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Tag Archives: BetteMidler
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Posted on Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 by Ethan Anderton
There’s been plenty of celebration regarding the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park, but another beloved movie from 1993 is also worthy of honor, especially with Halloween around the corner.
Hocus Pocus is one of Disney’s cult favorites with children of the ’90s especially holding the movie close to their heart. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy play the witch trio known as the Sanderson Sisters who are trying to achieve immortality in Salem, Oregon, but they need a certain spellbook in order to complete the incantation, and three kids and a talking cat have run off with it.
The show-stopping actress and legend
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Flashback Medley – The Cher Special 1975 – Bette Midler, Cher, Elton John, and Flip Wilson #bettemidler #cher #eltonjohn #flipwilson #motownmedley
Thursday, June 7, 2018
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Backstage at Clams On The Half Shell Revue Looking All Kind Of Diva! #BetteMidler #ClamsOnTheHalfShell
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Before the curtain even went up on opening night, #HelloDolly was an event. ???? #BetteMidler’s first appearance in a Broadway musical in decades? The tickets practically sold themselves. It’d be easy to get swept up just seeing Bette on Broadway, but the scale of the show rises to meet her with its standout cast, impressive choreography, and visual feast of colorful costumes. Heck, there’s even a train! ???? Did you see the standout musical this year? ????: Illustration by Patrick Faricy for EW
Thursday, December 21, 2017
In four weeks, let your freak flag fly. See #FreakShowMovie, starring #AlexLawther, @abbienormal9, @annasophiarobb, @lavernecox, and @bettemidler, in select theaters January 12.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Mister D: Once again UK journalists outdo the US as far as interviewing. Great job!
We’re having a debate with Bette Midler about her music. She doesnâ€™t believe us when we note the eight year gap between her last, Grammy nominated album, Cool Yule, and her new one, Itâ€™s The Girls, is far longer than the one between No Frills and Beaches.
As gay conversations go, correcting Bette Midler on her back catalogue is pretty much the daddy of all things gay.
And itâ€™s not really about to get particularly butch – The Divine Miss M has finally been coaxed back to the studio by long-time collaborator Marc Shaiman for an album of songs by girl groups of yesteryear. So yes, pretty camp.
Not that Bette thinks in such terms – a long-standing gay icon, supporter of LGBT rights, former GT cover star and, well, she started her career singing to gay men in saunas, so sheâ€™s practically one of us. It seems only right that, in our anniversary issue, we have a GT classic answerâ€¦
â€œWell I do love my gay fansâ€¦â€ she begins, before quickly making complete sense. â€œBut I kind of like everybody, I donâ€™t like to separate people. Iâ€™m not a segregationist! But because youâ€™re so sweet and so genuinely gentlemanlyâ€¦â€
Flattery will indeed get you everywhere Ms Midler. But the pressing question GT wants to know the answer to before we talk music is about her movies.
â€œWhich one do I think my gay fans like best? I hadnâ€™t really considered it. But you mean which oneâ€™s the most camp? Oh gee, I donâ€™t really know. What do you think?â€
Oh sheâ€™s good. Another gay icon classic tactic – to turn the question back on us. Fortunately, as she already knows, weâ€™re prepared and reply with Beaches, Hocus Pocus and Big Business.
â€œOh how interesting. Well, I have to say Big Business is pretty funny. Thatâ€™s one I would think was the most camp, but I donâ€™t know. I think theyâ€™re divided. I think a lot of people really love The Rose. I think that people love to see the scenery being chewed and I think that they loved the music. You know what? I have no idea, to tell you the truth. You just say what you wanna say and Iâ€™ll say, â€˜Yep thatâ€™s right!â€ she laughs.
As if weâ€™d ever do such a thing.
Actress, singer, comedian, legend, mermaid. The Divine Miss M has done it all and now, after the aforementioned hiatus, sheâ€™s back where she started from. Eerily so, in fact, with Itâ€™s The Girls being so very reminiscent of her first two albums.
