Tag Archives: London

Thursday, January 17, 2019

HELLO, DOLLY! UK Run Sounding Unlikely

Broadway World
HELLO, DOLLY! UK Run Sounding Unlikely
by BWW News Desk
Jan. 17, 2019

Bette Midler as Dolly Levi

Mister D: I knew about this about 3 weeks ago. I visited a theater forum in the UK and saw all this commotion about Bette Midler coming to the UK to play “Hello Dolly” for the Yukkers!!! So I contacted Divine Central and was told it was very unlikely. So I went back to the forum the other day saying not to get their hopes up. But I never posted it here. I’ve just been really under the weather these last few months. That’s why my posting has been so erratic. I have been almost bedridden for 6 months. And now I’m just coming out of the dark into the light.

While I’m posting, I might as well tell you not to expect the official Bette Midler site to reopen. They just didn’t feel like it was worth it to keep it running. They said the lack of traffic didn’t warrant it. I had a lot of ideas to keep it running, but I don’t think they want to get that involved.

 ...  Read More

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

‘Beaches’ Musical Expected to Play London in 2019 Before Coming to Broadway

‘Beaches’ Musical Expected to Play London in 2019 Before Coming to Broadway (Exclusive) Entertainment Tonight Leigh Scheps? March 26, 2018 A musical adaptation of the 1988 Bette Midler film Beaches is expected to first hit the West End in London in 2019 before coming to Broadway. “That would be the hope,” Iris Rainer Dart, 74, who wrote the novel of which the movie is based, reveals to ET. “I feel very lucky, first of all, to be my age and doing this. The theater has much less ageism than the movie and television business.” Lonny Price (Desperate Housewives) has signed on to direct the show with a book by Dart and score by Dart and newcomer David Austin. The story, which takes place in Atlantic City, New Jersey, is about two friends from different backgrounds who keep a long-lasting relationship after going their separate ways. Right now, the stage production is in the workshop stage, where the creative team is writing new songs and rewriting dialogue. “We’re just listening, refining, redoing and seeing which songs work and which ones don’t,” Dart explains. In 2014 and 2015, there were two mounted productions of the musical, each with different casts. One played the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, and the other at the Drury Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. While Dart wouldn’t reveal any casting choices moving forward, she hopes to incorporate some of the talent from both incarnations. In addition to the stage adaptation, Lifetime recently remade the film for TV with Idina Menzel and Nia Long taking on the roles originated by Midler and Barbara Hershey, respectively. Beaches will be Dart’s second musical after 2011’s People in the Picture starring Donna Murphy, which went straight to Broadway and ran for a limited engagement of 10 weeks. She says of the experience: “One of the things I’ve learned is to never open a show on Broadway before you’ve been out of town.” Meanwhile, Beaches is just the latest late ‘80s/early ‘90s classic film to be reimagined for the stage, following the successful run of Groundhog Day, which earned seven Tony Award nominations in 2017, and the upcoming Pretty Woman: The Musical, which is set to open on Broadway in July 2018. In addition to the newly announced Broadway Vacation musical adapted from National Lampoon’s Griswold family film franchise, Cyndi Lauper is still working on new music for Working Girl, based on the 1988 romantic comedy starring Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford. “I’m hoping to actually finish Working Girl while I still have teeth in my mouth,” Lauper joked with ET while promoting her upcoming summer tour with Rod Stewart.
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Sunday, October 15, 2017

