EXCLUSIVE: As the song goes — “World, take me back!” Bette Midler is returning to Broadway in a musical revival, and any doubts about the Divine diva’s drawing power was put to rest Saturday, when tickets went on sale for Hello, Dolly! The show, which will co-star David Hyde Pierce, banked $9.08 million, a  record not only for the Shubert Theatre, where the Jerry Zaks-led revival is slated to begin previews March 15, but for all of Broadway for first-day ticket sales.

Bette Midler
Bette Midler

Philip J. Smith and Robert Wankel, chairman and president, respectively, of the Shubert Organization, which owns the theater, declined to comment on the specific figures but said, “We are thrilled with the tremendous response from Hello, Dolly! ticket-buyers. The combination of this show and Bette Midler has proven irresistible to theatergoers.”

Kate Baldwin, Gavin Creel, Jennifer Simard, Melanie Moore and Will Burton fill out the major roles in the Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman musical, with Warren Carlyle doing the choreography honors. The design team includes Santo Loquasto (sets and costumes), Natasha Katz (lighting) and Scott Lehrer (sound). Scott Rudin is the lead producer.

According to the Shubert-owned ticket service Telecharge, the top non-premium ticket price for the show is $189, with premium seats selling for $275 and $375.  Opening night is set for April 20.