Monthly Archives: October 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Bette Midler – I Put A Spell On You – Happy Halloween!

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BetteBack June 9, 1997: Bette Midler Hits The Ruby Wax Show

Daily Herald Suburban June 9, 1997 hqdefault “The Ruby Wax Show” has a distinctly British feel. It’s a lark, as Wax compares breasts with Pamela Anderson Lee, climbs into bed with Goldie Hawn and goes shopping with Bette Midler. But the thing that makes it work — both here and abroad — is Wax’s Midwestern straightforwardness, which must seem as exotic to U.K.viewers as “Cracker” is to us. Wax holds up one of Lee’s skimpy T-shirts and says with disbelief, “Now, you don’t have a 4-year-old child. This is for your body.” She discusses childbirth with Hawn, saying, “I never forgave my children for not knowing where the exit was.” She compares struggling actor jobs with Midler and talks about being a waitress at the Evanston Holiday Inn. The amazing thing, at least in tonight’s debut, is the way these stars reveal their essential selves when confronted with this lunatic. Lee is confounded. “Can I be your body double?” Wax asks on the set of “Baywatch ” “As long as you don’t tell anybody,” Lee responds. Midler, meanwhile, comes off as superior. She suffers Wax in order to plug her latest album. But ifs Hawn who really opens up, especially on being stereotyped as a ditz. “I had a hard time with the giggle and the look,” she says, “because people expected it of me.” So when Wax gets Hawn giggling in her hot tub, it seems all the more natural. Although it airs at 7:30 p.m., “Ruby Wax” is not family viewing. “Is this getting too intim ate?” Hawn says at one point while giving her ditsy look, and the answer is yes. But, compared to Barbara Walters and other TV interview shows, “Ruby Wax” is a breath of fresh air — a cool breeze of summer viewing. ‘The First Wives Club’: Vanessa Lachey Joins Alyson Hannigan & Megan Hilty In TV Land Remake BetteBack Review September 20, 1996: SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT `FIRST WIVES CLUB’
  • BetteBackBack October 28, 1994: Bette Midler And Goldie Hawn May Make ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ The Movie

    BetteBack November 15, 1996: How Do The ‘First Wives’ Stars Feel About Men? ...  Read More

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    Bette Midler On The Box Office Failure Of For The Boys:

    Bette Midler On The Box Office Failure Of For The Boys: “The public was completely ready for it, they just didn’t come to see it. They had other things to do! They were barbecuing that weekend. … They couldn’t get away.” (1993) Image may contain: 1 person , closeup and indoor
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    2016 – Bette Midler – Marc Jacobs Ad

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    BetteBack January 23, 1974: Divine Raunch

    Fort Worth Daily Skiff January 23, 1974 41uIWA1z-CL._SS500_ It is no news to most people that Bette Midler, the five-foot-high selfannounced queen of the truly tacky people, has come out with her second album. What may surprise those people who are not followers of the Divine Miss M though, is how fine this album really is. Last year when Bette came to Dallas in concert, not many straights had heard about her. The audience looked at least 50 per cent gay and at least 35 per cent more camp. A person committed a definite faux pas if he arrived in jeans. Though the raunch queen s name was not known to most people at TCU then (“ What’s a Bette Midler?” ), her Bobby Freeman song “ Do You Want to Dance0” got a lot of Snack Bar juke box air time. But it wasn’t until last semester that Bette hit it big enough to be worthy of big features in Newsweek and Time, although there were earlier, shorter mentions of her. The story of Bette’s rise from Honolulu high school girl to guest star on Johnny Carson and regular performer at a homosexual health spa where she sharpened her comic repartee, made her truly a polished performer by the time she reached the national scene. Now, after reaching a public through concerts and two record albums, she has been quoted as saying she is tiring of her image and that it isnt really her. This is a somewhat typical lament ot stars who ride to fame on a personality they later choose to discard. Be that as it may, her new album is good and a definite break from her first Bette complained that in her first album she was forced to include material that she didn’t want, but that was supposed to sell her better to her public. The second album supposedly drops this and contains only material that Bette truly feels comfortable doing. The two best songs on the album are “ Higher and Higher (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me)” and Bob Dylan’s “ I Shall Be Released.’ Both come at the end of their respective sides. The advantage here goes to the lucky person who has seen Bette in concert. The vision of her strutting around the stage as she goes into the final crescendo of ‘Higher and Higher” adds another dimension to the enjoyment of the song. Whereas “ I Shall Be Released” reaches other real qualities, “ Optimistic Voices,” taken from the ‘Wizard of Oz” soundtrack, is pure fun. Hoagy Carmichael‘s “ Skylark” and “ Lullaby of Broadway are very definitely period pieces and it may take a few hearings to feel good with them, but they are first-rate. In fact the whole album is. If you ever get a chance to get to a Midler concert, do so. Until then, comfort yourself with her two magnificent first albums. Bette Midler On Songs She Loves But Would Never Sing: BetteBack December 14, 1973: Bette Midler Hits Sophomore Slump [on the ‘girl bands’ of her youth] “The Ronettes, The Chiffons, The Marvelettes, The Crystals.. they were completely and utterly wholesome and whimsical…”

