Even the threat of death cannot tear a true Broadway fan away from Bette Midler. According to “Page Six,” a 53-year-old tourist from Los Angeles “started to feel dizzy” during the first act of the second preview of the revival of Hello, Dolly! He then tried to get to the aisle, “but he lost consciousness and collapsed before the end of his row.” The show stopped as paramedics took the man to the lobby, checked his vitals, and told him to go to the hospital. The tourist, our new hero, reportedly then exclaimed, “I’d sooner die than miss act two!” “Page Six” doesn’t reveal what happened to the man next, but does say that producer Scott Rudin invited him to see the show again, which, at this point, might constitute a threat to the poor guy’s well-being.
Of course, this story does sound very staged, but anything involving Hello, Dolly! must operate at the height of drama. “Page Six,” which has made Dolly its beat, previously reported that several members of the production got sick backstage last week after David Hyde Pierce brought everyone cookies. Before that, it also noted that theatergoers were complaining that the Schubert Theatre had misspelled Bette Midler’s first name before it added the second “e” onto its marquee. My goodness, someone fetch the smelling salts!