The Milwaukee Journal
February 16, 1973
Sentimental, audacious, risquÃ©, campy. Singer Bette Midler dished out a conglomeration of impressions Thursday night at the Performing Arts Center’s Uihlein Hall and kept the sell-out crowd wondering what would happen next.
Only one thing was certain: This â€œDivine Miss Mâ€ is a unique phenomenon.
Miss Midler wasted no time in getting acquainted with her fans. She shimmed her way onto stage and romped into an affecting version of her theme song, â€œFriends.â€ Parading from left to right, using the stage as her playground, she implored the audienceâ€™s affection. And it was permanently hooked before the final chorus of â€œOh, you got to have friends.â€
An electric pace left no time for gaps. Jumping from period to period, style to style, Bette clobbered her fans with variety. Sheer enthusiasm chased her from number to number. A raunchy rock â€˜nâ€™ roll medley, consisting of â€œUptownâ€ and â€œDa Do Ron Ronâ€ from the â€˜50â€™s, led into a mimic of the Andrews Sisters doing â€œChattanooga Choo Choo.â€
Settling down for a trochy revival of â€œAm I Blue,â€ Bette hit with gripping intensity. Then, as if struck by a lighting bolt, she ripped into a raucous version of her million seller â€œDo You Wanna Dance.â€
Thunderous applause followed most numbers, and Miss Midler was easily persuaded to provide encores throughout the evening. She seemed inspired by the audienceâ€™s appreciation, and occasionally threw in flagrant adlibs to coax them on.