    BetteBack January 16, 1974: Bette Midler – 2nd Album Review | BootLeg Betty ...  Read More

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    Bette Midler On Moving Past For The Boys To Hocus Pocus:

    Bette Midler On Moving Past For The Boys To Hocus Pocus: “I’m not disappointed anymore. Because, you know, I saw my box-office grosses, and I’m just swimming along. Yes, I have a new hit — so f— the past! I don’t have to think about For The Boys anymore, so there!” (1993) Image may contain: 1 person , people smiling , outdoor

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    Bette Midler – Chapel Of Love – Kiss My Brass – 2004

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    This is Hulaween: Bette Midler Hosts Her 21st Annual Bash in New York City

    Vogue This is Hulaween: Bette Midler Hosts Her 21st Annual Bash in New York City OCTOBER 30, 2016 7:31 PM by MARIA WARD 2016-10-29_2-57-57

    The ultimate Halloween revival has already happened. On Friday night, Bette Midler hosted her 21st annual Hulaween bash in New York, and suffice it to say, the gathering set the bar well in advance of the official holiday proceedings. The legendary EGOT-winning actress arrived to the (supposedly haunted) Waldorf Astoria wearing the most bewitching of party garb in an ode to her character, Winifred Sanderson, from 1993’s Hocus Pocus. “Don’t tell her it’s my idea, but we need Hocus Pocus 2,” joked Kathy Griffin. The Mistress of Ceremonies was dressed in a decidedly couture take on the Snapchat deer filter costume. “What’s funny is, I’m in Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, a Dolce & Gabbana tux, and a cardboard cutout of a Snapchat filter,” Griffin said. “But for Bette, it’s a small price to pay.”  ...  Read More

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    Sunday, October 30, 2016

    Bette Midler new interview: ‘I was the biggest coward in the world’

    The Telegraph Bette Midler interview: ‘I was the biggest coward in the world’ By Paul Sexton 30 OCTOBER 2016 • 12:39PM Bette Midler in New York 
    The Grammy-winning singer and actress tells Paul Sexton about her accidental, taboo-busting journey from Hawaii to Hollywood
    It’s hard to believe that Bette Midler isn’t a native New Yorker. She manages to combine a chutzpah and a Manhattan-style savviness that not everyone born to a seamstress and a house painter in Honolulu could manage. But the entertainer has been living in the city for more than 50 years and her intimate relationship with its cultural evolution is once again in sharp relief, thanks to a new production of Hello, Dolly! on Broadway and a remastering of The Divine Miss M, the 1972 album which made her name.

    She arrives for our early evening rendezvous in a small hotel off Madison Avenue, in convivial mood, modestly but elegantly attired in a simple sweater and large earrings. Her generous demeanour belies a busy day, with rehearsals and a Facebook Q&A with her ever-admiring fans.

