Yearly Archives: 2002

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Ex-Harlette and Sister Girlfriend of Ms. M Sings in L.A. cabaret at the Tiffany Jan. 14

=&0=& Now some of you Westerners get out there and go see Ms. Lewis…should be a dynamite show… Jennifer Lewis has sung with =&1=&, done Broadway’s Dreamgirls and Ain’t Misbehavin’ and currently has a TV gig on Lifetime’s “Strong Medicine.” So, Now What?? Jennifer Lewis has sung with Bette Midler, done Broadway’s Dreamgirls and Ain’t Misbehavin’ and currently has a TV gig on Lifetime’s “Strong Medicine.” So, Now What?? Exactly. Lewis’ cabaret evening Now What? returns every Monday at Los Angeles’ Tiffany Theatre for an indefinite run, beginning Jan. 14. Previously, the night of song and dance played the North Stage Nov. 19-Dec. 17. Lewis co-wrote the show with Mark Alton Brown. After =&2=&discovered her singing cabaret and made her one of the Harlettes, Lewis went on to perform in several musicals, including Eubie, Comin’ Uptown and her own one-woman show, The Diva Is Dismissed, which played the Public Theatre. She has performed featured roles in film and television, including “Mystery Men,” “The Preacher’s Wife,” Cast Away,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Hollywood Squares.” Five-time Grammy winner Mervyn Warren (Take 6) accompanies Lewis on the piano and serves as musical director. Academy Award nominee Marc Shaiman (Hairspray) is musical consultant. Tickets are $35. The Tiffany Theatre is located at 8532 Sunset Boulevard. For reservations, call (310) 289-2999. — By Christine Ehren
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Actor Alan “Rudge” Bates from “The Rose” Knighted…

Another royal Bette can stand:-) 2002 Tony Award winner Alan Bates was chosen for this year’s British honor of knighthood along with film director Ridley Scott. Congratulations to Master Bates!!!!:-) Love, Mister D….tee hee
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Monday, December 30, 2002

New Music Up: Happy New Year Party!!!!

I’d like to take a bit of your time and say thank you, thank you, thank you, for making this site rock in such a short amount of time. I never thought anyone would have that much interest in what I dredge up except for me:-) So this has been a great way to end the year and begin a new one… I’m getting kind of schizoid on where to take this site, so please bear with me or give me feedback and I’ll try to accomodate your wishes…I have areas I really want to work on…print stuff, the Harlettes, and a tribute to Mr. Vilanch. But I have to say this techie stuff is getting to be a little much for this blonde boy (and I use “boy” very loosely):-) My favorite thing is finding news…so if worse comes to worse…that’s what I’m sticking with. And, of course, the music!!! Anyway, I hope all your resolutions are met within the next year AND QUICKLY!!!! I hate dragging those promises around all year round…if I wait too long, I just forget that I made them, so then they just get added on to a new batch the following year…I think I’ve gained 40 pounds that way:-) Anyway…to your health, happiness, and well-being, as we doddle along into the New Year…. With much love, peace, and gratitude…Mister D
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Rex Reed’s Take on Bette’s 10 Minute Perfomance in “Short Talks” on Broadway…

