Tag Archives: 74th Street (Manhattan)

Thursday, January 10, 2019

BetteBack Sep 4, 1975: Paul Simon Disses Miss M Over Recording

Newark Advocate
Sep 4, 1975


Paul Simon‘s new single, “Gone At Last” features Phoebe Snow singing the high parts that Bette Midler was supposed to have sung. As we’ve heard it, the Divine Miss M and the Rhymin’ Simon had a difference of opinion.

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

BetteBack March 3, 1975: Is Bette Midler going to appear on TV as a regular on a show without singing?

News Journal Mansfield
March 3, 1975

Bette Midler

Q. – I was told that Bette Midler is going to appear on TV as a regular on a show without singing. Is this possible?  P.B., Bridgeport, Conn.

A. – It’s possible, but it’s not about to happen. Bette Midler has not signed to star in a straight non – musical TV series. However, she is a capable actress and would probably do well playing an offbeat character in a TV series. Bette’s current plans do not involve TV … she is readying a Broadway revue in which she will star. Read More

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Friday, July 14, 2017

BetteBack February 4, 1975: Continental Baths Catch On Fire

Gastonia Gazette
February 4, 1975


Frozen Fruits – Hundreds of towel clutching gay men fled into the frosty streets of New York City’s Upper West Side_when the famed nightclub and spa, The Continental Baths, caught fire in the dim morning hours of January 16th.

Damage to the weird nightspot, ‘which launched the career of Bette Midler a few years back, was estimated at between $100,000 and $200,000 Police said some 250 patrons were flushed out of the Baths into 27 degree weather and an additional 300 persons were evacuated from the Ansonia Hotel, where the Baths are located. Read More

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

BetteBack December 18, 1998: Bette Doesn’t Cher The Spotlight Nicely

Syracuse Herald
December 18, 1998

HOLLYWOOD FL - MAY 09: Bette Midler performs at Hard Rock Live held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on May 9, 2015 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)

HOLLYWOOD FL – MAY 09: Bette Midler performs at Hard Rock Live held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on May 9, 2015 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)

New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom wasn’t big enough for dueling divas Bette Midler and Cher on Friday night.

The Divine Miss M dissed a tardy, lip synching Cher as “someone who used to be famous, ” according to witnesses at the Miracle On 34th Street concert.

The latest flare up between the two superstars was sparked by Cher, who, due to sing first, appeared a half hour late. Apparently she had been getting her face retooled by make up artist Kevin Acoin, but Midler’s camp suspected her dramatic entrance was deliberate. Read More

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

BetteBack September 24, 1998: Bathhouse Betty Review (Hartford Courant)

Hartfort Courant
September 24, 1998|By GREG MORAGO


When America sees Bette Midler perform, it’s usually in stage and TV spectaculars that capitalize on her big, bawdy, naughty audaciousness — or should we say bodaciousness. Flash, trash and slash (the claws always seem just a tad too eagerly positioned), the Divine Miss M often comes off as a jeweled confection, albeit Pop Rocks.

What gets lost in these Vegasy endeavors is Midler’s keen musicality — her deep appreciation of the lyric, her actorly sense of timing, her emotive ways with the ballad and the sublime tenderness she confers on the love song. Read More

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

BetteBack September 1998: Bathhouse Betty Review (Gay Today)

Gay Today
CD Review By Jack Nichols
September 1998

It was early autumn, 1970. Manhattan‘s Continental Baths, a luxurious house of pleasures, was enjoying its heyday. Peter Silberman, who’d been hired as the Continental’s press agent, called me at the offices of GAY, America‘s first gay weekly, inviting Lige Clarke and me to a freebee concert he promised would blow our skirts up. “This singer is an unknown right now,” he told us, “but she won’t be an unknown for long.”Probably just another routine assignment, we thought. But publicity man Silberman and his wife had previously wined and dined us and so we couldn’t tactfully turn down his urgent request that we hike up to the Continental on a Saturday night.The giant bathhouse was crowded on every floor with hundreds of horny hunks. They wore only towels, deep red. Hippie hairstyles were much in vogue. There was a glittering dance floor, a stage, a suave health food restaurant, a glorious swimming pool surrounded by fountains spraying colored waters, cavernous steam rooms, a huge sauna, and private rooms galore on the upper levels. bette4.jpg - 25.88 KTheDivine Miss M used this as one of her publicity photos in her bathhouse days.
Photo Courtesy: Jack Nichols Collection