â€œI think so too.â€ she agrees. â€œMarc Shaiman, who produced this record, was a big fan of mine when he was a kid, like 14, 15 years old. He knocked on my door when he was 16 and he was such a pest. But heâ€™d fallen in love with those first two records, they introduced him to all sorts of music that he had no idea existed. He always talks about that, he talks about me in a way, really Iâ€™m like his godmother.
â€œHe knows that music and the people so well. He and his partner Scott were the songwriters on Hairspray, so they know the genre. Heâ€™s great at pastiche. All our roots are so far back and so into that music that I think it was a great, really inspired choice to go with him.
â€œPlus, he loves me, looks after me, he takes care of me. If I say, â€˜I need another noteâ€™, heâ€™ll say, â€˜How about this?â€™ Instead of leaving me in the booth to suffer silently alone. Or loudly alone,â€ she deadpans.
â€œIt just seems like itâ€™s time. People are sort of waking up to the fact that itâ€™s stuff that they love, it seems like itâ€™s sort of in the zeitgeist. I didnâ€™t really realise when we started it, because we started talking about it last year. Previously a friend of mine had pitched me an idea that was very similar. Itâ€™s been on my mind and I really love the stuff, itâ€™s easy to sing, itâ€™s fun to sing, it spreads joy, so why not?â€
The same friend who tried convincing her to do an Andrews Sisters record perhaps?
She laughs. â€œNo, I have plenty of those though! Those are legion. Peoople would lynch me if I didnâ€™t do The Andrews Sisters.â€
But itâ€™s not all music from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Because we need to talk about her stripped down version of TLCâ€™s Waterfalls. Oh yes.
â€œYES!â€ she proclaims excitedly.
â€œOh Iâ€™m glad you brought that up. I really love that, I really do. Iâ€™ve always loved that song and Iâ€™ve always loved those girls. I mean, itâ€™s a really sad song. But I wanted it without the rhythm thatâ€™s so insistsent on the TLC version. Stripped down, itâ€™s just so so sad.â€
Have there been any other groups in recent years that have caught her ear?
â€œOh of course! My God! I love Destinyâ€™s Child, I followed them. I thought their songs, especially the really funny ones, were absolutely wonderful.â€
â€œBills, Bills, Bills. But then BeyoncÃ© left them, but her songs are really kind of girl groupy too. I mean â€œif you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it! That song.â€
Bette Midler is actually singing Single Ladies to us.
â€œTheyâ€™re all like little playlets. Theyâ€™re kind of funny in a way that a lot of music isnâ€™t. Theyâ€™re humorous. TLC – I thought No Scrubs was a REALLY funny song. I went looking for those writers, but when you get the list itâ€™s like 18 people on a songâ€¦
â€œThe Spice Girls came up, the Bangles came up, the Go-Goâ€™s cam up. We came close to Walk Like an Egyptian but then I thought, â€˜I know her, I know Susanna Hoffsâ€™. But ultimately, when people think of girl groups, they really think of the 60s. I flew my flag for The Andrews Sisters and The Chordettes and TLC. I said, â€˜Letâ€™s not just make it one thing, thereâ€™s too much other really good music that Iâ€™d like to sing.â€
But itâ€™s not all about song – stage and screen have also recently beckoned.
â€œThey invited me,â€ she says of her recent Broadway production of Iâ€™ll Eat You Last to the West End. Despite considering it, instead the story of Hollywood aent Sue Mengers is currently â€˜in mothballsâ€™. â€œItâ€™s not that high on the list, but itâ€™s definitely something that iâ€™ll keep in my back pocket.â€
While weâ€™re talking of hearsay, we might as well round up those rumours. Sorry to break it to you, faithful reader, but a lot of the Bette projects youâ€™ve heard about may not be happeningâ€¦.
First Wives Club 2?