All-Star Cast Spearheaded by Midler Brings Out the ‘Freak’ in All of Us

HuffPost All-Star Cast Spearheaded by Midler Brings Out the ‘Freak’ in All of Us By Sarah Toce, Contributor 10/12/2017 Feak Show is based on the award-winning cult novel of the same name by James St James. The coming of age heart warmer relays the timely tale of Billy Bloom, “a boldly confident and eccentric teenager who faces intolerance and persecution at his ultra-conservative high school, and decides to fight back on behalf of all the misunderstood freaks of the world.” The kicker in the equation? His overbearing mother Muv is played by real-life gay rights icon, the incomparable Divine Miss M herself (Bette Midler). In addition to Midler, actors Alex J. Lawther, Abigail Breslin, Laverne Cox, AnnaSophia Robb, Ian Nelson, Celia Watson, Willa Fitzgerald, and Larry Pine star. The film was produced by actress/director Trudi Styler’s production company, Maven Pictures, and Drew Barrymore’s company A Flower Films Production, in association with Bruno Wang Productions. Styler, 63, studied Drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the UK and was a leading player with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her credits include spots on Empire, Love Soup, The Night Of…, Falling Water, and a new Netflix original she can’t yet divulge. Styler has been married to British music legend Sting, 66, since 1992. The power couple share four adult children. “In keeping with the message of the movie, most of the music I chose to support the narrative was composed by LGBTQ artists, for example our own Eliot Sumner, Boy George and Perfume Genius,” Styler said. “The cast features the great gender rights activist Bette Midler and Laverne Cox, herself a notable transgender activist.” When Connecticut-raised Billy (Lawther) is shipped off unexpectedly to live with his father (Pine) in his southern mansion, a whole bunch of crazy transpires. Not one to trade in his face glitter for a letter jacket at his new high school, Billy takes an alternate road to finding new friends and, more importantly, himself. Part Mean Girls, part Napoleon Dynamite, part Clueless, Styler’s take on Freak Show is an intersectional/multi-generational story that aches to be told.
Freak Show
“Before we started casting the film, I met James for dinner and just found him delightful – so full of spirit, and enthusiasm,” she said. “It was a real treat to meet him and see how committed he was to remaining true to himself – like Billy. We talked about how we had both felt like outcasts when we were growing up. We talked about our childhoods and why it was so important to make a movie that touched upon sex and gender tolerance.” Lawther garnered fame starring as the young Alan Turing in the Academy Award-winning 2014 film The Imitation Game. “I found Alex just through the normal casting process you go through…we considered over a hundred boys for the part, and I actually saw some great young actors who could have done a good job of Billy, but when Alex came in and auditioned he brought a vulnerability to the character that made Billy sensitive and appealing underneath all the apparent confidence and self-possession,” Styler said. “I’d been looking for those extra layers to come through, and Alex brought depth to Billy from day one.” Breslin was cast as Alex’s very unlikely rival Lynette. “I love Abigail’s performance as Lynette! She managed to bring such a brashness and superficiality to the screen, she’s fearless,” Styler shared. “We’ve all known those kinds of kids at school who seem to have zero empathy with anyone and are determined to be top dog at whatever cost. Lynette is the epitome of extreme conservatism, and I think what’s shocking to the audience about her attitude is that there is a general expectation in society today that young people will tend to be liberal-minded and tolerant – but we can’t assume that.” Styler and the crew had four weeks to prepare for production and an ambitious total of 22 days to shoot the feature. Ultimately, funding was secured because of Midler’s involvement. “Muv became the linchpin to our finances and the very great Bette Midler accepted the role of Muv,” Styler shared. “From that we were able to really start the Freak Showmachine turning and to get the movie in the can by the night before Thanksgiving.”
Bette Midler/Freak Show
Midler wasn’t sure she wanted the part; she hadn’t worked on film in over four years. Ultimately, Styler called her and asked her to read the script. She did – and immediately signed on. For Styler, this project had a profoundly personal connection to her own childhood. “When I first began to work on the movie, as a story about bullying it resonated with me on a deeply personal level,” Styler shared. “I was bullied myself as a child and teenager, as my face bore the scars of being run down by a truck when I was only two years old. My own children also suffered from being bullied, especially my daughter Eliot who has only recently talked about what a hard time she had at school.” There’s a direct message throughout Freak Show that is perhaps relevant now more than in recent years. “The message of Freak Show is that we are all one in our shared humanity, a humanity which encompasses and connects all colors, sexes, races, and religions,” Styler said. “That is one of the most important lessons we must communicate to young audiences today.” Celebrated costume designer Colleen Atwood is a nine-time Oscar nominee as well as three-time Oscar winner for Into the Woods, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Chicago. She boasts an additional 60 nominations and 30 awards in recognition of her talent, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She brings her unique blend of talent and vigor to Freak Show. Styler’s theatrical inspirations include Perks of Being a Wallflower, Mean Girls, Clueless, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Party Monster, and Hedwig. “From the classic teen comedies to the more avant-garde, experimental films. We wanted our film to combine the best of both,” Styler shared.
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mark Shenton: Why is my theatre ticket so expensive? It’s the economics, stupid

