Count the Divine Miss M as a Garth Brooks fan and vice versa. As Garth gets ready to start his residency at the Wynn Las Vegas‘s Encore Theater in December, he and Bette Midler, who plays the rival Colosseum at Caesars Palace, have struck up a friendship.
Bette joined Wynn CEO Steve Wynn at one of Garth’s two “try-out’ shows at the Encore this summer. “Bette was just screaming at me,” Wynn says, she was enjoying Brooks’ performance so much. The two superstars talked backstage in what is now Garth’s dressing room.
“She’s like on batteries,” Garth enthused in Vegas following his “unretirement” announcement. “She’s such a doll; she can say things that I can’t get away with. You just instantly love her … we’ve become friends. We’re doing something for one of her Halloween charities coming up.” He didn’t volunteer more details, but every year, Bette hosts Hulaween, a New York benefit for her pet charity, the New York Restoration Project. This year’s event takes place Oct. 30. (Garth is not listed on the invitation; the evening’s entertainment is Crosby, Stills & Nash.)
Bette didn’t offer Garth any advice about Las Vegas other than “you’re going to love it here,” Garth says. But the entertainer can probably keep her restaurant suggestions or any other nightlife advice she may have to herself. “I’m going to come here and I’m not going to go out,” says Garth. “I’m going to sleep a lot and I’m going to play music. That’s what I do. So [Wynn’s] got us taken care of here, but I don’t know if I’ll see that much of Vegas.”
Garth says whether he stays in Vegas for the entire weekend depends upon his daughters’ schedules. “If there’s a soccer game on Saturday, I’m back” to Oklahoma between shows, he says. “If my kids are with me, I’m staying [in Vegas] or if the kids are gone with [ex-wife] Sandy for the weekend, like Mother’s Day weekend or something, I’m staying here because it just makes sense for me. Being superstitious, the less you fly, the less chances you have of something going on.”
Tickets to Garth’s first 20 concerts at the Wynn Las Vegas Encore Theater sold out in just five hours.