“Hello, Dolly!” — a Broadway revival starring Bette Midler, has been a juggernaut so far in 2017, ousting longtime sales king “Hamilton” from the top spot on the Great White Way in the marketplace. Excitement over the new production of a Broadway classic, combined with the departure of writer and star Lin Manuel Miranda and bloated ticket prices has reshuffled the pecking order in New York, where “Hamilton” has dropped all the way to third behind “Dear Evan Hansen.”
Early signs showed that this might be the case, as “Hello, Dolly!” brought in over $9 million in first-day sales alone, breaking an industry record.
The Tony-winning musical, a Scott Rudin production, casts Midler in the titular role of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a meddlesome matchmaker who is hired by a wealthy bachelor to find him a wife — and decides to fill the position herself. When the comedy first opened on Broadway in 1964, with Carol Channing premiering the iconic lead role, it was an instant and lasting success. The comedy remained in theaters longer than any other musical had, up until that point. In 1969, Gene Kelly’s film adaptation, starring Barbra Streisand as Dolly, racked up three Oscars. Nearly four decades later, Midler’s reprise has fans no less excited.
“Dear Evan Hansen” is an original musical starring Ben Platt of Hamlet 2 and Pitch Perfect fame, which made its way to New York in December of 2016 after debuting at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.
“Hello Dolly!” is outselling “Hamilton” by 53% thus far, while “Dear Evan Hansen” is outselling it by 13%.
“Hamilton’s producers have inflated prices to over $1,000 per ticket via their official primary sellers, including a whopping 40% service charge,” says TicketNetwork CEO Don Vaccaro. “As consumers find out about these practices, they no longer see Hamilton as the altruistic, populist show they once did.”