Bette Midler honored by Drama League with special award for return to Broadway in ‘Hello, Dolly!’

Bette Midler just picked up her first prize of the theater season for her return to Broadway in the Tony-winning musical “Hello, Dolly!.” The Drama League announced that it will fete Midler at its annual awards  luncheon on May 19. Midler is to receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award.

This is a special prize, not to be confused with the Distinguished Performance Award. The roster of nominees for that will be revealed on April 19. In addition, the league hands out competitive awards for new productions and revivals of both plays and musicals.

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Midler is a show business legend, with three Grammy Awards, three Emmys, and two Oscar nominations for Best Actress (“The Rose” in 1979, “For the Boys” in 1991). She won an honorary Special Award at the Tonys in 1974 for her one-month concert stand at the Palace theater. However, despite getting her start in the ensemble of “Fiddler on the Roof” in the mid 1960s, she has never had a leading role in a musical until now.

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Also receiving  honorary awards from the Drama League are animal trainer Bill Berloni, who is set to get the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award, and  Michael Greif, who will receive The Founders Award for Excellence in Directing. Greif, a three-time Tony Awards nominee, has two new tuners on Broadway this season with “Dear Evan Hansen” and “War Paint.” He may well prevail at the Tonys for his helming of either of these frontrunners for Best Musical.

Predict the Tony Awards nominees now; change them until May 2

Be sure to make your Tony Awards predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Broadway insiders can see how their shows and performers are faring in our Tony odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on May 2. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Tony Awards taking place right now in our theater forums.

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