Thursday, October 23, 2014

NEWS/ Bette Midler Covers TLC’s “Waterfalls”–Listen Now!

EOnline
NEWS/ Bette Midler Covers TLC’s “Waterfalls”–Listen Now!
by REBECCA MACATEE
Oct 23, 2014

For the most part, “Waterfalls” should be performed by TLC.

Bette Midler, however, is an exception, because the 68-year-old’s cover of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and the late Left “Eye” Lopes’ 1995 single is a fresh, soulful take on the beloved R&B hit.

The song, debuted by The Advocate Thursday, will be featured on Midler’s new album It’s The Girls! This album–Midler’s first since 2006–is all about the celebration of girl groups.

“I have loved the sound of females harmonizing since I was a kid; I always sang along. Didn’t we all?” Midler told Billboard. “I think the idea that you could become part of the group was the thing that endeared me to the girl groups. You weren’t just singing along, you were THERE!”

“Since this is a kind of overview of girl groups, I wanted to re-arrange some of the really popular songs and put a new spin on them,” she explained. The “most extreme example” of this, Midler said, is what Billboard calls her “country-fied take” on The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

It’s The Girls! features Midler’s take on songs from seven generations of girl groups, including The Crystals and The Chiffons (sorry, ladies, no Spice Girls). On her website, she called the album “an exquisite explosion of estrogen!”

“Yes, I love the music these women made, but I also love the world of the groups themselves,” she wrote. “The legends, the rumors, the hair!! How many movies and books have come out of that world? Not enough, if you ask me!! Some of the groups were formed and trained at home, like the Boswells and the Andrews Sisters, some were put together by the labels themselves, and some met on street corners or subway staircases, looking for an echo. But whether they were sister acts or musical arranged marriages, they all had one thing in common–that SOUND!”

“Well, the fantastic outfits didn’t hurt either,” she conceded. “Or the synchronized dances. Okay, so maybe three things in common.”

“Some girl groups survived, some didn’t; some were taken advantage of, some wrote their own rules, many went through fire just for the chance to sing,” Midler acknowledged. “There is no denying that much of what they went through, just as women, was difficult, but there is also no denying that what they gave to the world is still relevant, and still necessary; joy, attitude, and the golden dream of a youth that will never fade.”

“They say behind every great man, there’s a great woman,” she wrote “Well, I think that behind every great woman, there should be at least two other women singing and dancing in perfect unison.”
It’s The Girls! is set for a Nov. 4 release.

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Bette Midler Covers TLC’s ‘Waterfalls’

Bette Middler is paying tribute to some of the greatest harmonies performed by girl groups in music history with her upcoming collection of covers It’s the Girls.

The album, available November 4 from Warner Bros. records, features 15 classic tracks by legendary ladies including the Ronettes, the Supremes, TLC, and the Chiffons, among others.

“A long time ago I fell in love with voices in harmony,” Midler said in a press release. “In particular, the sound of female voices singing together. There were so many great girl groups in those days, I still listen as avidly as I ever did. This record is a small attempt to honor them for all the joy they brought to me and the world.”

Listen to the iconic singer’s smooth rendition of TLC’s “Waterfalls” below, (debuting exclusively through The Advocate), delicately delivered as only the Divine Miss M can.

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Miley Cyrus Recasts ‘Hocus Pocus’

MTV.com
Miley Cyrus Recasts ‘Hocus Pocus
I want to play the cat.
by brenna ehrlich
October 22, 2014

10-22-2014 6-05-05 PM

Your favorite ’90s Halloween flick, “Hocus Pocus,” is getting a hypothetical reboot — via Miley Cyrus. The “Wrecking Ball” singer has gone ahead and dreamt up a new cast for the flick with a little help from her fwends.

Cyrus shared the below snap to Instagram this week, switching out the faces of The Sanderson sisters with her own mug (as Winifred), Wayne Coyne (as Sarah) and her assistant, Cheyne Thomas (as Mary).

