Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Video: Bette Midler: Cleaning And Greening New York

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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BetteBack October 27, 1983: We Need More Bette Midler TV Specials

Pacific Stars And Stripes October 27, 1983
Midler TV special is long overdue

6-1-2012 12-11-25 AM

What television needs is — well, there are so many things.
How about another Bette Midler special? Midler really
is overdue. She has a two-special contract with NBC * the first
one was seen in 1977, and she hasn’t started work on the
second one even yet.

“It was a contract for two specials, but at my whim, you
know, at my leisure,” says Midler, “so I never got around to
dping that second show. I’d like to do one before the year is
out. I’d like to do SOMETHING before the year is out.”

Midler is between TV specials and between movies, but she
is not between records (her new one is called “No Frills”) and
certainly not between books, since she is currently on a tencity
tour to trumpet “The Saga of Baby Divine,” an
ingenuous verse fable she wrote over the past two years. And
so k Midler is appearing on local talk shows around the
country, and the “Today” show, too, but she’s just talking,
not singing and dancing.

TELEVISION NEEDS SOME singing and dancing, some
momentary relief from the screaming tires and the cackling
laugh tracks. Midler’s first special was a hoot, a howl, and a
delight, and it won an Emmy. She opened the show emerging
from a giant clam and singing “Oklahoma!” with a troupe of
Polynesians, remember?

She remembers. “I was chubby,” she says.
The special was called “Ql’ Red Hair is Back.” Now, OP Red
Hair is blonde, but otherwise unchanged — at 37, still
charming, disarming, sassy, brassy, and happily crazy after
all these years. During a visit here, she kept jumping up from
the sofa in her hotel suite to runinto the bathroom and try on
one of her new hats. “I think every lady author should wear a
hat,” she lectures. “It’s a mark of distinction.”

Most of the hats look teleported in from the ’40s or ’50s and
most have veils. “I’m dying to start a trend,” she says.

THERE’S NO KEEPING this game gal in one place for very
long. Her TV appearances are always full of surprises. On a
local Washington talk show, she advised against taking;
vitamins on an empty stomach because when she does that,!
she said, “I get the runs.” And she sparkled brightly a couple
of years ago when Barbara Walters came to call with her
shopping bag full of nosy questions. :

At one point Midler told Walters, “Get out of my house,”:
but she was only kidding. :

“I enjoyed doing her show,” says Midler. “She leans in,!
you know. She’s always leaning in. It was fun. I kinda like
her. At least she doesn’t intimidate me. I think she’s pretty
kind. She doesn’t really go for the throat. And she never made
me cry, which some of them have. Rona Barrett always used
to love to watch me mess up. I miss Rona — sort of. I don’t
think she realized how funny she was. But she always used to
talk about my home life and I always used to break into
tears.”

Midler has not had a happy time of it in Hollywood being
Little Miss Movie Star. Though “The Rose” was a hit, her
films “Divine Madness,” a filmed concert, and “Jinxed,” now
showing on HBO, did not do well, and she is not pleased with
them. But this year’s Midler concert tour was also recorded
on film, and it could eventually be sold to cable television or to
a network, once the NBC obligation is fulfilled.

“I HAVEN’T DONE MUCH television,” she says. “It’s kind of
a cold atmosphere in TV. It doesn’t have the magic of film.”
But Midler’s magic comes through on television, as it did a
year ago when she was one of the few bright spots at the 1982
Oscar show. She described “Endless Love” as “Endless
Movie.”

Although Midler has to be homogenized a little for
television, as most things do, her earthy brashness is
unmistakable. The musical-variety special on TV, meanwhile,
has fallen into terrible times in recent years; what few still
exist are usually the result of some sharpy agent’s clever
contract arrangements with a network. Though she can’t sing
or dance, Cheryl Ladd gets a musical special because
somebody made a smart deal for her. Midler says she hopes to
leave Hollywood and move back to New York because the
heavy smog from the deal-makers’ cigars is beginning to
choke her.

“They don’t have what it takes any more, and they’re all in,
you know, the deal-making business,” she groans. “It has
nothing to do with the product itself. They throw that stuff
out in the marketplace, most of them, and just pray.”
The sooner Bette Midler comes bouncing back to television,
the better.

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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BetteBack October 23, 1983: Bette Midler At The CrossRoads

Elyria Chronicle Telegram October 23, 1983
A subdued Bette Midler is facing a new crossroad

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There’s but a mere puff of soft blond curls atop Bette Midler‘s head these days instead of the usual explosion of harlot red locks.

And tailored slacks and leather boots have replaced the boas and mules of her trashy-flash past.

Miss M., though still divine, is a little more sedate. She’s busy promoting a new book, “The Saga of Baby Divine,” and a new record album, “No Frills.” She’s also pensive.

