the role in Hello, Dolly!, the smash revival that has starred Tony winner Bette Midler. Peters will begin performances Saturday evening, January 20 and officially open February 22. Midler will play her final performance on Sunday, January 14.
In a statement, Peters, Broadway royalty who has been starring in Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle, said, “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.”
Midler said, “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.”
There were two odd omissions in the announcement. Over the past weekend, it had been rumored that Victor Garber would join Peters as Horace Vandergelder, replacing David Hyde Pierce in the role. But no mention was made of that change. Nor was there any mention of Donna Murphy who has played Dolly once a week and during Midler’s vacations, to unanimous raves from critics re-reviewing the show. No mention was made of whether she will continue in those instances when Peters joins the company.
In addition to the Tony for Midler, the production — directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle — won three additional Tonys, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Gavin Creel), and Best Costume Design of a Musical (Santo Loquasto), and has continued to break the Shubert Theatre house record many times over.