Concert In Review
March 28, 1973
The audience (young and middle aged) gave the orangehaired singer standing ovations (the spontaneous variety), during her numbers, at the end of the first portion of the show, and a 10-minute one at the conclusion.
Never have I seen such crowd adoration, at-a concert in Oklahoma. It was reminiscent of the Judy Garland days, even though “The Divine Miss M” in no way can be compared with the late star.
IN HER own words, Bawdy Bette is “the last of the truly tacky women . . .trash with flash.” She’s no “Tiny Tim flash” fad.
The woman, can sing, but her gimmick is dipping into the past and coming up with the songs of the’40s “Hubba,.Hubba”. “Chattanooga Choo Choo“, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (from Company B), much to the delight of her young followers. And, she also blends in the rock ‘n roll tunes of the ’60s.
Her blues–”Am I Blue”, are great, too.
BETTE SANG ’em all during two hours–”Empty Bed Blues,” “Bad Sex.” “Uptown Baby,” “Do You Wanna Dance,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Hello In There,” “The Leader of the Pack” and “Chapel of Love,” plus the “oldies” mentioned above. It was her “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” that brought the house
down with three encores of the WW IT hit.
Her “tacky” costumes included a tight-fitting, silver lame gown of the 40’s fashions, lavender slacks, high blocked heels and artificial red roses adorning her frizzy hair.
Bette conversed with her audience at length, tossing in some Tricia Nixon Cox jokes. This reviewer’s only complaint was she left the audience screaming and applauding for more–which is good in showbiz parlance, but the least she could have done was appear just one more time, even after the band left the stage, so her fans could feast their eyes on their idol.
Her refusal to take just one more curtain call bow was truly “tacky” in the B. Midler sense of the word.