5 Sensational Stars Who Could Follow Bette Midler In “Hello Dolly!”

Unlike Dolly, Bette will go away again.

Bette Midler is snatching all the rave reviews (and nominations) as Dolly Levi in the revival of Hello Dolly! She won’t stay in the show forever, but producers are likely to keep the musical going after she departs. So, who could step into her corset?

We take a stab at casting below.

  1. Patti LaBelle

    Patti LaBelle (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
    Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

    Patti’s already stated her interest in the role. “That was something else I said no to. Now [Bette] is doing it. I’m going to check it out and I think I might do it when she leaves,” she told WWD. “I mean, I would like to.” They just better serve sweet potato pie during intermission.

  2. Patti LuPone

    Patti LuPone in Company

    The other Patti. She’s played everyone from Evita and Mama Rose to Mrs. Lovett, so Dolly would be a snap. Only DON’T use your phone during her performance.

  3. Cher

    Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

    We were promised the Dark Lady in a TV version of Mame and it never happened. So we deserve this. She can do anything. She’s Cher, damn it!

  4. RuPaul

    rupaul drag race ep 10

    It wouldn’t be the first time a drag performer played Dolly (Danny La Rue was cast in the role on the West End in 1984). It would certainly add new meaning to “It Takes A Woman.”

    rupaul twitter

  5. Dolly Parton

    NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Country music recording artist Dolly Parton performs on stage during the 'Pure & Simple' tour at Forest Hills Stadium on June 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)
    Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

    I mean, it’s her flippin’ name. Giving Dolly Levi a backwoods twang would be an interesting way to revitalize the character.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.