BetteBack March 20, 1993: Bette Midler Makes Debut In Gypsy Later This Year

Indiana Gazette
Liz Smith
March 20, 1993


Bette Midler makes her dramatic television film debut later
this year when she stars in CBS’ three-hour version of the Arthur
Laurents, Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim theater legend “Gypsy,”
playing the stage mother to end all stage mothers, the rapacious

”¢ Rehearsals for “Gypsy” begin this month with shooting slated for
May. And here’s some casting news. In the role of the
long-suffering Herbie, who wants Rose to settle down and get out of
show biz, will be Pater Riegert, whom you may remember from
the movie “Crossing Delancy” and the short-lived but critically
acclaimed TV series “Middle Ages.” (Riegert and Midler were once
an item, way back when. They remained friends.) Robert Morse
may or may not play Uncle Jocko, the vaudeville comic–confusion
reigns on this point. BdJtsner im cast as Rose’s father. The
all-important choices for Baby June and Gypsy herself have yet to
be made.

Of course, real “Gypsy” aficionados want to know who’ll play Miss
Tessie Tura, Electra and Mazeppa, the three stripping dames who
bump and grind the fabled show to a tumultuous stop. Hollywood
wiseacres insist Midler herself will play all three roles and might
even step into Gypsy’s G-string depending on how religiously she’s
been using her Stalrmaster and Soloflex! I’m Just kidding, of course.
However, Midler does boast a spectacular bosom and a pair of the
shapeliest legs in show biz – she’d probably look terrific in a couple
of beads and a prayer.

And here’s a really hot piece of Bette business: Radio City Music
Hall will not confirm (though it cannot deny) that Bette Midler is
set to play the showplace in the fall in a series of concerts. If this
happens, It will be the Divine One’s return to the New York stage
after a decade of moviemaking. Bette’s last major live singing
appearance (at the Music Hall, colncldentally) was back in 1983, in
her rowdy tour de force “Art or Bust.”

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