On March 29 and March 30, the final bow at Hello, Dolly! did not go to headliner Bette Midler, whose A-list presence led to shattered box-office records prior to even beginning performances. Instead, the last one to take center stage was Christian Dante White, an ensemble member and understudy for the role of Cornelius Hackl.
Without any scheduled put-in rehearsals, which typically are only held after opening night, White went on in the role normally played by Olivier winner Gavin Creel for both the matinee and evening performances March 29 and the March 30 show.
At the curtain calls, Midler stepped to the side after taking the Shubert Theatre stage to give the final bow of the night to White.
Prior to Hello, Dolly!, White appeared in Shuffle Along..., in which he also covered the principal role of Noble Sissle, and The Book of Mormon. He made his Broadway debut in The Scottsboro Boys.
The Jerry Zaks-helmed revival, which also stars Tony winner David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandergelder, Kate Baldwin as Irene Molloy, Taylor Trensch as Barnaby Tucker, and Beanie Feldstein as Minnie Fay, opens officially April 20. Performances began March 15.