The Stage Mark Shenton: Why is my theatre ticket so expensive? It’s the economics, stupid By Mark Shenton Oct 4, 2017 2017-09-13_3-44-07

Theatre is necessarily a minority activity: even in London’s five largest theatres – the London Coliseum, London Palladium, Royal Opera House, Theatre Royal Drury Lane and the Dominion – just 2,358, 2,286, 2,256, 2,196 and 2,069 people will be able to watch each performance respectively.

Other commercial West End venues range in size from 432 seats (the Fortune) to 1,500 (the Adelphi), but many important London theatres are much smaller: the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs (90 seats), Donmar (251 seats) and Almeida (325 seats) are three of the most high-profile producing venues in London, while the influential and unfunded fringe theatre the Finborough has just 50 seats. ...  Read More

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Bette Midler Accepting Her Outer Critics Circle Award: “But you know what? Once I jumped into the pool, it was pretty good.

Bette Midler Accepting Her Outer Critics Circle Award: “But you know what? Once I jumped into the pool, it was pretty good. I was surprised how much fun I had, especially during the rehearsals. I thought the rehearsals were absolutely top-drawer. I loved it. I looked forward to getting up in the morning and going to meet the kids and learning the steps and standing in the rehearsal room with Andy Einhorn, who is our musical director, without whom I could not have survived. And Larry Hochman did fantastic orchestrations. It’s been a steep learning curve. I’m not too nervous in front of you. I don’t know why. I guess it’s because you’re already reviewed the show so I don’t give a shit.” (Playbill, MAY 27, 2017) Image may contain: 1 person
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Friday, September 15, 2017

Bette Midler Takes a Spill in Set Mishap During ‘Hello, Dolly!’

NBC New York Bette Midler Takes a Spill in Set Mishap During ‘Hello, Dolly!‘ By Michael George and R. Darren Price Sept 14, 2017 2017-09-02_6-51-14

Grammy, Tony and Emmy winner Bette Midler took a spill after a set malfunctioned during a staging of the hit “Hello, Dolly!” revival on Broadway Thursday evening, according to members of the audience.

Audience members posted on Twitter that the 71-year-old peformer fell from a moving set sometime after the curtains rose at Shubert Theatre for the 8 p.m. showtime, leaving them in darkness.

“She was kind of dancing and she was walking back and it looked like the prop didn’t stop moving,” audience member Jamie Gigantiello said. “And then she fell. So something malfunctioned.” ...  Read More

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Friday, September 8, 2017

I’m pretty much what you see on stage. People know that I read, that I’m interested in the world, in the environment, in human emotion. A

I’m pretty much what you see on stage. People know that I read, that I’m interested in the world, in the environment, in human emotion. All my work is pretty revelatory. I don’t hide a lot when I work on stage and I think that’s one of the reasons people are interested in me. And I don’t think I’ve changed. I really feel I’m the same person who got off that bus in New York in 1965. (1991) – Bette Midler Image may contain: 1 person
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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Why You Can’t Find Any Hello Dolly Footage Online

Why You Can’t Find Any Hello Dolly Footage Online Billy Masters by Billy Masters 2017-08-02 ...  Read More

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Plumbing advice so good Bette Midler had to share it

