Dolly Levi’s promise “to raise the roof” and “carry on” during the rousing finish of Jerry Herman’s life-affirming anthem “Before the Parade Passes By” held special meaning for Tony winner Bette Midler during tonight's performance of Hello, Dolly!, after the star tumbled from a moving set piece midway through the first act.
The September 14 performance of Hello, Dolly! came to an abrupt halt just prior to intermission when a piece of the show’s revolving set which Midler was standing on collided with a drop that was being lowered—causing the show’s star to fall to the stage.
The incident occurred moments before Midler was about to belt out Hello, Dolly!’s Act I closer “Before the Parade Passes By.”
Stagehands at the Shubert Theatre rushed from the wings to help Midler to her feet and escorted her off stage. The show curtain was brought down, and stage management announced that the performance was pausing due to technical difficulties.
In less than 15 minutes, the audience was on its feet cheering as Midler returned to the stage to deliver “Before the Parade Passes By.” The show’s second act proceeded without incident.
You may hear I was in a little accident on stage tonight; two set pieces collided, I had to make a run for it, and I fell. But I'm fine.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) September 15, 2017
Midler made her celebrated Broadway return in the revival of Jerry Herman's classic that arrived at the Shubert Theatre last March. She will play her final performance January 14, 2018. The production recently announced that Bernadette Peters will take over the starring role beginning January 20.