We’re not exactly sure what a Miley-fied “Hocus Pocus” would look like, but we’d definitely be down to hear Miley and Wayne cover Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put A Spell On You,” like Bette Midler does in the flick.

 

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Bette Midler To Appear On Live With Kelly and Michael November 7

News: Set Your DVR’s – Bette will be on Live With Kelly and Michael November 7, 2014

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Why You’re Crazy Addicted to ‘Hocus Pocus

Mashable
Why You’re Crazy Addicted to ‘Hocus Pocus
BY YOHANA DESTA
October 22, 2014

back

Something wicked this way comes.

Since 1993, the Disney film Hocus Pocus has been a perennial Halloween favorite, scaring up a new batch of children every year. Starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as a trio of evil witches known as the Sanderson sisters, the film is a kitschy gem. Through

Something wicked this way comes.

Since 1993, the Disney film Hocus Pocus has been a perennial Halloween favorite, scaring up a new batch of children every year. Starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as a trio of evil witches known as the Sanderson sisters, the film is a kitschy gem. Through countless showings on TV, and soaring DVD sales (which peak every October), it has become the cult favorite scary movie for a generation of kids.

But how did a film, which flopped at the box office and got middling reviews become so beloved and financially successful? Like many cult films, it took a winding path that relied on staunch fans and invaluable TV reruns. The witchy little flick had all the right elements: big-name stars, a campy concept and a PG script that flirted with PG-13 jokes.

It took some time, but Hocus Pocus eventually became a Halloween mainstay. Here’s how it happened.

Gloomy beginnings

The entirety of Hocus Pocus takes place on Halloween night, minus a witchy flashback to colonial times. A California family settles into life in the magic-obsessed town of (where else?) Salem, Massachusetts. Max, the tie-dye-wearing teen, takes little sister Dani trick-or-treating, but things start to take an adventurous turn. After eventually scooping up Allison, his classroom crush, they take a trip to the haunted house of the Sanderson sisters, three witches who were burned at the stake 300 years ago. Max, unafraid of superstition, lights the black flame candle, which brings them back from the dead (as long as it’s lit by a virgin). Mayhem ensues. And for good measure — there’s a talking cat.

There were a lot of elements rooting against the film. Initially, it was pegged as a Disney Channel Original Movie, instead of being released in theaters. Though millennials of a certain age can fondly recall their favorite DCOM (Brink!, anyone?), those little films didn’t tend to draw huge audiences (rare exception: High School Musical).

In 1993, before we could tweet our favorite things into cult stardom, Hocus Pocus had a fat chance of getting noticed. However, Disney saw potential in the script, according to IMDb, and decided to release it in theaters.

But here’s strike two: These days, movie executives do everything to capitalize on holiday fever by strategically releasing each and every film. If Hocus Pocus had been released today, it would have hit theaters in late September, or October. But instead, Hocus Pocus was released on July 16. In addition, it came out on the same day as Free Willy, the feel-good, blockbuster movie about a boy and an orca whale.

The perplexing marketing move is one of many reasons the film performed poorly. Though it starred familiar faces, the ill-timed release sank its prospects. Why take your kid to a film about three evil witches being brought to life by a teen virgin, when you could see a heartwarming flick about whales instead? Hocus Pocus earned just $39,514,713 domestically.

Reviews for the film didn’t help. Roger Ebert gave it one out of four stars, while New York Times critic Janet Maslin said it had “virtually no grip on its story.”

For any other film, that would have been a wrap.

The cult strikes

When you look at its Rotten Tomatoes rating, you’ll find a 33% critic rating, but a 70% audience rating — a numerical representation of its beloved status.

The movie was released on VHS on Sept. 9, 1994, a little over a year after its poor theatrical showing. Sales of the video started to pick up, steadily increasing over the years. The film was later released on DVD on June 4, 2002. That rise still hasn’t slowed, in part because of its slightly risqué script.