=&0=& Even though it’s only one sentence, I at least found one renowned (notorious) critic, Rex Reed, of the New York Observer who actually commented on her performance: The best thing I saw last week had nothing to do with movies. It was Short Talks on the Universe, a Broadway benefit for Friends in Deed and the Bay Street Theatre, produced by Mike Nichols. When he asked some of the best writers in New York to write an evening of plays lasting no more than 12 minutes each, hundreds of folks packed the Eugene O’Neill two nights in a row at up to $1,000 a clip. They got their money’s worth. Two generations bonded when Angela Lansbury, a symphony in beige cashmere, and Chris O’Donnell played a once-great star and a young stagehand who meet on the empty stage of a deserted theater marked for demolition in Terrence McNally’s Ghost Light. =&1=&In Elaine May’s Extra, curvy movie star Ellen Barkin and scrappy Alec Baldwin were a couple of elegant strangers at a party who hated each other on sight, insulted each other all the way through cocktails, then forgot and forgave on the dance floor the minute the band launched into a Cole Porter tune. Kevin Kline and Christine Baranski literally stole the show in Steve Martin’s hip, name-dropping skit about a tired married couple in bed who torture each other with lies about their extramarital sex lives to keep each other awake all night. The weakest play was a bit that went nowhere by Jon Robin Baitz, with Matthew Broderick as a tail-swishing Devil who arrived from Hell in a puff of smoke to claim the soul of a bad producer (Tony Roberts) in the men’s room at Sardi’s. After the actors took their bows, Mr. Nichols made his curtain speech, and Candice Bergen, Richard Avedon, Diane Sawyer and others too fabled to mention led a standing ovation you could hear a block away. The miscalculated addition of three long, irrelevant Stephen Sondheim songs was generally regarded as weirdly anticlimactic. Still, it was the kind of swanky event that only happens here. With pals like these, you almost wish Mike Nichols would stop directing and just throw parties.
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Rock Critic, Greil Marcus Discussing the Origins of His “Real Life Top 10” Salon Column

=&0=& How did you start writing the “Real Life Top 10” columns for Salon.com? Are those a major focus for you or something to keep you busy between larger projects? =&1=&I started a column in New West magazine in 1978 called “Real Life Rock.” At the end of each essay, I’d include a little list called “Real Life Top 10.” The point was not to just be a list of records, but anything that remotely had to do with music, a dress =&2=&wore at an awards show or a great guitar solo in the middle of a song that otherwise wasn’t very interesting. At some point, Doug Simmons, the music editor at The Village Voice, said, “What if you made that into a real column, annotated each item?” I’d never thought of that. So I made it a monthly column for The Village Voice in around ’86. When The Voice got a new music editor who didn’t like the column, I moved it to Artforum, and I did it there for quite some time. It’s the kind of column that really needs a general interest magazine to work. It wouldn’t work in a music magazine – everybody else would be covering at least half the things I’d be covering, and it wouldn’t make sense to go as far afield as I like to go, into books or movies or advertisements. I’d been reading Salon with more and more enthusiasm during the impeachment year, when they were at their absolute best, both in terms of reporting and critical writing, so I asked if they were interested, and they were. They said that because people have a shorter attention span on the web the column should appear every two weeks, and in fact it’s much easier to do it that way. I’m always thinking about it; I’m always looking for items. I can’t afford to let it pile up till the end of the month. Also, with Artforum, I had a two-month lead time. With Salon, I can have a two-day lead time if I want. It’s much more current in that way. It’s not a central focus, but it’s a kind of organizing principle. I do it for fun. It keeps me looking, keeps me listening, keeps me alert. I’ll do it as long as someone will publish it for me
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Bette and Bag Snaggers…

The Bag Snagger is a new tool for arborists and citizen tree pruners designed to remove plastic bags and other debris from trees. Able to reach heights of more than 40 feet, the Bag Snagger can get rid of virtually all unsightly bags which have lodged in trees in parks, along city streets, or anywhere trees may be threatened. Bag Snaggers are now being used by a number of organizations in New York City including the Central Park Conservancy and the New York Restoration Project founded by Bette Midler. Click below to see photos of Ms. Midler and members of her group removing bags from trees. Bag Snaggers are now available for purchase. The basic Bag Snagger set includes one 12-foot length fiberglass telescoping pole with a Bag Snagger attaching head (pictured here), along with four 6-foot fiberglass extension poles with snap button connectors and a rubber carrying strap. Bette snagging a bag out of a tree: midlerpole.gif Below is Bette with (l. to r.) Bill McClelland and Tim McClelland (two of the Bag Removal Guys) and Bette’s husband Martin von Haselberg: midlerfour.gif Midler and NYRP Group holding the Bag Snagger: midlergroup.gif The Bag Snagger
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Sunday, December 29, 2002

