Monthly Archives: March 2003

Monday, March 31, 2003

Bettezilla Takes On New York City

New York’s Need for Green
Gotham Gazette, March 30, 2003
By Bette Midler

Bettezilla.jpgWhen I came back to New York to live in 1993, I found a city reeling – buried under piles of garbage! Parks were abandoned, highways were filthy and ugly to drive on, magnificent buildings were covered in graffiti, and even the steps of our revered Metropolitan Museum of Art were littered and far from inviting.

I swooned. I was more than depressed. Then I pulled myself together and got mad. How can the biggest, richest city in the world have the littlest heart? How could this have happened to the best that this country has to offer? Read More

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A Big Bundle of ‘Roses’

Recorded Roses
by Ken Mandelbaum
March 31, 2003

On a recent episode of “Will & Grace,” Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) made it clear that, for a young, male gay-in-training, all three cast recordings of Gypsy are required listening. The same probably applies to others, regardless of sex or sexual persuasion. If you’re reading this, I’m fairly certain you possess the first Gypsy, Columbia’s 1959 Broadway cast album.

As was his wont, producer Goddard Lieberson avoided preserving lead-in and integral dialogue on his show albums. On Gypsy, Ethel Merman is deprived of the spoken lead-ins to “Some People” (replaced by a few bars of music created for the recording), “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” and “Rose’s Turn” that subsequent Roses got to preserve. And there are numerous trims in the score, notably in “Small World,” “Together Wherever We Go,” and the kiddie numbers. Read More

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Saturday, March 29, 2003

Updates: Need A Hug?

Are you tired of all the fussin’, fightin’, warrin’, and hostility???…..then take a break from the “official bette midler club”:-) LOL…sorry, but I had to go there!!!!

Just wanted to let everyone know I updated a day early so I could rest on Sunday…and from the look of things, it’s not a moment too soon….

New Music: The theme this week is “To Make You Smile”…I think we could all use one, and a hug wouldn’t be bad either. Anywho…hope you enjoy the selections… Read More

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Friday, March 28, 2003

Time Magazine This Week: Great Performances to Savor

Great Performances to Savor
Byline: Bill Saporito
Publication: Time
Issue: March 31, 2003 Vol. 161 No. 13 Special Issue/Gulf War II
Publication Date: 03-31-2003
Page: A30A+
Section:Changed The World

johnnybt.jpg“YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE,” say the lucky ones who were. Of all the ball games, concerts and other live performances that go by the boards every day, a precious few live on. You probably have your own personal favorites: that wild day your home team finally won the Big One; the night in Jersey when the Boss was really on; the time you wandered into some jazz joint to find Coltrane at his peak. Then there are some we might all agree on–moments that marked a new phase in the arts or new heights of athletic achievement. We offer an album of some of the great ones that took place on TIME’s watch: Read More

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Thursday, March 27, 2003

New Line Cinema Eyeing a Film of Hairspray

By Robert Simonson
March 26, 2003

It’s only been a few days since the “Chicago” won the Oscar for Best Picture, but Hollywood producers are already dreaming up ideas for filmdom’s next blockbuster movie musical. Liz Smith reported in the New York Post that New Line Cinema wants to make a movie out of the musical Hairspray (which itself was based on a movie). Smith said the production company wants to shoot the film while the show was still a hit on Broadway.

Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films, one of the major authors of “Chicago,” told the New York Times that his first order of business for the post-Oscar season was to begin work on a new movie musical. One distinct possibility may be to reteam with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are looking toward a new big screen version of Frank Loesser’s classic, Guys and Dolls. Read More

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Fiddlin’ With “The Rose”

Sydney Morning Herald
By Bernard Zuel

There are weird gigs and there are weird gigs. Then there’s the gig the young Dixie Chicks were booked to play in small-town Texas 13 years ago.

It paid $100 – nothing to be sneezed at for the teenage Erwin sisters Emily and Martie who weren’t afraid of the odd bit of busking. All they had to do was sing The Rose, the Bette Midler tearjerker they knew back to front.

It’s just that one of the audience was dead. In fact, he was the guest of honour. The gig was a funeral, an open-casket funeral at that. Read More

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Bette Song Sung On The USS Kittyhawk

MWR event on Kitty Hawk features karaoke, pizza, ice cream
By Kendra Helmer, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Monday, March 24, 2003

ABOARD THE USS KITTY HAWK — As bombs and missiles crowded one mess deck, sailors belting out tunes crowded another.

War faces became animated and chiefs chilled out with junior sailors during karaoke night Saturday on the USS Kitty Hawk.

The music ranged from Frank Sinatra to Vanilla Ice, with some George Strait thrown in by some country boys.

Airman Michael Benavidez got the crowd cheering and chortling as he pumped his fist into the air, singing Aerosmith-style to “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Read More

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Crystal’s Corner: Bette and War

Mister D: I’d like to introduce everyone to Crystal. She’s 14. Crystal wrote me a couple of days ago and said that she would like to write articles whenever I got too tired and busy. Well, I thought that was the nicest offer anyone had given me in a long time…and it was so timely. Mister D was Mister Dumps:-) Anyway, how could I turn that kind of initiative down. I thought it would be refreshing to hear from someone so young that admired Bette. Ms. Midler’s influence seems to span generations and I personally am grateful for that. So anytime Crystal writes…the beginning of the headline will read “Crystal’s Corner”. I asked her to just write a small piece about why Bette was relevant to her during these chaotic times…kind of put her on the spot. I know the subject matter is dicey, but the message is from the heart, so please be respectful. And, Crystal, thank you for the offer and taking the time: Read More

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The Musical Movie Rebirth: Hey Hollywood! Let Bette Strut Her Stuff!

A Rebirth For Musical Cinema
Courant Film Critic
March 23 2003

Whether or not “Chicago” sweeps tonight’s Academy Awards, as predicted, Rob Marshall’s flashy, hot-jazz-baby revision of the Kander and Ebb Broadway hit will almost certainly set off a new technicolor wave of a once beloved American movie genre.

Together with Baz Luhrman’s “Moulin Rouge!,” which pulled down a best-picture nomination and a best-actress nod for Nicole Kidman last year, “Chicago” can be given credit for heating up Hollywood’s interest in the musical, which had fallen on hard, cold times since its heyday in the ’60s. Read More

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‘Boat Trip’ Cruises Fine Line of Funny Stereotypes

‘Boat Trip’ Cruises Fine Line of Funny Stereotypes
By Mike Szymanski
March 21, 2003

Stereotypes can be funny. That was evident when “Barbershop” became one of the funniest runaway hit comedies of last year. The wit is sharp, self-deprecating and shocking, and ironically got protested by African American leaders even though the film was made, directed and produced by black people.
Likewise, the runaway hit comedy of this year, “Bringing Down the House” deals with racial stereotypes and prejudices, especially by one character, Betty White. But it’s a starring vehicle for Queen Latifah, the only African American nominated this year for an Academy Award. Read More

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