Hello (again), Dolly.

After an exhaustive search for the perfect star, theater producer Scott Rudin told the Associated Press today (January 19) that Bette Midler will lead a 2017 revival of Hello, Dolly. The show first opened on Broadway in 1964 and starred Carol Channing, who went on to win the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress. 

"There has not been a new production in 50 years," Rudin said. "Partly it was the difficulty of who could play Dolly. It had to be someone who could take it to a different level. Bette is the only one who can. Never has there been something more inevitable than her in this role."

Rudin said Midler spent a year researching the story — which centers on a matchmaker whose latest client is a particularly tough sell — before signing on. Phillis Diller, Betty Grable, Ethel Merman, Martha Raye and Ginger Rogers have previously played the part of the titular Dolly Gallagher Levi, and Barbra Streishand starred as Dolly in a 1969 film adaptation of the production.

"Yes, I am taking on the role of the beloved Dolly Levi in 'Hello, Dolly!' Midler tweeted after the announcement. "So excited!"

The show's revival will officially open in April 2017. Broadway veteran Jerry Zaks will direct the show, which will feature choreography from Warren Carlyle.

Theater buffs: Excited for a Hello, Dolly resurrection? Tell us if you think Bette's the right fit.

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