Tag Archives: Atlantic Ocean

Sunday, July 23, 2017

R.I.P. Beaches and Home Alone Star John Heard 1946-2017

Noise 11 R.I.P. Beaches and Home Alone Star John Heard 1946-2017 by PAUL CASHMERE on JULY 23, 2017 ...  Read More

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

BetteBack February 8, 1975: What To Expect On The Cher Special

Hillsdale Daily News February 8, 1975 2016-09-17_4-52-46 Music: Elton John sings hit version of the Beatle’s song “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” ; Bette Midler sings “Higher And Higher”; Bette Midler playing Sleeping Beauty and Elton John playing the Lone Ranger; dressed in girdles, garter belts and boas, Cher and Bette Midler camp it up in a medley that includes”I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” and “Put The Blame On Mame” ; and, in another medley, Cher, Bette, Elton and Flip Wilson highlight the hour with “Mockingbird” “Proud Mary “Ainâ’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Never – Can Say Goodbye” BetteBack Review December 25, 1971: Bette Midler At Upstairs At The Downstairs Review | BootLeg Betty This Day In Rock History: May 21 – Bette’s The Last Guest On Johnny Carson | BootLeg Betty

Bette Midler – Press Conference 1980 | BootLeg Betty ...  Read More

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bette Midler – In The Mood – The Bette Midler Show – 1976

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Bette Midler – I Put A Spell On You – Divine Intervention – 2015

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New York City Mayor Honors Bette Midler With April 21 ‘Dolly Day’

Playbill New York City Mayor Honors Bette Midler With April 21 ‘Dolly Day’ Proclamation BY ADAM HETRICK APR 20, 2017 17917952_1323481531075576_3938834771271923418_o Bette Midler’s return to Broadway in the revival of Hello, Dolly! will be commemorated by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who will proclaim April 21 as “Dolly Day” in New York City. The Mayor’s proclamation will be hand-delivered to the Shubert Theatre prior to the April 20 opening night performance. Midler takes on the iconic role of Dolly Gallagher Levi, originated on Broadway in 1963 by Carol Channing. The Mayor’s proclamation reads: Whereas: As a global hub of arts and culture, New York has a proud tradition of launching plays and musicals that have shaped the history of theater in the five boroughs and far beyond. When the romantic comedy Hello, Dolly!

premiered on Broadway in 1964, it became an immediate smash hit that had a groundbreaking run of seven years. Since its debut, this influential musical has been made into a Hollywood film, presented in London’s West End, and produced by countless theater companies and school groups around the world. Written by Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman, and set in New York at the turn of the last century, this beloved show endures today as a timeless classic of American theatre. ...  Read More

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Monday, April 17, 2017

BetteBack October 6, 1974: Bette Midler And Paul Simon Team Up For Musical Project

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Friday, January 6, 2017

2009 – In My Life – Royal Variety Performance – Bette Midler

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Happy Earth Day! Bette Midler Shares Ways to Celebrate

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Films Back In The 1980’s, Like Beaches, Were Made For Adults, Not Just Teenage Boys