The generation who grew up watching it can relive it and finally understand the many adult-themed jokes that lace the dialogue. (How many 8-year-olds actually know what a virgin is?) It manages to have the right amount of spice and scariness, teetering on the cusp of child film and secret adult guilty pleasure. Christina Cauterucci of NPR writes about its surprisingly inappropriate jokes:

“Why is this movie, which I only saw once or twice while I was in the target age demographic, so much more fun to watch as a grown-up? Like most children’s films these days (Pixar’s especially), Hocus Pocus serves up a heaping helping of adult humor that went way over my head back in the early ’90s. Hocus Pocus serves up a heaping helping of adult humor that went way over my head back in the early ’90s.”

Case in point: When one character tells another to “Go to hell!”, decidedly angry language for children’s ears. Or, when 8-year-old Dani accidentally tells Allison that Max likes her “yabbos.” Or when Winifred tells a leering bus driver that she “desires children” (so she can suck out their souls), and he cheekily replies with, “Hey, that may take me a couple of tries, but I don’t think that’d be a problem.” Jokes for adults, sneakily packed into a kid movie.

It works double time, catering to any age group who watches it. And many age groups are, with its relentless yearly showings on television. Since 2007, the film has been a top telecast of ABC Family’s flagship 13 Nights of Halloween series. In 2009, 2.5 million people tuned in to watch it on a Saturday evening, making it the most-watched movie in the series. Since then, it has aired two or three times per year on the network, an ABC spokesperson tells Mashable.

Sales of the DVD also tend to grow every October. Movie data site The Numbers tells Mashable that in 2008, sales were $659,560. The next year, $911,461. The next year, it broke a million with $1,155,773. The peak year was 2012, where it sold $2,324,042 worth of units. Come 2013, it’s still in the millions, moving $1,808,035 DVDs.

Unlike other cult films, Hocus Pocus didn’t generate its status by slipping into mystery after its theatrical release. It rose ruthlessly, bolstered by the constant TV airings which help bring in a new crowd every year. Just this month, it’s become the second most-searched movie on Yahoo by 908% (beaten only by Maleficent, a brand new movie released this year).

hocus_pocus2

Midler, who still considers the film one of her favorites she’s ever done, thinks the movie took off for another reason.

“We made it before the tidal wave of Halloween happened,” she told Katie Couric. “Now it’s like huge. It’s huge—kids, grown-ups, everyone takes part in it. This movie was kind of like the beginning of the wave.”

While the rise of Halloween is another conversation, she’s not wrong about how major the holiday has become — and how prevalent the film has remained thanks to its spooky ties. Between Oct. 26 and Nov. 1, you can watch it six times on TV (twice on ABC Family, four times on Lifetime).

As for any fears that the movie’s fandom will die? That’s just a bunch of hocus pocus.

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Video Teasers – Be My Baby And One Fine Day

10-22-2014 9-15-39 AM

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BetteBack DECEMBER 31, 1986: Outrageous Fortune Variety Review

Variety Staff
DECEMBER 31, 1986 | 11:00PM PT

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Outrageous Fortune is well crafted, old-fashioned entertainment that takes some conventional elements, shines them up and repackages them as something new and contemporary. It’s a traditional male buddy film that has substituted women and the main plot device is that the two heroines are sleeping with the same man. Bette Midler and Shelley Long collide even before their affections do in an acting class given by the eminent Russian director Stanislov Korenowski (Robert Prosky). Long is a wealthy, spoiled dilettante while Midler last starred in Ninja Vixens. When the audience learns they’re sharing the same man (Peter Coyote) before they do, it’s a delicious moment complete with one image-shattering sight gag.

The film takes off as a chase picture with the girls following Coyote to New Mexico to demand a decision. They’re not the only ones looking for him. It seems the CIA is hot on his trail as is the KGB. To top things off, it turns out Korenowski is a Russian agent first and a director second.

