As reported a few weeks ago, Bette Midler will perform in concert at the MGM Grand in a show titled Diva Las Vegas! The concert will air exclusively on HBO on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 9 PM. Chris Albrecht, President of HBO Original Programming, recently remarked, "This concert marks Bette's fourth appearance on HBO, the first coming 20 years ago. She has an amazing act with a magical mix of music, comedy and spectacle. She's one of a kind."
Midler recently performed her new concert at the Universal Amphitheatre, which seats over 6,000 people. Adam Sandler in Daily Variety had this to say about one of the supreme divas:
". . .[Midler] offered soaring high notes mixed among the sweeping ballads, nasally retorts during the showstopping shtick and dance steps that would kill most performers half her age.
"And only the Divine Miss M could pull off singing "New York, New York" dressed in her Delores DeLago mermaid get-up and close the tune by joining her backing singers for a Rockettes-style chorus line with fish tails aloft in sync with the tune's downbeats.
". . .Her visits to "The Rose" soundtrack perhaps best-defined Midler's substantial contributions to the music industry, with her signature sound and style that is often emulated but never duplicated.
". . .The sold-out house. . .found much favor with everything she did onstage."
"Midler had previously performed her new act in Seattle, and she received a rave review from Patrick MacDonald in the Seattle Times. Following are some excerpts from his glowing review:
". . .More than fabulous, more than divine, Bette Midler has reached some kind of stratospheric plane far above even the heavens. . .The centerpiece of the show, which will be filmed in Las Vegas next month for an HBO special, is a burlesque number so finely realized it knocks you back in your seat. . .Then she turns the laughs around and ends the piece dramatically with a medley from "Gypsy."
". . .For all the wackiness, there were also moments of tenderness. "From a Distance" and "Wind Beneath My Wings" were done straightforwardly and movingly. Among the most charming moments of the night were an impromptu "Little Town of Bethlehem" and a singalong to "The Glory of Love."
". . .First half highlights included a lively, gospelly "Miss Otis Regrets," a moving "Bed of Roses" and a dramatic, goose bump-raising performance of "The Rose."
". . .We're talking perfection here. This is one show more than worth the ticket price. What an experience!"
So, be sure to catch Bette Midler: Diva Las Vegas on HBO on Saturday, Jan. 18.
BERNADETTE PETERS/LAURIE BEECHMAN
Last week we were informed that Bernadette will be the opening act when Bill Clinton is sworn in as President of the United States for the second time on Jan. 19, and we recently heard that the song BP will be singing is Alan Menken's "These are the Good Times." Another great lady will be closing the show, Laurie Beechman, who will be singing "You'll Never Walk Alone," one of the great tunes from her most recent CD, No One Is Alone. With two of the greatest performers around, it should prove to be a truly memorable inauguration.
That's all for now. Next time, news about Betty and Patti. Happy diva watching!
-- By Andrew Gans
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