Netflix By Hadley Freeman Saturday 3 September 2016 04.00 EDT 12501601_1586675524985773_247770234_n When do you think Hollywood will remake the 1986 movie Soul Man? I’m thinking Christmas would be a good time, because nothing says “warm, fuzzy, festive feeling” better than a movie in which the white lead blacks up because he’s pretending to be African-American in order to bagsie a scholarship to Harvard. OK, sure, it might seem a little perverse reviving a film whose attitude towards race was so bad that it sparked protests 30 years ago. But still: it was made in the 1980s, the decade the American movie industry is currently desperately, mindlessly cannibalising, so the kids are going to love it. After this summer’s reboot of Ghostbusters, Hollywood studios have decided that reviving 30-plus-year-old movies is very much the way to go. Preferably movies that don’t have wildly fervent fan bases, though, after the fightback from devotees of the original Ghostbusters, who believed the way to prove their pure love and maturity was to act like big babies and spew hate about the new movie across the internet. So, while The Breakfast Club (hopefully) won’t be remade any time soon, the not-quite-as-adored Splash is. Yes, the 1984 Daryl Hannah-Tom Hanks comedy that includes the timeless line: “All my life I’ve been waiting for someone, and when I finally find her, she’s a fish.” A remake of Stephen King’s It, the film that gave a generation a phobia of clowns and Tim Curry in at least equal measure, has long been in gestation. Beaches is also getting a reboot, which I’m sure seemed like an easy sell in the boardroom: “A tearjerker for the ladies! With songs! We’re printing money!” But anyone who has ever watched this Bette Midler bonanza with one of those said ladies, or who happens to be one themselves, will know that if there’s one demographic you shouldn’t mess with – even less than Ghostbusters’ tragic manboys – it’s the thirty- to fifty-something woman with a bottle of sancerre in one hand and a hairbrush in the other, into which they are belting The Wind Beneath My Wings. I know something about 1980s movie nostalgia. I even wrote a flipping book on the subject, which is surely the definition of being an 80s nerd, about why movies from this era still have such a special place in the affections of those who lived through it – and also those who didn’t. If you think the simple answer is sentimentality, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. But you wouldn’t be right, either. My parents don’t sentimentalise the films of their youth, and nor do I. The truth is, there are specific qualities about the best of these films – Back To The Future, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dirty Dancing, Die Hard and all the rest – that have given them a life far beyond the limitations of time and generational differences. As is the way with all nostalgia, this passion for 80s films is really an expression of what we lack today. The dialogue was generally better then; films are now mostly made with the international market in mind, and special effects are easier to translate than witty one-liners. Working-class characters existed, and the women didn’t look like half-starved models. These films were made for adults, not just teenage boys. I could go on, but I think there might already be a book on this subject. These modern remakes miss the point because they impose a contemporary approach on films that are loved – not for their storylines (which can be pretty lame, to be honest), but for their now old-fashioned-seeming values. Ghostbusters had good intentions, giving roles to women in what was previously an all-male franchise, and Splash is doing something similar, turning the titular mermaid into a merman. But honestly, I’m not sure if putting Channing Tatum in a fish tail is the feminist dream realised. The only 1980s movie remake that has got it right is neither a movie nor a remake. The hugely successful Stranger Things series on Netflix – conceived and directed by the Duffer brothers, who were born in 1984, the year after the show is set – understands that it’s the shonky spirit of these films that captivates, as well as the sweetly dodgy special effects and the pithy scripts. It mixes in movie references; but it’s in the depiction of a familiar but more innocent-looking time that Stranger Things really shines, when kids talked on walkie-talkies and not iPhones. Instead of redoing a beloved old house by ripping out all the old furnishings, they’ve built a new structure and decorated it with vintage pieces. It’s better and more exciting than any film I’ve seen this year, and proves that sometimes you need to go back to (get to) the future. But then I would say that. Hallo? Call me maybe but don’t hang up BetteBack February 7, 1991: Bette Midler Always Puts Meaning Into A Song BetteBack November 23, 1990: Midler album, ‘Some People’s Lives’ offers diversity BetteBack September 18, 1993: Bette Midler shows she’s still a top-rate singer, performer

1992 – Bette Midler wins Best Actress Golden Globes 1992 | BootLeg Betty ...  Read More

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Why Barbra Streisand Should Reconsider Starring in ‘Gypsy’

