Tony Awards 2017 updates: Kevin Spacey’s opening is a hit; ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ gains momentum with multiple wins

Jerry Zaks, director of the hit Broadway revival of “Hello, Dolly!,” has known success before. His Tony Award nomination for “Dolly” is his eighth, and he’s already taken home four Tonys for such shows as the 1990 production of “Six Degrees of Separation” and the 1992 revival of “Guys and Dolls.”

But nothing prepared him for directing Bette Midler and the “Dolly” juggernaut, which has won critical praise, earned 10 Tony nominations and broke the box-office record for first-day ticket sales. The top ticket price of $748 is second only to “Hamilton” and its $849 premium seats.

Few Broadway shows boast the pedigree of 1964’s “ Hello, Dolly!” starring Carol Channing as lovable 1890s New York matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi, with music and lyrics by the legendary Jerry Herman, book by Michael Stewart and direction by Gower Champion. That show took home 10 Tony Awards including best musical and was on Broadway for seven years.

As Zaks laughs his way through an interview, it is clear how much the 70-year-old actor-turned-director relishes his turn at the helm. Enamored of “Hello, Dolly!” since college, he says directing the show has been “a lifelong dream come true.”

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