Bette Midler or The Divine Miss M, her stage moniker, has been an iconic personality for nearly five decades. Sheâ€™s a Grammy award-winning recording artist whoâ€™s been nominated for two Academy Awards, won four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards and a special Tony Award. On Thursday, May 28, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Midler proved that at age 69 she is unstoppable as she performed an almost 2-hour show of singing, dancing and bawdy jokes for the Divine Intervention tour.
The Divine Intervention tour is Midlerâ€™s first in nearly a decade and comes after a stretch of time spent acting in films and on Broadway. Now, her return to touring, following last yearâ€™s studio album, Itâ€™s The Girls!, brings Midler full circle performing the music that launched an illustrious career. This time around Midler is backed by a stellar cast including a 14-piece orchestra and her trio of backup singer/dancers, The Harlettes. Set against a backdrop of moving pieces and animation, the set design, in itself, is magical, constantly changing projections, a living, breathing entity all its own.
Bette Midler was welcomed by a standing ovation as she walked out on stage to the receptive Los Angeles crowd. She started the night singing the title tune, â€œDivine Interventionâ€ with the Harlettes, sauntering full stage. Midler poked fun at social media, saying it was so tiring, and some gems about the Kardashians and how if she had known a sex tape would have brought her fame earlier. The use of songs and Midlerâ€™s off-beat one-liners made the performance feel more like a Broadway musical than a concert. There was a tribute to the wheelchair bound mermaid Delores DeLago, Midler made famous in the 1980s, but now, alas, she has passed on.
Additional highlights from the eveningâ€™s performance included Midler dressed as the witch Winifred from the film Hocus Pocus singing â€œI Put a Spell on Youâ€ as the audience roared with laughter and applause. But perhaps the most moving moment of the night was when Midler sang â€œThe Roseâ€ from the movie of same name, where she was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe, when the entire Staples Center held up their cell-phone flashlights in unison. The song was met with a standing ovation and sincere appreciation from the teary-eyed Midler.
Bette Midler was in true form, singing well and having more energy than everyone put together on that stage. Some of the songs of the night included: â€œDo You Wanna Danceâ€, â€œFrom a Distanceâ€, â€œWind Beneath My Wingsâ€, â€œBei Mir Bist Du Shoenâ€, â€œBeast of Burdenâ€, and the song that started it all, the Andrews Sisterâ€™s classic, â€œBoogie Woogie Bugle Boyâ€ ended the night.
Ms Midler continues with the Divine Intervention tour and you can read about it on her website and Facebook page.