    The singer, actress and comedienne has been actively involved in the remounting of her first disc. “I heard it again, and I like it,” she says. “I was like, ‘Oh, don’t make me do that’, but I had to listen. I really wanted the old sound, because I think part of the charm of that record is that it’s very warm sounding.”  Some of it, indeed, was made in front of a crowd invited into the studio to eat Chinese food and observe her show. “It’s part-live,” she says drily. “Like me.”
    Bette Midler in 1998 comedy drama Beaches
    Bette Midler in 1998 comedy drama Beaches CREDIT: REX FEATURES
    As an ingenue in New York (she relocated to the city in 1965 using earnings from a bit part in a long-forgotten Julie Andrews film called Hawaii) Midler’s first focus was on musical theatre, notably in a long-running production of Fiddler on the Roof. As a solo singer, her style was honed in the city’s live venues, but not to the usual rock club template. Instead, she performed her show in the bathhouses where gay men met for sexual encounters. Looking back, Midler, now 70, takes satisfaction in the pathfinding role she played in the emerging Gay Pride movement. “I had no idea at the time,” she says. “I knew there were gay people here, but I didn’t know I was helping them kick the door open, because I was just in there doing my job. And it was a great job. My husband asks me if it’s time to retire, but I feel energised – I’m kind of awake “I think I was the first person on television ever to say ‘gay’ on The Johnny Carson Show. I said I was working in a gay bathhouse, and I think the house went up, but to me it was no big deal. I’d been in community theatres where the place was full of queens, and I’d gone to see the drag shows. I didn’t pay any attention to it, it was just like ‘Oh, humanity’.” “[The gay community] wanted me to succeed,” she adds. “They saw something in me that I think people didn’t see. The emotionalism [of my show], the intimacy, the fearlessness, the outrageousness. That’s what they enjoyed in their life and they saw me as part of it.” You might assume that such fearlessness evolved from her Jewish upbringing in a chiefly Asian community in Honolulu, but she won’t have it. “I never fought anything,” she says firmly. “I was the biggest coward in the world, I was hiding in the corner. “I was the only white person in my class, so I had it the opposite way, but when I came to the ‘mainland’, as they called it, I didn’t really understand what was going on with the civil rights struggle. I mean, I knew vaguely that there was slavery, from my social studies class, but I wasn’t living in the middle of it. But as your consciousness raises, you finally say ‘This won’t do’.”
    Bette Midler: 'I never fought anything'
    Bette Midler: ‘I never fought anything’ CREDIT: DAN HALLMAN
    The Divine Miss M – which became a million-seller in the US and prompted the first of her three Grammys – was made on the back of her stage reputation. However, critical responses to her live performances just prior to the album release were not always complimentary. A reviewer for Billboard said: “Miss Midler sounded and even looked good during the Carpenters’ hit Superstar. But she ruined the effect when, midway through the song, she started flopping her legs and bounced out of her bodice.” But after the album’s debut, Midler was set. In 1979 she made her film debut in The Rose, which won her the first two of four Golden Globes, and other big hits followed over the years, including wartime drama For the Boys and, most notably, Beaches, one of cinema’s ultimate weepies which included the anthemic song Wind Beneath My Wings. I don’t know how many people have the skill that he has, he’s a genius With such a depth of experience, it’s no surprise that Midler is prone to frequent conversational detours. She asks me in detail about the intricacies of Brexit, demonstrating considerable awareness of the post-vote parliamentary intrigue, and showing real concern when I mention a rise in racially motivated violence in the UK. Passionate as ever, and volubly democratic with both a lower and upper case “d”, she gets serious as she tells me she hopes Donald Trump “hasn’t poisoned the well permanently. I worry, because people have become disenfranchised in a way that they never expected to be.” Twitter is the perfect vehicle for her disdain. “Trump sez he may not accept election results if he loses,” she wrote recently. “I don’t accept my ass, but guess what’s stuffed in the back of my pants right now.” She also completed her Facebook Q&A on the day of our meeting with a mischievous reference to her witch character in the film Hocus Pocus. “My broom awaits. Winnie and I are flying to Trump Tower!” There’s a strong sense of justice running through Midler and this extends to her professional life. This summer, she appeared as a mentor on the US version of the talent show, The Voice, alongside country superstar Blake Shelton, after she was persuaded by her friend, Bruce Springsteen. “I said to [Springsteen], ‘What do I tell those kids? They don’t want to hear from me.’ And he said, ‘You have something to tell them. They don’t want to know how to do riffs like Mariah Carey. They want to know how to do what you do’. [Old school pizzazz.] A lightbulb actually went on. “I had the best time. Blake is a doll, and these voices – young, old, tall, thin, short, fat, it doesn’t matter. If they can sing, they have an opportunity to be heard.” Midler’s eye for new talent expands to theatre. She speaks with optimism about the state of Broadway and singles out Lin-Manuel Miranda, the actor/rapper/writer whose smash hit Hamilton will come to the West End next year. “I don’t know how many people have the skill that he has, he’s a genius,” she says. “But I would hate to think that suddenly it’s going to be nothing but hip-hop, because a lot of people who are versed in the theatre don’t really have those skills.”
    Just fabulous: Bette Midler on stage in 1977
    Just fabulous: Bette Midler on stage in 1977 CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
    Her own contribution to the Great White Way was such that she won a special Tony Award as long ago as 1974. She returned there for the first time in nearly 30 years in 2013, playing “superagent” Sue Mengers in I’ll Eat You Last. But the Hello, Dolly! revival, co-starring David Hyde Pierce (Niles in the long-running sitcom Frasier), is a different proposition altogether. “Today I met a few of the singer-dancers, excellent performers, and we did what we learnt,” she reports.  “It was fun. I’m dancing a lot. I’m not a trained dancer, but I really like it, I lost a lot of weight from it. I just can’t quite figure out what comes next. It’s a steep climb, but I know I’ll get there.” With Hello, Dolly! opening next year, there is no sign of Midler taking a breather. “I came to the UK with that last tour, Divine Intervention,” she says. “I was really beat after that, but I just didn’t know whether it was time. My husband [artist Martin von Haselberg, to whom she has been married since 1984] and I talk about it all the time, ‘Isn’t it time?’ he asks. I say, ‘To slow down?’ and he replies, ‘No, to stop, before you really look like the picture of Dorian Gray? “You don’t want people to come just to see if you’re still standing. But at the same time, this thing is brand new to me, and it’s energised me in a funny way, learning these skills. I’m kind of awake. I’m really intensely curious, and that will never go away.” The deluxe reissue of The Divine Miss M is out now on Rhino. Hello, Dolly! begins previews at the Schubert Theatre, New York, on March 15 2017

    BetteBack July 14, 1995: How Can I Write Bette Midler? ...  Read More

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    Bette Midler During The Filming Of Divine Madness:

    Bette Midler During The Filming Of Divine Madness: “I’m just running off at the mouth up here. We’re gonna call this film ‘Jaws III.” (1980) Image may contain: one or more people
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