NEWSMAKERS


NEWSMAKERS

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

NEW YORK

Tony Award-winning actress Betty Buckley has been tapped to lead the national tour of the latest exuberant Broadway production of “Hello, Dolly!,” a gig she calls “such a gift.”

“I’m just so happy to take such a happy show all around America. It’s like ‘Make America Happy Again,’” Buckley told The Associated Press on Monday. “It’s like an antidote.”

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

Buckley saw the show with Midler this winter and “was in rapture,” sitting in the second row and weeping. The production was “one of the most joyous pieces of musical theater I have ever experienced.

“Bette Midler was absolutely like an ice cream sundae. You just wanted to scoop her up,” Buckley said. Producer Scott Rudin reached out, and she didn’t need much persuading, citing the cast, production values and costume designs. “I’m such a fan of this production and I’m such a fan of Bette’s that it never occurred to me that it was something I would be invited to do.”

The tour kicks off Oct. 2 at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square.

Olympics, ‘This Is Us’ give NBC a golden victory in ratings

LOS ANGELES

Olympic thrills and the aftermath of a patriarch’s death on “This Is Us” combined to give NBC a golden ratings victory.

NBC’s total viewership last week topped that of the other three major broadcasters combined by 27 percent, the biggest network regular-season gap since Nielsen’s electronic “people meters” began measuring ratings.

That comes with an asterisk: It’s not measured against weeks that included Super Bowls and a full seven nights of Olympics, NBC said.

Associated Press

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