KMB II Review:
Bette Finally Makes It To Albany
Miss M was finally able to bring Kiss My Brass to
Albany this evening. The crowd made sure she knew how relieved they
were. Before the concert began the people in front of us joked that
she could not back out now! Lucky for us, there is no snow in October.
As I walked to my seats in the 8th row I could tell security was
not going to be friendly tonight. I had brought roses for Bette
and was told I would not be allowed to take them to my seat. He
took them from me right there in the middle of the isle and said
he would give them to her later. This made me scared that my stashed
camera would be taken too so I did not take pictures until the 2nd
The concert began at 8:15 to a standing ovation. As she got off
her horse she turned to the crowd and said "Albany! I finally
made it!" She explained how she had been trying to make this
concert happen since March. Then came the local jokes which were
so accurate and
hilarious it was as if Bette lived there herself. She made mention
of the late state budget (yeah STILL late!). Then how Joe Bruno,
a local politician, could not make the concert this evening because
he was practicing his moves in case the failing SPAC ballet needed
him. She referred to the people in the back as her people from Rensselaer,
the ones with the mullets! Then asked where her Lark St. people
where, a well known gay hang out, commenting how they must be in
the back too.
The crowd was on fire, laughing hardest at the Bush jokes. In particular
their favorite seemed to be the one about Mrs. Bush selling pot
in the 70's. "You know, I finally found something I like about
that woman." At one point Bette stopped the show noticing a
few people in the section directly to her right who where sitting
at the edge of their section next to the curtain and obviously could
not see anything on stage. Next to them where plenty of empty seats
and Bette demanded they move over so they could see. They hesitated,
but she would not go on until they moved.
The remainder of the 1st half went along with the previous concert
reports, however to me the Sophie Tucker section seemed much shorter
than when I saw her in leg 1. She had a few new jokes which where
great, but she left out the vase joke. There where some technical
difficulties after Bette popped out the top of the yellow tent.
I noticed her tent was off center but figured it was planned. As
she popped out she said, "how about a little more upstage and
center?" Then she started talking to the man in the tent asking
him why she wasn't moving, apparently he could move left and right
but not forward and THEN became stuck. She tried starting, "I'll
never forget it you know" several times as the person in the
tent below her kept moving. Eventually the tent found itself where
she wanted it to be, she told one joke from there and then moved
on with the concert.
After the intermission came a spruced up Delores DeLago act. As
previously reported her tail is now aqua and pink, very cute! The
Harlettes stayed in their previous yellow costumes. She still has
the red mermaid outfit for the end of the act.
The audience continued to be open to her political remarks, giving
a spirited applause to her remarks about Mr. Rogers and needing
a new perspective. After Wind Beneath my wings the audience remained
standing and clapping while she changed for The Rose. Some people
did get up and leave thinking WBMW was the end of the concert. Then
suddenly "The Rose" came on screen and the crowd went
wild. They remained standing and clapping for all of Keep On Rockin'.
Then Bette told us to sit down as she herself collapsed to the stage.
She explained that she was about to sing her most favorite song
and loves when the audience sings along. Bette was so overcome by
the power of us singing with her that she stopped and let us sing
to her for 5 or 6 lines. She then wiped a tear from her eye and
rejoined us. We all continued to sing along, as she ended the song
there where visible tears in her eyes. She exited stage right, pausing
at the door, blowing a few kisses and waved goodbye.
From sweet to sassy, Midler runs the gamut at the Pepsi
DEANNA AMORE ,
The Saratogian 10/09/2004
-- It's hard to put into words exactly what a Bette Midler show
entails. It is part concert, part comedy show, part theater. There
is one word, however, that describes her appearance Thursday night
at the Pepsi Arena -- divine.
Running fashionably late, the Divine Miss M entered in grand fashion
-- atop a flying carousel horse that whisked her from one end of
the stage to the other as she belted out 'Kiss My Brass.'
She looked like Shirley Temple with her curly mop top and sailor
suit, which was the perfect complement to her stage set -- Coney
Island at the turn of the 19th century. It was just one of her many
costumes of the night.
Photo Scan: BaltoBoy Steve
After the exhilarating opening number, Midler went into her comedic
'I'm not retiring, and you can't make me,' she said, remarking
about how much the seats cost and the money she makes. She even
referred to those in the front row, aka the expensive seats, as
her 'own little Saratoga.'
'Oh Albany, I made it. I've been trying to make it since March,'
she said, referring to her previously scheduled show earlier this
year that was canceled because of a snowstorm. 'It took so long,
I was starting to feel like the budget.'
The New York City resident took the time to crack jokes about state
legislators Joe Bruno and Sheldon Silver, as well as Albany Mayor
'Joe Bruno couldn't come,' she said. 'He was practicing his pirouettes
in case the ballet calls.'
