BootLeg Betty

Should Bette Host The Tony’s After Being Snubbed?

Gold Derby
Hey, Bette Midler: Be a good sport and host the Tonys
By Paul Sheehan
May 03 2013 10:15 am


Bette Midler has a chance to show Broadway that all is forgiven for snubbing her star turn in “I’ll Eat You Last.” She should set her bruised ego aside and host the upcoming Tony Awards telecast.

The two-time Oscar contender was widely expected to reap her first Tony bid for playing Hollywood’s first superagent Sue Mengers in John Logan’s tart comedy. But the 42 folks on the nominating committee gave her the cold shoulder.

Midler was likely edged out of the Best Actress (Play) race by Broadway vet Kristine Nielsen who was bumped up from featured to lead for her scene-stealing performance in Christopher Durang‘s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

While Bette may be bitter, just imagine how Sigourney Weaver, who plays Masha, feels. After all, it was her star power that got her pal’s play to Broadway and she is the only one of the title characters not to contend at the Tonys.

No doubt, Weaver will be in the audience at Radio City on Tony night, cheering on contending castmates David Hyde Pierce, Billy Magnussen and Shalita Grant as well as Nielsen and Durang. And she may well present a prize, having done so three times in the past.

Midler should call up the Tony producers and offer to preside over these kudos. Both she and the Tonys are celebrating their 67th year.

As the hostess with the mostest, she could be the toast of Broadway. She could well win an Emmy for her efforts like Hugh Jackman (2005) and Neil Patrick Harris (2009). And emceeing these awards would be a great reminder to Hollywood of her many talents. In 1981, she did just that when she made a memorable appearance on the Oscars.

Back in 1979, Midler was nominated for her first Academy Award for her film debut in “The Rose.” She lost Best Actress to Sally Field who had swept all the precursor prizes for playing “Norma Rae.” Two years later, she finally made it to the stage of the Dorothy Chander Pavillion to present the Best Song award. As you can see in the clip below, she stole the show with her sassy rundown of the nominees.

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