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‘Hello Dolly’ revival with Better Midler sets sales record

Bette Midler has previously set two records for

Bette Midler has previously set two records for tickets sales to Broadway shows. Credit: Invision, AP / Andy Kropa

The producers of the upcoming revival of the musical “Hello, Dolly!” starring Bette Midler say its opening-day ticket sales have set a record.

The Shubert Organization said Monday that Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman’s classic sold $9,082,497 in tickets to break the record for the best first-day sales in Broadway history. Producer Scott Rudin had announced the revival on Jan. 19, saying Midler would play the title role of Dolly Gallagher Levi. Previews are scheduled to begin March 15, 2017, at The Shubert Theatre, with opening night set for April 20.

“All throughout the day on Saturday we were getting hourly reports and we were just giddy,” a spokesman for the show told Newsday. “And I can’t give specific figures, but Sunday was also incredibly strong.”

“We are thrilled with the tremendous response from ‘Hello, Dolly!’ ticket-buyers,” Philip J. Smith and Robert E. Wankel, chairman and president, respectively, of The Shubert Organization, said in a statement Monday. “The combination of this show and Bette Midler has proven irresistible to theatergoers.” Midler, 70, tweeted, “ ‘Hello Dolly!’ had the best first day of ticket sales in Broadway history!!! WOW!”

Asked for confirmation of the record, a Broadway League spokeswoman told Newsday the organization “does not track that information.” Producers generally guard such data and only announce particularly strong first-day sales.

Remarkably, two Midler shows set this record in the past. Her Broadway concert at the Palace Theater in December 1973 set a first-day sales record with $148,000, according to contemporary accounts. She broke that record two years later with her April 1975 show “Bette Midler’s Clams on the Half Shell Revue” at the Minskoff Theater, which nearly sold out within hours of going on sale, netting more than $200,000.

The cast of the current revival — the fourth, following the 1964-1970 original run with Carol Channing initiating the title role — includes Tony- and Emmy Award-winner David Hyde Pierce as well as two-time Tony nominee Gavin Creel and Tony nominees Kate Baldwin and Jennifer Simard.


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