Caesar Salad Girl, Carol Hatchett, kickin’ up her heels in divine Miss M’s Las Vegas Extravaganza
BY: LYNN MARIE
Goodbye Celine, move over Donny & Marie, the Divine Miss M. has been taking the Las Vegas strip by storm for the past year with The Showgirl Must Go On currently playing at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Bette is joined on stage by the Harlettes, a 13-piece band â€“which includes a six-piece horn section from the Las Vegas band â€œThe Fat City Hornsâ€â€”and 18 female dancers, who tackle the lively and energetic choreography created by the legendary Toni Basil (of â€œMickeyâ€ fame). One of these spectacular dancers is Carol Hatchett from Chicago, Illinois.
Ms. Hatchett grew up in the Chicago area and studied at University of Illinois â€“ Chicago. After graduation she knew she wanted to dance and she knew she needed to go to New York or Los Angeles.
â€œI wanted to dance so much, explains Hatchett.â€ I went to New York for a summer extensive program and studied at the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, I loved New York but it wasnâ€™t for me, explains Hatchett, so I said Iâ€™m going to try Los Angeles when I graduate and I relocated there, it was fantastic. All of a sudden you are performing with all the people you seen in videos and television and you are auditioning and all that is very exciting.â€
â€œWhen I first arrived in Los Angeles, I danced at the hottest club at the time which was The Palladium.â€ While dancing at this club she met Toni Basil who is choreographer for the current production show in Las Vegas.
â€œToni has been my mentor in Los Angeles, she pulled me in and said this is how it goes, explains Hatchett.â€ From there she became Ms. Basilâ€™s assistant and eventually got the audition of a lifetime for Betteâ€™s show in Las Vegas. Basil encouraged Hatchett to audition for the show.
Hatchett was a late bloomer she started dancing when she was 15 years old but she knew from that point thatâ€™s what she wanted to do. â€œI fell in love with dance and havenâ€™t stopped. I canâ€™t imagine doing anything other than dancing,â€ explains Hatchett.
Hatchett turns up the passion and drama in Bette Midlerâ€™s The Showgirl Must Go On. â€œI have been very blessed to work with some of the best entertainers in the business. Iâ€™ve learned a lot, a whole lot, on so many levels working with Bette. There is an old school process with Bette that hardly anyone does anymore,â€ explains Hatchett.
â€œThereâ€™s rehearsing and revamping and visualizing and changing. She has all these elements that not many artists do these days. She takes the time to make stories and make the magic. That is really what we are doing even though it sounds a little corny that is what we are doing on stage. A lot of storytelling; thatâ€™s what I have learned working with her, not just show up, phone in, itâ€™s much more than that and she is current on current events. Every time we come back to Las Vegas it is fresh and new. I donâ€™t know anyone that works as hard as Bette. Everything is constantly evolving and changing and growing; itâ€™s all her, genuinely her.â€
â€œI try to implement this philosophy on my own projects; Iâ€™ve barely touched on so much she has given me. I want to take everything I can from this experience. Iâ€™m excited to be working with the Divine Miss M at this time of my life as Iâ€™m trying to step out as an artist myself with my singing and songwriting. You always want to be personable and â€œin touchâ€ with your audience, explains Hatchett â€œI want to take Betteâ€™s magic with me.â€
Hatchett advises any up and coming dancer to â€œnever give up.â€ I feel very blessed and I do find myself pinching myself. You should never give up on your dreams whatever it is that you want to do or become as an artist, you should always keep that in mind if you work hard enough and if you believe. You really have to work at your craft and become an original. There are always roller coasters in your career, explains Hatchett, there are going to be upâ€™s and downs.â€
Bette still embodies all that is glittery and glamorous about old-school Hollywood. Itâ€™s no surprise that each of her fabulous costumes sparkled under the spotlights. She took the stage for more than 90 minutes. The unflappable Bette sounded, looked and moved better than ever. She has these little quips thrown in between songs and a knack for interacting with the audience. She sings, she dances, she acts, and she tells bawdy jokes and all this at the tender age of 63. Her breathless enthusiasm is truly a breath of fresh air.