The casting, which had been the subject of persistent rumors in the theater industry, was seemingly confirmed Tuesday morning in a social media post, now removed, that said that Peters and Victor Garber would join the cast early next year. By Tuesday evening, the producers of “Hello, Dolly!,” led by Scott Rudin, had confirmed that Peters would step into the role. Garber, who would replace Midler’s co-star David Hyde Pierce, was not mentioned in the confirmation.
The question of who would replace Bette Midler in “Dolly!,” one of the top-selling shows on Broadway, has been a hot topic of speculation this summer. In the theater-industry rumor mill, a slew of names made the rounds — including Dolly Parton and Sutton Foster — but by August, Peters, last on Broadway in the 2011 production of “Follies,” began to look like the frontrunner. At the time, the comment from Scott Rudin, the show’s lead producer, was the coy, “There’s no replacement for Bette.”