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Breaking: Broadway Legend Betty Buckley Will Lead National Tour of HELLO, DOLLY!

Breaking: Broadway Legend Betty Buckley Will Lead National Tour of HELLO, DOLLY!

In the grand tradition of stage superstars who have played the iconic role of Dolly Gallagher Levi around the world, the Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley will star in the first national tour of Hello, Dolly!, the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Revival, beginning October 2, 2018 in the Connor Palace at Cleveland's Playhouse Square.

In a statement, Ms. Buckley enthused, "I am so thrilled and happy to be playing Mrs. Dolly Levi in the first national tour of Scott Rudin's rapturous production of Hello, Dolly!. The great Jerry Zaks has brought such wit and wonderful comedy to this classic Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman show. When I saw the new Broadway production starring the divine Bette Midler, I literally wept with happiness. It was one of the most joyful productions I have ever witnessed in the musical theater! I am delighted and honored to be added to the list of the wonderful actress/singers who have played the role. I can't wait to hit the road and bring this happy show to all of America!"

Ms. Buckley, dubbed "The Voice of Broadway," and whose 18th album Hope, recorded live at Joe's Pub, will be released this spring, joins the astonishing list of show business luminaries who have inhabited the role, including Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, Betty Grable, Martha Raye, Ginger Rogers, Ethel Merman, in her last appearance on Broadway, Mary Martin, who led the West End company, and most recently in this celebrated new production, Bette Midler, Donna Murphy, and Bernadette Peters.

Led by four-time Tony Award-winning director Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, the entire creative team of the Broadway production will reprise their roles for the national tour of Hello, Dolly!, including four-time Tony Award winner Santo Loquasto (Scenic & Costume Design), six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz (Lighting Design), Tony Award winnerScott Lehrer (Sound Design), Andy Einhorn (Music Direction), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (Orchestrations), Tony Award winner Don Pippin (Vocal Arrangements), David Chase (Dance Arrangements), and Telsey + Company (Casting).

This production of Michael Stewart's and Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!, winner of four 2017 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, remains one of the most coveted tickets of the year on Broadway, with audiences rushing to see the "historic event" (Rolling Stone) that has left "tears on the cheeks of critics" (The Washington Post).

Ms. Midler, who received universal raves, as well as all of the top honors in the American theater for her performance as Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!, including the 2017 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, played her final performance on Sunday, January 14, 2018. This production's history-making run holds the record for the largest pre-performance advance sales in Broadway history, broke the box office record at the Shubert Theatre twelve times, and shattered The Shubert Organization's all-time-record ten times.

This Hello, Dolly!, the first new production of the classic musical (based on Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker) to appear on Broadway since it opened more than fifty years ago, pays tribute to the work of its original director/choreographer Gower Champion, which has been hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history.

Full tour dates and cities will be announced shortly.

Betty Buckley (Dolly Gallagher Levi). In an award-winning career that encompasses television, film, stage, and concert work around the globe, Betty Buckley is best known as the quintessential musical theatre actress. Stage roles range from the wife of an early U.S. President in 1776, which marked Buckley's Broadway debut, to her critically acclaimed, Olivier Award-nominated performance as the deluded, silent screen star Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, a part she re-created on Broadway to equal success. Buckley also earned a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in Cats and a Tony nomination for Triumph of Love. Her other Broadway credits include Pippin, Song and Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and Carrie. Off-Broadway credits include the world premiere of Horton Foote's The Old Friends (Drama Desk Award nomination), White's Lies, Elegies, The Eros Trilogy, Juno's Swans, and I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road. Regional credits include The Perfectionist, Gypsy, The Threepenny Opera, Camino Real, Buffalo Gal, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Grey Gardens at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY and The Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, for which she received an Ovation Award Nomination. In London she starred in Promises, Promises for which she was nominated for an Evening Standard Award and in the British premiere of Dear World. In addition to her contributions to the stage, Buckley has also released an astonishing 17 solo albums, most recently Ghostlight, produced by Oscar and muti-Grammy Award-winning producer, T Bone Burnett, released in 2014, and Story Songs, released in 2017. Ms. Buckley's 18th solo album, Hope, recorded live at Joe's Pub, will be released this spring by Palmetto Records. She has twice been nominated for a Grammy Award, in 2000 for The Diaries of Adam and Eve and again in 2002 for Stars and the Moon: Live at the Donmar. She tours in concert worldwide with her ensemble of musicians and in 2015 was featured in the Royal Albert Hall concert of Follies in celebration of Stephen Sondheim's 85th birthday. Buckley's film roles include Miss Collins in Brian De Palma's classic Carrie (1976) and country singer Dixie Scott in Bruce Beresford's Tender Mercies (1983), which features her rendition of the Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning song "Over You." Ms. Buckley most recently co-starred with James McAvoy in the M. Night Shyamalan film Split (2017), for which she received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Featured Actress. Additional film credits include Frantic (1988), Another Woman (1988), Wyatt Earp (1999), and M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening (2008). On television, Ms. Buckley played Abby Bradford in the drama series "Eight is Enough" (1977-1981) and received Daytime Emmy Award nominations for her work in both "Bobby and Sarah" (1984) and "Taking a Stand" (1989). She also had recurring roles on the HBO series "Oz" (2001-2003) and "Pretty Little Liars" (2012), and most recently on "Supergirl," "Chicago Med," "The Leftovers," and "Getting On." In 2017, Buckley was honored with the prestigious Julie Harris Award by The Actor's Fund and in 2009, she received the Texas Medal of the Arts Award in Theater, following her induction into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in Austin, TX, in 2007. She has been awarded two honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts for her contribution to the musical theatre by Marymount College and the Boston Conservatory of Music. In 2012 she was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.

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