December 11, 1973
It s a sick. sick. sick sick world Bette Midler s three weeks at the Palace Theater were sold out before her opening and first nighters tipped the suspicions why; besides the flamboyant ersatz-socialites. the full-of-chic set. the Palace was awash with homosexuals of assorted sexes, males more peacocks than the no doubt girls, the boys’ makeup wildly vulgarized versions of campy-female-imitations a la rarvivai freaks and clowns i Lance Loud, the admitted”proclaimed” homo-son of TV‘s “American Family,” wore makeup more Mondrian than even mod and wasn t the most flamboyant by far; lads in feathers, tulle, chiffon etc were).
All gathered in cult-tribute to the submerged talents and highlighted dungarees of Miss Midler, who graduated cum haw dv from the West Sides homosexual-oriented Continental Baths to this $100,000 a week pinochle of excess She proclaims herself the last of the ‘ truly tacky” singers and gives herself the best of it. Tacky is tidy alongside her appeal, clothes, aggressively dated personality, musical style. La Midler in fact has trashed the tradition of personality songstresses. all her patronizing lunges hack at her humble start suggest the magical luck which strikes showbiz regularly, like a bludgeon Shakespeare called it Success is oft got without merit.
Bette Midler s campy style, flatly fag-hag in appeal, even beat her by one night to Manhattan a female inpersonator shim opened the night before at the Blue Angel, no the Blue Angel of nostalgically intimate-delight which sent so many comdey and singing stars to Bdwy., Hollywood and TV, this had been the Casino Russe, which treaded vodka a year or more without lighting up the cafe skies Now it s attempting somewhat desperately to beckon customers with a blatantly transvestite or worse show, something called Zou” adapted from a long-run Paris homo-flashy tawdriness whose males simper and swish broadly through imitations of Dietrich. Mae West, Marilyn Monroe and similar dead and oldage-pensioned glamor The updated fag-hagerie was to have a fairy godperson give Ms Midler its doubtless .sincerest flattery, a sordid imitation.