â€œYou know they tried to do a sequel, I have no idea,â€ she laughs. â€œI know that there are projects for the three of us to get together again, but I donâ€™t think they have anything to do with that particular piece. They tried it many many years ago right after they had their big success, but I donâ€™t think they had any luck. I dunno, itâ€™s hard to tellâ€¦â€
Hocus Pocus 2?
â€œWell she did die. I died.â€
Ms Midler, Disney villains never die.
She chuckles to herself for a while. â€œYou know, youâ€™re absolutely right. That would be fun! Weâ€™d be a little bit long in the tooth, but it would be fun. Iâ€™m SO surprised at the legs that picture has. As the years have gone by itâ€™s only gotten bigger and bigger. People tell me stuff that I had no idea. Just last year they said, â€˜You know they play it for a whole week.â€™ I think they play it for a whole month on television or something ridiculous. Everyone knows it, actually the really young ones say â€˜I know you, youâ€™re the witch from Hocus Pocus.â€™ And I go â€˜Well yes, thatâ€™s ONE of the things I didâ€¦â€™ I was really surprised that itâ€™s taken on a life of its own.
Hocus Pocus – The Musical?
â€œHow funny! Well, you would know more than I, theyâ€™re not emailing me!â€
There was a novel, called Beaches 2, that was written specifically for herâ€¦.
â€œBeaches 2?! Oh I think she [Iris Rainer Dart] published that years ago. But I heard that she was doing a musical of Beaches, I heard that, I did hear that. but that has nothing to do with me. Sheâ€™s, she thinks carefully, â€œa force too! Sheâ€™s energetic, sheâ€™s up there cranking and I admire that aobut her. I donâ€™t know anything about it, I think they had a workshop? She didnâ€™t tell me, she didnâ€™t keep me in the loop.â€
Plans for a definitive book about her life?
â€œNo. I have no plans to write that,â€ she says, following a recent re-release of A View From A Broad. â€œNo, I think that was it for me. Thatâ€™s what I had to say and I said it and thatâ€™s that. I donâ€™t really want to write an autobiography. First of all, I donâ€™t remember much of it,â€ she chuckles. â€œI really donâ€™t! And most of it was about work and I donâ€™t think people would be interested in the work part of it. itâ€™s a lot of technical jargon and a lot of stuff about deals and all that kind of thing, and because iâ€™m not a songwriter I donâ€™t have that â€˜and then I wrote.â€™ I didnâ€™t have that to fall back on. And my escapades Iâ€™m keeping to myself. Iâ€™m trying to be merciful to my family,â€ she laughs.
The Mae West HBO biopic?
â€œWell that oneâ€™s very interesting, that one really looks like itâ€™s going to go. Thatâ€™s Billy Friedkin, whoâ€™s wonderful, and Doug McGrath whoâ€™s also someone to be reckoned with. Iâ€™ve met the two of them and they have a great idea for it. Thatâ€™s a great story, because she was such an interesting character and lived such a curious life. It started when she was just six-years-old, she was a real showbiz prodigy, in a way. She completely invented herself and was very, very proud of what sheâ€™s done. She never changed gears. She wrote her own material and she really let women have a sex life that they hadnâ€™t had. Nobody knew they were interested in it before her. So God bless her.â€
Weâ€™re glad that oneâ€™s happening, even if we canâ€™t get Bette back on a broomstick.
â€œOh well, I think sheâ€™s prettier,â€ she laughs. â€œShe doesnâ€™t have those teeth.â€
Before that, a week of UK TV appearances beckon, shortly after this issue hits shelves.
â€œIâ€™m so excited. Iâ€™m lining up my restaurants nowâ€¦â€
Dinner aside, might we get a live event or two?