No one was safe from Midler's sharp tongue, including Britney Spears,
Jennifer Lopez, the president and the 'poor, fat, stupid, hypocritical,
drug-addicted' Rush Limbaugh.
'I did my first national tour in the '70s. George W. Bush came
to see me,' she said. 'His coke dealer got him tickets.'
At 58, Midler is a ball of energy, but she joked about being out
of breath after performing a few numbers.
'I'm huffin' and puffin',' she panted. 'That's what happens when
you sing your own songs.'
She said she is still waiting for thank yous from Spears and Christina
Aguilera. 'I opened the door for trashy singers,' she cracked.
She also made fun of her old TV show, 'Bette,' ranted about e-mail
spam, Viagra and reality television.
In between the laughter came the music. And what a voice Midler
Her songs included 'Skylark,' 'Shiver Me Timbers,' 'When a Man
Loves a Woman,' 'Chapel of Love,' 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,' 'From
a Distance,' and her Rosemary Clooney tribute, 'Hey There' and 'Tenderly.'
She also offered up a tribute to Mr. Rogers, singing a duet of
sorts with him.
She did her 'Soph' routine, which included some of the funniest
dirty jokes I've heard. Unfortunately, I can't repeat any of them
in this newspaper.
After a 30-minute intermission (which was supposed to only be 15
minutes), Midler returned as her legendary Delores DeLago.
This time, she and her dancers, aka The Harlots, performed 'Fishtails
Over Broadway,' a melody of show tunes set in an undersea world.
She closed out the two-hour show with a powerful performance of
'Wind Beneath My Wings,' which garnered a huge ovation, and an equally
moving encore of 'Keep on Rockin'Ÿ' and one of her signature
songs, 'The Rose.'
'I'm running for queen of the world,' she said. 'I don't know if
I can change the world, but I know I can't f--- it up anymore.'
Tell you what, Bette, you get my vote.
©The Saratogian 2004
KMB II Review
Bette Gives All to Albany
BLB BetteHead: The Divine Miss P
Albany was really truly fantastic. I know I say that all the time,
but Miss M was ON FIRE Thursday night! And the whole audience was
right along with her. People kept screaming "I Love You Bette!"
throughout the whole show from different sides of the arena. There
are some nights, more than others, that you know Bette is having
a fabulous time up there and this was one of those nights. Fellow
Bettehead Marcia and I went together and met the lovely(and tall!)
Julia and her friends. All these young female Bette fans sitting
together was quite a sight. All the people sitting around us were
amused and impressed with our devotion, which was nice. One of them
being the man sitting in front of me who said he worked with Bette's
sister, Susan. I asked if they looked alike and he said he didn't
think so but they have the same laugh, and she's very kind! There
was also a fabulous Bette impersontor(dressed up as "Diva Las
Vegas" Bette) in the crowd!
All the Albany jokes went over my head since I am a Jersey girl,
but Julia explained them in her review, and the crowd definitely
got them. As Julia mentioned, the tent did get stuck during Soph
and Bette quickly made a joke of the situation. She called the malfunctioning
tent a motherfucker, explaining that she only curses because she
knows how much we enjoy it when she does and that in reality she
would NEVER curse, which we all know is untrue. Then she said, "Okay,
so it(the tent) moves side to side, but not up and down. I know
some people like that." It was hilarious!
In the celebrity break-ups section, Anna Nicole Smith and a bucket
of Kentucky Fried Chicken were added. Bette commented on how fat
she was and now how thin, and moronic- "that's a special kind
of stupid now, isn't it?"
She also talked about "Growing up Gotti" after lamenting
the demise of "Bette". She said the boys on the show look
like they're wearing Chia pets on their heads and Victoria Gotti's
extensions make her look like "Mafia Barbie". She said
she actually thinks her show was too tasteful to get good ratings!
After "The Britney Bunch", Bette kept singing a capella
and said, "Cute, isn't it?" Also, one itty bitty addition
that I forgot about in my last review comes during "Fishtails..."
During the "no personal vibrating devices," etc. part,
there is a voiceover of Bette saying, "I am Delores DeLago
and I approve this message", a jab at political commercials.
I also noticed that the joke in Delores when "Life is a cabaret..."
is sung and Delores says "It sounds like a toilet in here"
and "It wasn't a cabaret for Liza" was cut. Am I being
too specific? Well, I'm just preparing to be a stand-in Harlette
in case one of them gets sick or knocked up or something...
The most moving part of the evening, by far, was the audience singing
"The Rose" with her. Oh my god, it was just breathtaking.
About 9,000 people singing together. Really beautiful. I have to
hand it to those Albanites- they make a great audience!