Tom Waits on Bette Midler

=&0=& This is from an interview with Francis Thumm in Interview Magazine, 1989 =&1=& TW: Well, she came in with all the feathers and ermine and red hair on fire, trailing ten or twelve people behind her. She was moving turbulence. She was in the audience, and I think we became friends right away. =&2=& TW: She said. “You need some feathers, girls, hula skirls, and beaded curtains, and then you might have something.” I wrote some songs for her. like “I Never Talk to Strangers” and “Rainbow Sleeves.”(8) As soon as I met her, I felt like I had already known her she can do an hour on your hair. We can talk about anything. I love her musical impulses; she has a great sense of history in terms of her involvement in show business. She wanted to open a lounge act together, featuring us as Edie and Edie Wednesday. We’ve been friends for a long time, you know, since ’74.
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From “The Observer” , July 14, 2002….hmmmm???!!!!

=&0=&Such strange casting and subject…why I can’t even imagine it:-) But you never know with Hollyweird… Nick Paton Walsh Sunday July 14, 2002 The Observer It will take him six months, 2m strokes and 4m calories, according to scientists. And at the end, he’ll swim up the Hudson River to pose beneath the Statue of Liberty. Per Larsson, 36, the Swedish endurance champion, yesterday began his marathon non-stop swim across the Atlantic Ocean, from Dakar to New York. Larsson will be accompanied two-thirds of the way by a ship paid for by sponsors Ready Brekky cereals. He has yet to find a sponsor for the latter third of the trip, although sources say a major network is close to stepping in, and signing him up for a documentary of his swim, to be narrated by athlete Ben Johnson. And, if he completes the swim, oil giant Cheney Rumsfeld has promised to give $4bn to charity. Yet Larsson himself will probably double that sum after betting his life savings with bookmakers William Bill, who has put his odds of survival at 4,000 to ‘virtually nothing at all’. The ambitious Larsson, who recently heard that the Arctic was afloat on the ocean and not built on land, has said for his next feat he wants to swim under the northern ice cap single-handed. Hollywood sources said last night they were planning a film of his life endeavours, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terence Stamp and =&1=&.
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Robert Risko: Caricaturist

=&0=&Robert Risko is a great caricaturist. I love his response to the interviewers description of Bette’s face. He has a book out, The Risko Book (The Monacelli Press) …” a lavish, nonstop whirl through popular culture, a bright and brilliant illuminated manuscript representing the flash of our age.” A new book celebrates American fame and the artist who has drawn everybody… Whom have you drawn the most?=&2=&. I met her once very quickly at a party that a friend of mine, Brett Benedict, threw many years ago for a book he did called Fame. Bette wrote the foreword and we all went to a restaurant in Little Italy. We were introduced and I said, ‘Oh, I have a great drawing of you.’ And she said, ‘Oh, I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to see it.’ She’s hysterical. I love her. Since then I have drawn her several times for The New Yorker. I just did her for Entertainment Weekly for her television show, and I did her for an HBO videocassette package. She is a very pleasant caricature. =&3=& And yet when she smiles. It has the same effect as mustard on a hot dog. BetteVF1988.jpg
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Friday, December 27, 2002

Janis Ian Talks About Her Song, “Some People’s Lives”

=&0=& It’s a faultless song. It is now hopefully on its way to becoming somewhat of a standard. We wrote it in ’86 and pitched it to everyone in the music biz and nobody would touch it. We had some really nice reactions and as a songwriter it’s so rare that you get reactions like that. I remember =&1=&actually called MCA to thank us and to say that it was one of the best songs she’d ever heard but it didn’t work for her album. And I thought “what a class act.” People never do that. Nobody cut it until Michael Johnson in 1988. I did an NAS show in L.A. and =&2=&was there. I found out later that she requested a video of it, and learned it, and we didn’t find out she was intending to cut it until the middle of 90. So it was over four years until Bette cut it.
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