That would be Bette Midler, tackling the role of matchmaker Dolly Levi, forever identified with Carol Channing.
She’ll be supported by another popular performer, David Hyde Pierce.
Co-directed by Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, the play is to begin previews on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre March 28, with an official opening night set for April 15.
“The radiant Laura Benanti, as Elsa Schraeder, can now be certfied as as an expert spelunker, for the feats of mining she did to surface errant bits of comedy.
We saw a decrease in the popularity of this in the late 20th century and early 21st century, but recently filmed musicals have made a comeback and in an entirely new way.
Any filmed musicals that were made in that period tended to be animated films, but lately we’re seeing old classic musicals being revived with celebrity talent for seasonal television specials, sort of like in the old days.
Penned by Rick Elice, the production will star "Smash" cast member Christian Borle, as well as Adam Chanler-Berat and Celia Keenan-Bolger, who appeared together off-Broadway in the show early last year.Chief among them is Benanti, who brings the slightly dim, skimpily dressed Candela to outrageous, hilarious life.Benanti milks the lamest lines to the max, whips up laughs out of thin air and slays with a song, “Model Behavior,” that consists of a series of frantic phone messages delivered at lightning speed.”“Laura Benanti... Watching her..one of the most uplifting bits of clowning I’ve seen since Katie Finneran hijacked “Promises, Promises” in her inebriated barroom scene.”“One standout performance is by Benanti, who plays a model with a bubble-headed zaniness that recalls Reese Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde.” Benanti literally hops about in high heels and a teeny-weeny skirt, barely stays in her Catherine Zuber-designed costume and has a wonderful manic song, “Model Behavior.”“Benanti negotiates sharp shifts in mood and priority with grace, converting every hairpin turn into a comedic arabesque."We are overjoyed to have this incredible company back together," producers Nancy Nagel Gibbs and Greg Schaffert said in a joint statement."And we are very grateful that Christian Borle was, in the end, able to work around his commitments to the TV series 'Smash' so that he can reprise his role as Black Stache." Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, the play features a company of 12 actors playing more than 100 characters and telling the story of how Peter Pan became the boy who never grew up.