Starts At 60 Plumbing advice so good Bette Midler had to share it July 25, 2017 b9-720x379 If it’s good enough for The Divine Miss M… Multi Grammy Award-winning singer, comedienne and actress Bette Midler took to social media to share what she believed was good advice with her 1.17 million followers. =&0=&@BetteMidler

Skip the Drano! 10 things your plumber wishes you would stop doing http://www.today.com/home/10-things-your-plumber-wishes-you-wouldn-t-do-t78011 

Photo published for Skip the Drano! 10 things your plumber wishes you would stop doing

Skip the Drano! 10 things your plumber wishes you would stop doing

From treating the toilet like a garbage to using toilet fresheners, plumbers share the top 10 things they wish you would stop doing.

today.com Twitter Ads info and privacy And while plumbing advice may seem like a strange thing for the successful entertainer to pass along, it seems even the rich and famous still have real life problems, just like the rest of us. Read below the tips from US plumbers taken from American television morning show Today’s website originally titled: 10 things your plumber wishes you wouldn’t do.  1. You reach for the Drano. This is a big no-no. In fact, even the company who makes Drano says you shouldn’t use their product to unclog a toilet as it can “heat up” your pipes and toilet ultimately cracking a toilet’s porcelain bowl, softening PVC pipes and damaging old pipes. This is because Drano uses caustic chemicals to dissolve whatever is clogging a drain but can sit in the toilet until the clog dissolves. 2. You treat the toilet like a garbage can. Tossing items labeled “flushable” down your toilet is one of the biggest mistakes people make. From feminine hygiene products to personal cleaning wipes, toilet scrubbers, make-up remover pads or even cat litter can ultimately cause a blockage as they don’t disintegrate quickly enough. 3. You try to tackle the plumbing problems yourself. Just because you know the difference between a spanner and socket, a plumber you are not. Trying to fix a plumbing problem yourself will most likely cost you more than hiring a professional. 4. You have no idea where the main water valve is. Find out and learn how to turn off your main water valve and emergency shut off valve in your house – if you don’t know how, most plumbers will show you at no charge. 5. You use drop in toilet fresheners. No one wants unpleasant smells coming from their toilet but dropping a toilet freshener into your bowl can lead to major problems down the track as the tablets often contain chemicals that wear out working parts inside your toilet. They can also get stuck in the flush valve and prevent the toilet from flushing. 6. You forget to replace the hoses. Unlike the required fire alarms fixed in homes, water hoses don’t give you a warning when they’re about to burst so to avoid potential flooding, change out your rubber hoses on washing machines and dishwashers every five years. The head of Washington Energy Service’s plumbing division in Seattle recommends using stainless steel on all water lines if possible. 7. You don’t have a leak protection system. Installing one of these for a few hundred dollars now could save you thousands later as it will sound both an alarm and shut-off your main water should a leak occur. 8. Your hot water heater is outdated. The average lifespan of a hot water heater is eight to 12 years so best to replace it before your old tank inevitably fails and floods your house. 9. You overload the garbage disposal. Grease is best thrown into the bin or recycled for later use – don’t pour it down your garbage disposal as it will eventually solidify and clog the drain. Similarly, fibrous foods like celery and artichokes are bad, along with trying to shove large amount of green waste down the disposal – garbage should be fed slowly through while running cold water. 10. You fiddle with the water heater’s pressure valve. This needs to be done by a professional because if the valve is not properly removed, pressure from the tank can emit scalding hot water which could cause serious burns and even property damage.

Bette Midler Takes on Carol Channing’s Role in Broadway’s ‘Hello, Dolly!’ ...  Read More

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Bootleg Betty Exclusive – The missing lyrics: “I Put My Hand In” from Hello, Dolly! For now, Bette’s extra verse can only be heard on Broadway

