Tampa!: Get Out Of Your Tizzy!…Tix On Sale, 01/17/03

Press Release Detail: St Pete Forum
Bette Midler’s “Kiss My Brass” Tour

Bette. It’s one name that needs no introduction, explanation or elaboration. A member in good standing in that rarified league of one-name luminaries, Bette has become the by-word for a musical, theatrical, comedic and cinematic force of nature, often imitated but never duplicated. In her fourth consecutive decade as a world-class artist and in her first tour in four years, innovator and international entertainer, Bette Midler comes to The St. Pete Times Forum on Tuesday, March 2nd as part of her Kiss My Brass Tour.

The Kiss My Brass Tour promises to be nothing short of a once in a lifetime experience as Bette performs the hits and characters that have made her famous, as well as selected songs from her recent release, Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook. Midler will introduce a new generation of music fans to Clooney’s classics. “I have loved Rosemary Clooney for as long as I can remember,” Midler wrote in the album’s liner notes. “She possessed one of the great American voices of the last century – full of warmth, sincerity and truth. Her intonation was impeccable, she never sang a false note, she radiated intelligence and good humor, and boy, could she swing!” For the album, Midler reunited with original piano accompanist Barry Manilow, who produced her hit album Divine Ms. M.

As a singer, comedienne and actress, Midler rose to fame with an outrageous, raunchy stage act, and became known as “The Divine Miss M”, “Trash With Flash” and “Sleaze With Ease”. After acting in Fiddler On The Roof, she performed briefly in the off-Broadway musical Salvation, and worked as a go-go dancer in a Broadway bar, before taking a $50-a-night job at the Continental Baths, New York, singing to male homosexuals dressed in bath towels. As news of these somewhat bizarre happenings began to spread, offers of other work flooded in, including the opportunity to appear regularly on Johnny Carson’s Tonight show.

Her first album, The Divine Miss M, sold 100,000 copies in the first month and her second album, self-titled, Bette Midler, also made the US Top 10. The pianist on most of the tracks was Barry Manilow, who was Midler’s accompanist and musical director for three years in the early 70s. In 1973, Midler received the After Dark Award for Performer Of The Year, and soon became a superstar, able to fill concert halls throughout the USA. Midler topped the popular music charts in 1989 and 1990 with the ballads “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “From a Distance,” both of which won Grammy Awards, in 1990 and 1991 respectively. Her other motion pictures include The Rose (1979), for which she won two Golden Globes, Beaches (1988), For the Boys (1991), Hocus Pocus (1993), Bette of Roses (1995), and the 1996 box office success, The First Wives Club.

By the early 90s she was planning to revive her musical career, and in 1993 brought a spectacular new stage show to Radio City Music Hall. The lavish three-hour concert, her first for 10 years, was called “Experience The Divine”. In 1994 Midler won an Emmy Nomination, along with Golden Globe and National Board of Review Awards for her outstanding performance as Rose in a CBS television musical production of Gypsy. In 1995 she released Bette Of Roses, her first studio album in five years, and continues to play sell-out concerts and make acclaimed movies. Most recently, Midler has released Bathhouse Betty (1998), Bette (2000), and Experience The Divine (2000), a collection of Midler’s biggest hits and trademark songs from throughout her career.

Midler’s SRO tours have placed historically in the Top 5 grossing concerts in a calendar year, and she has sold more than 14 million albums over the course of her career. She has also been awarded 24 gold, platinum and multi-platinum certifications from the RIAA for her albums and singles. A versatile performer whose career in music, film and theater has garnered accolades, Bette Midler’s unparalleled talents are impossible to ignore. With her penchant for seamlessly blending drama and comedy she brings passion and sass to every performance.

Tickets for this event will go on sale Saturday, January 17 – 10am, at the St. Pete Times Forum Ticket Office and all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers including Spec’s Music, FYE and the USF Sun Dome.

To order tickets by phone call Ticketmaster at 813.287.8844 or 727.898.2100. For more information please call 813.301.2500 or visit www.stpetetimesforum.com.

Tickets are priced at $151.75, $91.75, $61.75, and $41.25. Prices do not include service charges.

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