Betty Buckley to lead US national tour of ‘Hello, Dolly!’

Betty Buckley
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Betty Buckley, the Tony Award-winning actress who belted out “Memories” in “Cats” on Broadway and starred in “Eight Is Enough” on TV, has been tapped to lead the national tour of “Hello, Dolly!”

Buckley will star as matchmaker and schemer Dolly Levi in the production that won four Tonys last year, including best revival on Broadway and best actress in a musical for Bette Midler, who also played Levi.

The tour kicks off Oct. 2 at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square. Full tour dates and cities will be announced shortly, as will the rest of the cast.

The show is a musical version of Thornton Wilder’s play “The Matchmaker” with the songs “Put On Your Sunday Clothes,” ”Before the Parade Passes By” and “So Long Dearie.”

Buckley won a Tony as Grizabella, the Glamour Cat, in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” in the 1982 original Broadway production and received her second Tony nomination for best actress in a musical for her performance as Hesione in “Triumph of Love.”

Buckley won an Olivier Award nomination in the London production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard.” Her other Broadway credits include “1776,” ”Pippin,” ”Song and Dance” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” in which she died onstage eight times a week.

Now she’ll step into the role previously performed by Ethel Merman, Ginger Rogers, Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, Betty Grable, Mary Martin, Midler, Donna Murphy and Bernadette Peters.

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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