Joanna Gleason on Bette and “Bette.”

Andrew Gans

Q: Tell me about your experience on “Bette.”

Gleason: To my mind, in concert from what I have seen or just seen film of, there’s almost nobody who can do what she does. My admiration for her is absolutely unbounded. She’s an interpreter of a song with almost no tricks, and she’s always been that way. She’s always been right from the heart, from the kishkas. She’s clever, she’s a smart woman. Nobody can hold a candle to her in that arena. I’m a huge fan. We got along beautifully — we gave each other little gifts. We would sit and laugh; we had a lot of shared history intersecting from the seventies and eighties in New York, though we hadn’t known each other. It’s just that [television] wasn’t the milieu for her.

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