Bernadette Peters will replace Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly! when Midler leaves the show in January, producers have confirmed.
Talk that Peters was stepping into the role—with Victor Garber as Horace Vandergelder—surfaced earlier in the day. Garber’s husband, Rainer Andreesen, mentioned the Dolly casting in a comment on Instagram.
The post was deleted but nothing is ever gone forever on the Internet.
Peters is Broadway gold herself, with star turns in shows like Gypsy, Sunday in the Park with George, Annie, Get Your Gun and Follies.
“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,” said Peters. “And I look forward to joining this wonderful company at the Shubert.”
She beats out a number of other names bandied about for the role, including Dolly Parton, Sutton Foster and Donna Murphy, who has been filling in for Midler once a week.
“I cannot imagine leaving Dolly Levi in better hands than those of Bernadette Peters,” said Midler. “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.”
Midler added she was certain that her costars and crew “will take care of her the way they have taken care of me—with the heart and generosity they have shown me since day one of rehearsal.”
Garber, now appearing on the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, has appeared in Deathtrap, Noises Off and Present Laughter, among other Broadway productions.
Peters steps into the role of Dolly Levi starting January 20, with opening night set for February 22.