Even when Leslie Dixon’s script sags and becomes a bit repetitious in the long New Mexico chase section, Midler and Long are never less than fun to watch.

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Bette Midler cuddles up to doppelganger daughter Sophie Von Haselberg

Daily Mail
Bette Midler cuddles up to doppelganger daughter Sophie Von Haselberg as she attends opening night of off-Broadway play
By LISA BOWMAN FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 07:47 EST, 21 October 2014 | UPDATED: 07:50 EST, 21 October 2014

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Bette Midler had every reason to look proud as she arrived at the Vineyard Theatre in New York City for the opening night of Billy & Ray on Monday.

The singer and actress was there to support her daughter, Sophie Von Haselberg, who stars in the off-Broadway play.

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Dressed all in black for the occasion, the 68-year-old beamed from ear to ear as she had her photo taken.

It was actress Sophie’s New York theatre debut, so her Grammy Award-winning mum had extra reason to be proud!

The play is set in 1940s Hollywood and charts the birth of the film noir concept.

The comedy portrays the true story of writer-director Billy Wilder and novelist Raymond Chandler as they collaborate for the silver screen, whilst creating a groundbreaking movie classic.
Mad Men actor Vincent Kartheiser plays the role of Wilder, while Broadway star Larry Pine plays Chandler.

The actress posed for pictures with her Wind Beneath My Wings singer mother and the play’s director Garry Marshall, at the after party

The trio looked happy, no doubt relieved that the opening night had gone well.

The Hocus Pocus star wore black jeans with a satin black jacket, whilst her daughter bared her legs in a black tweed skater dress and trendy shoe boots.

The play is running until November 9.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bette Midler Covers the Chiffons’ ‘One Fine Day’

The Wall Street Journal
Speakeasy
Oct 21, 2014 MUSIC
By ERIC R. DANTON

Bette Midler’s past few albums have focused on songs made famous by Peggy Lee and Rosemary Clooney, along with a collection of holiday favorites. She takes a different tack on the classics on her upcoming release, covering songs by iconic girl groups on “It’s the Girls!” Speakeasy today premieres one of them, Midler’s version of the Chiffons’ hit “One Fine Day.”

Midler stays faithful to the original, written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, letting her formidable voice ring out over candy-coated backing vocals and a classic early ’60s girl-group arrangement loaded with piano, strummed acoustic guitar and sharp drums.

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“Kids always used to say they were going to run away and join the circus. I always wanted to run away to join a girl group,” Midler says by email. “‘One Fine Day’ is just one of those songs, for me, that immediately brings up the same happy feelings as when I first heard it.”

Midler’s latest is the 14th studio album in a career that began in the theater and has encompassed roles on Broadway in shows including “Fiddler on the Roof,” singing in a New York City bathhouse and movie roles, along with three Grammys, four Golden Globes, two Oscar nominations and more than 30 million albums sold. She had a No. 1 hit in 1989 with “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which appeared on the “Beaches” soundtrack and won a Grammy for record of the year in 1990.

“It’s the Girls!” is due on Warner Bros. Records on Nov. 4. What do you think of Midler’s version of “One Fine Day?” Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Bette Midler, Jon Hamm, Alexis Bledel, and More Toast Billy & Ray on Opening Night at the Vineyard Theatre

Theatermania
Bette Midler, Jon Hamm, Alexis Bledel, and More Toast Billy & Ray on Opening Night at the Vineyard Theatre
By David Gordon • Oct 21, 2014 • New York City

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The Vineyard Theatre’s production of Mike Bencivenga’s Billy & Ray, directed by television legend Garry Marshall, celebrated its opening night on October 20. The cast, made up of Vincent Kartheiser, Larry Pine, Sophie von Haselberg, and Drew Gehling, toasted the occasion with their guests, a list that included von Haselberg’s mom, Bette Midler, Kartheiser’s wife, Alexis Bledel, and his Mad Men costar, Jon Hamm, among others.

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