When Bette Midler whispers “So Long Dearie” for the last time on Jan. 14, ending her record-breaking run in Hello, Dolly!, the performance will double as a benefit for The Actors Fund.
Final performances by beloved stars are invariably a white-hot ticket on Broadway, and Midler’s promises to be a legendary farewell.
The production has been the biggest success of the 2016-17 theater season, breaking house records eight times at the Shubert Theatre. It most recently set a new threshold with $2,468,175 over Thanksgiving week, pushing cumulative grosses for Midler’s eight-month run to just over $73.5 million, with almost 400,000 admissions.
Producer Scott Rudin and The Actors Fund on Wednesday announced the special charity performance, with tickets ranging from $250 to $10,000; packages including a private preshow reception will start at $5,000.
Directed by Jerry Zaks, the Hello, Dolly! revival officially opened April 20, generating rave reviews across the board. The production was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, winning four, including best musical revival, best actress for Midler, best featured actor for Gavin Creel and best costumes.
The Jan. 14 show also will mark the final performance for Midler’s co-star David Hyde Pierce. The revival will resume performances Jan. 20, with Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber stepping into the lead roles. An official opening night for the new cast has been set for Feb. 22.
The Actors Fund is a national nonprofit providing a wide range of social services, emergency financial assistance, health care and other benefits to performers from film, television, theater, music, opera, radio and dance. Special performances in aid of the organization are a longstanding Broadway and off-Broadway tradition.