A Bootleg Betty Exclusive  The missing lyrics: “I Put My Hand In” from Hello, Dolly!  For now, Bette’s extra verse can only be heard on Broadway BY TODD SUSSMAN July 22, 2017 2017-05-28_2-03-27   By golly, Miss Dolly…say it isn’t so.  For the complete version of Bette Midler‘s vocal performance of her opening number, “I Put My Hand In,” you have to see Hello, Dolly! live at the Shubert Theatre.  The song quickly introduces Dolly Levi as the meddlesome matchmaker who gets the job done, and lucky ticket holders get to hear the entire song with all of composer Jerry Herman’s verses.  However, for owners of the cast CD, it’s another story.  That’s because the final verse of the song has been omitted for the recording.  On the CD, the song ends with this verse:   I put my hand in here I twist a little, stir a little Him a little, her a little Shape a little, mold a little Some poor chap gets sold a little When I use my fist a little Some young bride gets kissed a little Pressure with the thumbs Matrimony comes When, I put my hand in there. In the show, Bette follows up that verse with a heartfelt, spoken plea to her dearly departed Ephraim.  She is looking for a sign to move on with her life – hoping to find the two divine M’s (marriage and money).  Following her request, she reprises the song with these final lyrics: For when my little pinky wiggles Some young maiden gets the giggles Then I make my knuckles active “My” he says “She’s so attractive.” Then I move my index digit And they both begin to fidget Then I clench my palm The preacher reads a psalm When I put my hand in there!     On Broadway, Bette “acts out” the lyrics with matching finger movements – hand choreography that would make even Celine Dion jealous.  And her nine extra vocal lines drive home Dolly’s special matchmaking powers.  With the new cast recording’s running time of just under 50 minutes, there would have been room to include the brief “I Put My Hand In” reprise.  So I went back and listened to the Carol Channing original cast CD from 1964 and guess what.  The verse does not appear there either.  However, three decades later, on the Broadway revival cast CD, Channing’s vocal with the extra verse remains intact.   In 2003, the original cast CD was also re-issued in a deluxe collector’s edition digipak with bonus tracks, and one of those tracks is Mary Martin’s version of “I Put My Hand In” from the 1965 London cast recording.  That one also contains the “bonus” verse!  In both Channing’s 1994 revival and Martin’s 1965 London version, the spoken plea does not appear; the music simply and seamlessly segues into the final vocal.  Completists may wonder about the Pearl Bailey 1967 cast CD.  Nope, no extra verse there.   By the way, there’s an entire musical number not included on any of the cast recordings: “The Contest.”  It’s an Act II instrumental that sets music to the special dance contest taking place at the Harmonia Gardens, where Ermengarde and Ambrose – hey, those would make good names for pet cats, but I digress – are hoping to win the prize money.  “The Contest” instrumental contains a rollicking portion of “I Put My Hand In,” cleverly (if subtly) tying the scene back into Act I.   While it may be “the little song that could,” when Barbra Streisand signed on to star in the big screen version of Hello, Dolly! in the late 1960s, “I Put My Hand In” was pulled out, and a new song written just for Miss Barbra was added in.  The song: “Just Leave Everything To Me.”  According to the composer (from the book, Jerry Herman: The Lyrics), “Barbra asked for a new opening number and mentioned that she loved singing ‘list songs’ with lots of complicated lyrics.  That’s all I had to hear.  And boy, was it wonderfully sung.”  However, “I Put My Hand In” was not totally gone.  Its introductory verse, “I have always been a woman who arranges things…” remained as the opening verse for “Just Leave Everything To Me.”   Interestingly, there was speculation in advance of the Midler/Dolly previews that Bette would perform “Just Leave Everything To Me” in the Broadway revival.  When she started to sing, “I have always been a woman…” at the Shubert, many a baby boomer who grew up on Barbra’s film but missed Carol Channing’s characterization may have momentarily thought Bette was indeed starting to sing the song written especially for Barbra.  Alas, with Jerry Herman’s ingenious songwriting skills, it is nice to have both songs available for the listening ear.   Maybe one day we will get a deluxe CD of Bette’s Dolly performance, with the entire version of “I Put My Hand In,” dialogue from the show, and additional instrumentals (including the gorgeous exit music).  Until then, let’s be thankful for what we have.
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