Forward Why Barbra Streisand Should Reconsider Starring in ‘Gypsy’ By Benjamin Ivry June 5, 2016 20141118-125955-g Just because Barbra can do something does not mean that Barbra should do it. The recent news that long-percolating plans for Streisand to star in a film of the Jule Styne musical “Gypsy” will occur has thrilled millions of fans. Not long ago, Barry Levinson shepherded the volcanic Al Pacino through two monstrous TV film roles, directing him as “Dr. Death” Jack Kevorkian and producing “Phil Spector,” . If anyone can handle Streisand’s adamant perfectionism, the director Levinson surely can. Streisand’s talents and resolve are not in doubt. She is such a fine actress that she could even seem buoyantly carefree on Jimmy Fallon’s late night chat show in 2014. In an apparently debonair mood, the Streisandian need for control was still evident. Just a few short years ago, Streisand had insisted that Oprah Winfrey change her canonic sitting position onstage so that Streisand could be photographed from her preferred left side during an interview. Even in the informal frat house ambiance of Fallon’s show, with feigned spontaneity Streisand was offered Fallon’s seat behind a desk, again presenting that cherished left side to her adoring public, an offer she immediately accepted. The smoothness of her singing voice, carefully husbanded over the decades, can still recall the Barbra of old, which drew unlikely worshipers such as the eccentric Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, who kvelled over her “Classical Barbra” album. Everything in Streisand’s self-presentation has always been an idealization, a striving toward perfection. Much about the character of Mama Rose, the vehement stage mother in “Gypsy,” is intentionally crass, brash, brassy, and ugly. The musical score is written for a voice like a trombone, not a delicate oboe. This is one reason why powerful stage actresses who are only secondarily singers, from Angela Lansbury to Imelda Staunton, have excelled in the role. They were not afraid of conveying the harsh, desperate need felt by talentless people, as seen on reality TV competitions today, to be worshiped by the masses. Barbra’s Peggy Lee-style bob coiffure, carefully sculpted to conceal angles of the face and head, will need to be changed for the film. Her face itself, based on recent TV appearances, requires contortions to convey expression around the skin tightened by aesthetic surgery. In the raucous screen comedies she has favoured of late, co-starring Dustin Hoffman and Seth Rogen, a jovial Streisand has been convincing. Yet would or could she wholeheartedly incarnate a strident harridan? Part of Streisand’s achievement as an actress and singer was celebrating her Jewishness in “Funny Girl,”“Yentl,” and other hits. “Hello, Dolly!” was not as well-received, possibly in part because the title role of Dolly Levi, although a matchmaker, was not intended by its authors to be Jewish. Nor has Mama Rose in “Gypsy” any Yiddishkeit, as we learn from Carolyn Quinn’s “Mama Rose’s Turn” and Noralee Frankel’s “Stripping Gypsy: The Life of Gypsy Rose Lee,” two recent biographies. Rose Thompson Hovick, Gypsy Rose Lee’s mother, was of German stock, as was Ethel Merman, who originated the part. Although the creators of “Gypsy” included Jewish playwright Arthur Laurents and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, almost no Yiddishkeit is present in the show, apart from one stripper’s boast: “Once I was a schlepper,/ now I’m Miss Mazeppa.” Not even Bette Midler’s 1993 TV version of “Gypsy” could alter that fact. “Gypsy,” with songs by Jule Styne (born Julius Stein of Ukranian Jewish origin) might seem to complement the start of Streisand’s superstardom in Styne’s “Funny Girl.” There may also be an element of psychic necessity in Streisand’s choosing this role now. As the biographer William Mann has detailed, Streisand has frequently aired her mother issues. Diana Kind (born Ida Rosen, 1908-2002), the daughter of a part-time cantor who had her own singing ambitions, did not support her daughter’s performing ambitions. Streisand has told interviewers that her mother assured her she would never be a success: “My mother never told me she loved me… My mother told me I should be a secretary.” By playing the role of a vehement stage mother who would kill to achieve success for her offspring, Streisand may finally exorcise ghosts of parental absences from a lifetime ago. While such psychological speculations are doubtless facile and superficial, some Streisand screen roles have likewise delved into pop Hollywood psychology and psychiatry, from Claudia Draper, a murderous prostitute exploring an insanity defense in “Nuts” (1987) to Dr. Susan Lowenstein, a seductive therapist in “The Prince of Tides.” (1991) Beyond possibly working out family issues, by assuming the character of Mama Rose Streisand may also confront a still-looming monolith in the history of American musical theater. Ethel Merman died in 1984, but is still a granitic presence in the consciousness of fans. An historical bit of video bouncing around the internet shows a galvanic 1963 episode of the psychodrama in song, “The Judy Garland Show.” That appearance preceded Streisand’s “Funny Girl” breakthrough, and her giggly, reserved, plainly ill-at-ease manner has a charming candour absent from controlled later TV appearances. Speaking to and singing with the emotional wreck Garland – whose sufferings were recounted in Stevie Phillips’ recent memoir – Streisand is able to hold the stage. Then Merman intrudes on camera with her H-bomb radiant energy and vitality, totally clashing with Streisand’s fragile cool. The discomfort is palpable when Merman points out possessively that Streisand will be opening in a musical by Jule Styne, who wrote “Gypsy” for her. Constantly touching Streisand, who seems determined not to cringe, Merman even maneuvers the young singer so that Streisand’s disfavored right side becomes visible to the public, an old technique in upstaging. Alongside the dynamo Merman, Streisand is out of control, a most un-Streisandian situation. Merman bellows “There’s No Business Like Show Business” to close the routine on a high note, as Streisand surrenders entirely, barely singing along, as if realizing she would be drowned out by the sheer volume of sound. A half-century later, the prospect of finally outdoing this daunting predecessor may be another motivation for filming “Gypsy.” Yet perhaps at the last moment, Streisand will bow out and let Imelda Staunton play the part. This would be an elegant recusal, insofar as Merman was elbowed out of the 1962 movie version in favour of Rosalind Russell. Staunton’s harrowingly magnetic performance was filmed onstage last year by BBC-TV, but surely deserves the full screen treatment. And whatever Streisand’s inner voices may tell her, faithful admirers will agree that her artistic legacy is assured and she has nothing more to prove. Benjamin Ivry is a frequent contributor to the Forward.
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