So let's see. Zero Mostel, Lucille Ball, Donna Murphy, Buddy Hackett, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller and Bette Midler are are hacks, right. I get it.
Look, roles differ. What's appropriate in one might be inappropriate in another. What these folks have in common is that are or were consummate entertainers, and musical comedy is in large part an entertainment. Ask anyone who was at the Schubert last night if they'd like a refund because Bette broke the fourth wall.
Sometimes it just seems as if many of you have nothing better to do than to sit back in the ivory tower of academic theater and criticize. Yes, Bette is every bit a pro.
And just for the record, I have two things to add. First, I know the music director of the show, the gifted Andy Einhorn, and I asked him about Bette, to which he replied "Bette is my everything, I have tremendous love and respect for her. She's the best". And second, I DID see Buddy Hackett in I Had a Ball and it remains one of the funniest performances I've ever seen.