She laughs loudly. â€œIs there something else Oh! You mean I have to work?â€
A Divine tease indeed – all we can say is watch this spaceâ€¦
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Bette Midler Releases Album Just After Barbra Streisand Releases “Partners”
Friday, November 28, 2014
Bette Midler and Shelley Long star in this female buddy picture from 1987. Long plays Lauren Ames, an actress whose ambition far outweighs her success despite her many years of taking classes; Midler plays Sandy Brozinsky, a fast-talking, foul-mouthed waitress from the wrong side of the tracks who horns her way into Lauren’s exclusive drama class on a lark. Unbeknown to each other, Sandy and Lauren are both seeing the same impossibly perfect man, Michael Santers (Peter Coyote). When Michael inexplicably fakes his death, Sandy and Lauren wind up joining forces to track him down. A wacky, cross-country caper ensues, and both women discover that there’s a lot more to the man they loveâ€”not to mention their suspiciously homicidal Russian acting coachâ€”than they ever imagined.
’80s Hair: Bette Midler’s character. It’s not teased or anything, but it is as wide as her shoulder-padded shoulders.
Adults Dressed as Children: Lauren and Sandy sneak into a whorehouse thinking they’re convincingly disguised as men; the madame takes them for thirteen-year-old boys. Our intrepid heroines run with it.
Madame: Does your daddy know you’re here?
Lauren (in cowboy accent): Hell, yes, he told us where to come! Come, git it?
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Sandy is visibly shaken when she believes Lauren has been shot dead.
Badass Adorable: Lauren develops into this over the course of the film.
Bad Bad Acting: Practiced by many of Stan’s students, as he enjoys pointing out. Even Lauren cringes at the spectacle of one particular student’s immensely hammy non-dialogue “performance” of a moment from Oedipus The King.
Beware the Quiet Ones: Lauren, fed up with the mystery, kicks open a crackhouse door, waves a toy gun around (back in a day when toy guns looked real), and starts impersonating an angry cop with a screw loose. Even Sandy is shocked.
Briefcase Full of Money: Or, rather, a cute, ducky-emblazoned lunchbox full of money.
Butt Monkey: Frank. Also, anyone who takes Stanislav Korzenowsky’s acting class.
Calling Your Orgasms: Michael’s telltale chant of, “Oh God. Oh God. Ohhh God. Ohhhgodâ€”OHHHGOD!!!”
The Casanova: Michael
Cat Fight: Lauren and Sandy duke it out in the morgue.
Cheap Costume: The ladies are forced to improvise quite frequently.
Chekhov’s Armory: The film is made of this. The climax, in fact, centers around pretty much everything we saw Lauren doing in her acting and ballet classes at the very beginning. (Also, Sandy’s stolen Christmas tree ornament comes in pretty handy.)
Cluster F-Bomb: Sandy sure loves ’emâ€”which Lauren lampshades. But ironically, the most blatant example in the film is Lauren doing her “Crazy / Badass Cop” impression.
Comically Missing the Point: Lauren holds a gun to Stan after he tries to kill her, then proceeds to berate him for making a mockery of the New York acting community. Sandy has to rush over to get her to snap out of it….
Daddy’s Girl: Lauren is this, as we see when she tries to borrow money for Korzenowsky’s class from her parents. Her mother won’t let her in the door; her father throws her a check from the window of their high-rise.
Deadpan Snarker: Sandy, all the freaking time. She’s a bit of a Snark Knight.
Stan is quite snarky, himself.
Lauren is a bit of a Lady Snarker.
Defector from Commie Land: Stan’s way of avoiding repercussions back in Mother Russia.
He is even able to bargain for perks, including a condo on the Potomac and Redskins season tickets.
Disguised in Drag
Drama Queen: Lauren can certainly be this way.
Erotic Eating: Lauren (with sexy Russian Bond Girl voice) + Michael + a chicken leg.
Expy: Lauren is in many ways a “clone” of Diane Chambers, except that she’s also great at ballet. (And Lauren’s willing to curse, if the situation calls for it.) Especially notable in that Shelley Long tends to try and downplay any Diane-like “quirks” when playing other charactersâ€”but in this film, she at times seems to be cranking it Up to Eleven.
Fake Nationality: In-Universe and out: Robert Prosky is an American playing a Russian who, at one point, disguises himself as an American.
