Thursday, December 9, 2004 · Last updated 6:13 a.m. PT
Bette Midler knows her territory but misses key fan

EVERETT, Wash. — Bette Midler and her staff did their homework. She knew just where she was. What she didn’t know was who else was there.

Midler had a sellout crowd whooping and cheering with a string of well-honed, localized one-liners.

For starters, she got the town right. Other performers, including the punk band Green Day, have thanked “Seattle” fans, unaware that Seattle is about 25 miles to the south.

Everett’s municipal motto, “Great thinking. With a view,” got Midler’s approval – sort of.

Better that, she said, than “(Bleep) Seattle.”

She stumbled, however, in a dig at the town’s legal defense for a Ten Commandments monument outside the police headquarters in a case pending in U.S. district Court.

“I’m disappointed Mayor (Ray) Stephanson couldn’t come tonight,” Midler said. “It was his turn to guard the Ten Commandments.”

Stephanson was actually with his wife in the audience.

“It brought the house down when she said that,” the mayor said Wednesday. “She even pronounced my name right. As I saw people at the concert, they would go, ‘Oh, you are here.'”

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