At midnight, Barry Manilow, little known outside New York, seated himself at the magnificent piano. The crowds, notified that the evening’s official amusement was at hand, gathered on the dance floor to be properly entertained. Lige and I stood near the edge of the pool, close enough to catch a glimpse of the frenzy that ensued.The Divine Miss M took center stage and warmed up the audience with a comedy routine that struck me at the time as ” the most electric” in my experience. Bette noted that Richard Nixon’s daughter was marrying someone called “Cox”. In a gay bathhouse, this name took on the kind of wry significance that only Bathhouse Betty could give it.Then she feigned annoyance. “I was most displeased,” she told her audience, “when I saw some graffiti on the subway today. It said, ‘Bette Midler is a drag queen from Chicago.’ I am NOT from Chicago.”We laughed heartily. And then she began singing.Touch me, feel me” Like everybody else in that cavernous room, I stood spellbound. Nudging Lige, I whispered, “This woman is going to be a real superstar someday.” The crowds went bonkers, and to show their appreciation, they removed their red towels and threw them joyfully at the happy-faced singer, letting go with an unforgettable, passionate roar of approval. It was clear that Bette ate up the surrounding appreciative glory. There she was, singing to hundreds of handsome, naked men, all putty in the palm of her hand.Each time that Bathhouse Betty made another Continental appearance, Peter Silberman gave us a call. And each time we trekked to the Ansonia Hotel at 72nd & Broadway wherein the bathhouse had its quarters. We saw her at least five or six times. And then, one day, she showed up in GAY‘s offices, accompanied by Silberman.It was then that I realized that The Divine Miss M was, in fact, an act, that Bette Midler the comedian and songstress was a alterego in action. On stage, she looked larger than life. In person, I discovered, she was diminutive, private, polite, and almost unbearably quiet. A woman tiny in physical stature. Only a singular part of her upper anatomy seemed—again—larger than life. 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. Read More

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bette Midler On Her Divine Nickname:

Bette Midler On Her Divine Nickname: “I began being called The Divine Miss M around 1969, when I made my first appearance at the Continental Baths, a gay bath house located in the basement of the Ansonia Hotel, at Broadway and 74th Street in New York. My best friend, Bill Hennessy, a hairdresser I met on ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ called me that for years. It was my first night at the Baths, and before I went on, the owner, Steven Ostrow, stuck his head into the dressing room and asked how I wanted to be introduced. I said, ‘Just tell them I’m divine!’ And that’s how it started.” (Divine Miss M CD, 2016) Read More

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bette Midler On Being A Transplanted New Yorker:

Bette Midler On Being A Transplanted New Yorker: We had a lot of earthquake damage (in L.A.) to take care of. There were a lot of things like `What are we going to do, are we going to tear the chimney down?’ There were all those kinds of decisions in the middle of trying to put the show back together. It was a strain, but we’re fine now. We tore the chimney down, by the way.” (Boston Globe, 1994)

Image may contain: 1 person , people smiling Bette Midler On Having Devoted Fans And Acclaim:

Bette Midler: “After another bunch of years I plan to quit. “ Read More

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Battling Bots for Tickets to Bette Midler’s ‘Hello, Dolly!’

Battling Bots for Tickets to Bette Midler’s ‘Hello, Dolly!’


There will probably be at least ten new musicals unveiled on Broadway in the course of next season. But all anybody is talking about this Spring’s revival of “Hello, Dolly!,” starring Bette Midler.

Tickets for this highly anticipated show at the Shubert Theater, directed by Jerry Zaks and co-starring David Hyde Pierce, go on sale on Saturday, September 17, at 10 a.m. and you better believe that the “bots” will be ready. The automated software known as “ticket bots” is the bane of Broadway because the program can scoop up tens of thousands of tickets at lightning speed. Their operators then put them up for resale at astronomical prices on ticket platforms like StubHub. Just try getting a ticket to “Hamilton” on that site at close to face value. Read More

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