Stan (removing his mask): So. Some of us who teach can also do.
Friend to All Children: Implied, with Lauren. She is clearly very touched when Michael tells her he’s trying to find the perfect Halloween costume, to help out a kid who’s unable to find acceptance among his classmates. Later, she makes a point to tell Sandy to let her talk to the kid holding them at gunpointâ€”presumably because she’s better with children.
Funny Background Event: When Sandy is talking to her boyfriend in the phone company over the phone, Lauren paces impatiently behind herâ€”and can be seen briefly mockingly mimicking Sandy’s boisterousness.
Gag Penis / Bigger Is Better in Bed: Michael’s defining physical characteristic, which is how Lauren and Sandy know the burned corpse at the morgue isn’t him.
Sandy: Michael was not a guy other guys would’ve made fun of in the locker room, okay?
Good People Have Good Sex: Lauren sports a radiant glow and a BIG smile after her night with Michael, which Sandy makes sure to comment on. Michael turns out to be a bad guy, though.
Groin Attack: Threatened by Sandy (“I’ll shoot it off, Stan”).
Lauren includes this threat in her Badass Cop impression when she and Sandy interrogate the drug dealers.
Instant Seduction: The first time Lauren meets Michael, he’s a customer in the costume shop where she works. She’s moved by his telling her he’s a teacher trying to find the perfect costume for one of his students who’s trying hard to fit in. She offers to help him make one. The very next scene shows the two of them in bed, Michael “apologizing” for the quick turn of events, explaining that “I just…had to kiss you.” Lauren, radiant with afterglow, is charmed even more by this.
The Lad-ette: Sandy’s not above talkin’ trash and often acting pretty “macho” with the best of them, though she still cares about her physical appearance in the “feminine” fashion, among other things.
Lampshade Hanging: When our gals finally manage to reach one of their destinations after an especially exhausting ordeal, a bunch of guys drive by, hooting and whistling and otherwise calling out to them in Hello, Nurse! fashion. Lauren can’t resist:
Lauren: Now, why do they do that? Has there ever been one woman in the history of the world who actually saidâ€”(with Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose) “Yes, fellas, pleaseâ€”take me, now!”?
Sandy: (Wimpering) For a bed and a bath, I…I’d consider itâ€”
Lauren: Bite your tongue….
Literary Allusion Title: Hamlet, in case you don’t recognize the quote….
Lovely Angels: Lauren and Sandy find themselves becoming this, each discovering their Hidden Badass over the course of the film.
Ms. Fanservice: Lauren has a few moments of this. In addition to her nights with Michael, the scene in Stan’s waiting room has her dressed in an outfit that has a see-through blouse covering Absolute Cleavage that goes down to her waist.
It gets better. Shortly before Sandy shows up, Lauren engages in some breathing exercises that quickly sound like she’s partaking in something else entirely….
Mugged for Disguise: Lauren and Sandy appropriate Frank’s clothes. (At least they’re nice enough to leave him their skirts and blouses.)
The Ophelia: Well, in a literal way: Sandy plays Ophelia in the production of Hamlet at the end.
The Power of Acting: It turns out that Lauren’s many years of studying the theater pay off in tracking down Michael and foiling the bad guys.
Ransacked Room: The film plays this straight, then spoofs it. First, the two women go to Lauren’s apartment while it’s being ransacked. After a daring escape, they head to Sandy’s place to find it a complete mess as well. Lauren cries, “Oh, no, they’ve been here!” and tries to run, but Sandy grabs her and says, “Nobody’s been here. This is normal.”
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Sandy is red, and Lauren is blue.
Rogue Agent: What Michael turns out to be.
Scary Black Man: Lauren and Sandy’s cab driver.
Sdrawkcab Name: Sort of. Stan’s name is almost the reverse of real-life actor Constantin Stanislavsky.
Serious Business: Lauren does not appreciate any insults to the honor of the theaterâ€”to the point where we hear her arguing with Sandy over the value of Hamletâ€” as the credits start rolling!
Shakespearean Actors: What Lauren aspires to be. Her ambition is to play Hamlet, which she finally accomplishes at the end of the film.
Shout-Out: Sandy once sarcastically calls out to Lauren as “Lady Di”. Shelley Long, of course, is most famous for playing Diane Chambers of Cheers.
A retroactive example: When Sandy gives a brief summary of the situation to Frank, he looks at her in bewilderment and asks, “The ’60s were good to you, weren’t they?” This line would be recycled for Cars, where an inverted version would be asked of George Carlin’s character, Fillmore….
Spirited Young Lady: Lauren, who is ladylike and feminine Up to Eleven, but is quite skilled at fencing and is not afraid to actually stab her match opponent in the beginning of the film.
Spoiled Sweet: Lauren. To her credit, she’s kind of aware of it, as she explains to Sandy when they argue over who should go over to the super-intimidating cab driver….
Stoners Are Funny: Especially when they’re played by George Carlin.
Teeny Weenie: The unfortunate fellow at the morgue, falsely identified as Michael, as Sandy tries to explain to the cops:
Lauren: I think he’s got the big picture nowâ€”
Sandy: Oh, I don’t think he does! (To cop) This guy in the morgue…whoever he is…he’s got a… (Wicked grin) Does the phrase “needle-dick”â€””the bugfucker”â€”mean anything to you?
The Eighties: Check out those opening credits.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: Played with. Downplayed for Sandy, who is technically more of The Lad-ette, but Lauren most definitely qualifies as a Girly Girl.
Universal Poison: What Michael stole. Specifically, a green toxin that will destroy all vegetation around the world with just a few drops.
Vanity Is Feminine: At one point, the gals stop right what they’re doing to check their makeup, and then spend the next moment or two remarking on how they look and whether or not their hair colors are natural.
We Need a Distraction: How about emptying an entire lunchbox filled with money into a crowd of waiting airline passengers?
Wham Line: “Nine years of ballet, asshole!”
White Guilt: Lauren gets Tongue Tied when she tries to say “Caucasian”, while trying to describe Michael to the black cab driverâ€”finally settling for nervously dropping race entirely (and announcing it). She ends up panicking over possibly digging herself deeper…and later gets very nervous over the fact that the man soon drives her and Sandy deep into Harlem. Sandy can’t resist ribbing her about it.
You Need to Get Laid: Sandy’s reply when Lauren explodes at her in their first encounter.
Lauren’s shocked silence implies it hits VERY close to home.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Publication: Winnipeg Free Press
Issue Date: April 6, 1987
Issue Date: April 6, 1987
Writer Tama Janowitz caused a bit-of a stir In New York recently when the New York Times MagazineÂ published her profile of Bette Midler. In Adventures in Tinseltown, Janowitz describes travelling to Hollywood to interview Midler, only to have the Divine Miss M offer her a development deal to write a script for a Midler idea.
In the article, Janowitz unabashedly agrees to think it over and maybe “take a meeting.” Writers aren’t supposed to get anywhere near that close to their subjects. Editor Edward Klein admits he was “a little bit” uncomfortable about the conflict of interest when the piece came in. But, heÂ says, “It was all done tongue-incheek, with a sardonic quality. And since nothing came of it, I saw no problem. … My thought was, this was not a journalist on assignment, but a fiction writer (Janowitz wrote Slaves of New York) using her experience as part of her non-fiction report. I was very happy with the piece. I thought it was very amusing, a superb piece of work.”
This doesn’t qualify as a Future Film Classic because it is not yet in production, and it runs a risk of actually being good. Bette Midler has been pegged to star in a screen drama about the turbulent life of diminutive, deadly serious singer Lotte Lenya.
The film would be set in pre-war Germany and deal with her relationship with moody composer Kurt Weill. Given Midler’s recent successes in extremely mainstream comedies, this would be something of a gear change. Don’t be surprised if this one never gets; beyond the drawing board.