“This book and this record are the end of a certain period in my life,” she says. “I want to take stock of myself. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but it will be something I want to do.”

IT WILL BE nothing like her last film, the appropriately titled “Jinxed,” which almost made moviegoers forget the excellent performance she gave in “The Rose” – a role that landed her an Academy Award nomination for best actress.

“Rose — that was one of the happiest times of my life,” she said. “She never let me down.

Afterwards, I went back on the road, went back to the studio and continued my life.”

She’d like to do more movies, but says “you have to be a robot or a Martian or a superman to get a role.” Hollywood and its prohibitive way of making movies frustrates her.

“MARTHA RAYE once said she had had some offers to do her life story and she said the only person she wanted to do it was me,” Miss Midler said. “It’s terribly frustrating — it’s like pulling teeth. By the time I get to play Martha Raye, I’ll be her age.”

She’s written a screenplay — “a comedy about a girl who doesn’t win an Oscar” — and is thinking about doing a documentary on a woman who won the lottery in England. She’s learned from the film business, though she’s slightly fed up.

“I’m a little tougher from it,” she said. “It’s made me more irritable and I’ve lost patience. I used to love the picture business and I wanted to do great work.”

NOW SHE casts her eyes on writing as a source for creative joy.

Her book, “The Saga of Baby Divine,” with pop art, airbrush illustrations by Todd Schorr, was published earlier this month by Crown Publishers Inc.

It’s the story of a red-haired babe who wears purple highheeled shoes, a feathered boa and a diamond-studded safety
pin in her Hawaiian print diaper.

As the tot’s mother gasps in the book: “If only she weren’t so flashy! I know this is odd for a Mother to say – but I find her — well — just a bit trashy!”

The story, written entirely in verse, originated from “the depths of my soul,” Miss Midler said.

“I was a great reader as a child. 1 loved the parts you had to memorize, you know, like, ‘Solomon Grundy, born on Monday, christened on Tuesday, married on Wednesday,’” she said.

“THE STORY came to me one day before I passed out — went to sleep. It sounded like a winner. I could see her in my
mind’s eye.”

She spent two years pulling the book together. “If you read it between the lines, it’s a fairly hopeful book.

There’s a comforting quality to it, too.”

In the early days, when she first landed in New York from Hawaii so she could pursue a career in THE THEATER, Miss Midler was a big hit at the Continental Baths and had a largely homosexual following.

By the time she did her “Clams on the Half Shell” Broadway show in 1974, she was a national cult figure.

“I set out to… I didn’t want to be anonymous. That was the basic thrust of it,” she said.

“Most people do. Some people walk through life without a single hello from a fellow human being.”

SHE’S 37 now, pondering motherhood as the biological clock ticks away and living out of a suitcase between New York
and California.

“I can’t sleep in either place,” she laments. “I don’t feel at home. I even drag things around, like my jammies and my pillow.”

Her older sister, Susan, and her younger brother, Daniel, live in New York. Her oldest sister, Judith, died in a car accident in New York in 1968. Her father, a former house painter, is still in Hawaii.

“We never had subscriptions to anything except ‘Readers’ Digest,’” she said. “One of my father’s biggest thrills was when they printed something in ‘Quotable Quotes’ that I had said. He thought I had finally made it.”

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Save The Date: Carly Ozard to Debut MIDLER ON THE ROOF at The Duplex, 5/25, NYC

Broadway World
Carly Ozard to Debut MIDLER ON THE ROOF at The Duplex, 5/25
April 16

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After sold-out performances in New York City and her hometown of San Francisco, cabaret singer Carly Ozard will debut her latest show Midler on the Roof at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 25, 2014 at cabaret institution The Duplex, 61 Christopher Street at 7th Avenue in New York City. Tickets are $10 (plus a 2-drink minimum) and advance reservations are highly recommended by contacting (212) 255-5438 or www.theduplex.com.

Since moving to New York City two years ago, Carly Ozard has headlined distinguished cabaret venues including the Laurie Beechman Theatre and the Iridium with her acclaimed shows Shift Happens and Somebody to Love: My Musical Tribute to Freddie Mercury. Described as “San Francisco’s premiere cabaret psychotherapy patient… self-deprecating and very funny” by Steve Murray in Cabaret Scenes magazine, Carly is raising the stakes even further with her personal and powerful new show Midler on the Roof-which she describes as “a musical journey of Divine intervention.” Midler on the Roof is directed by Kristine Zbornik, a noted cabaret and Broadway performer and teacher, who has added extra zing to Carly’s characteristically candid humor.

Growing up in a small Northern California town that offered few artistic opportunities, Carly was severely bullied because of her flair for theater, singing, and sequins. Her mother introduced her to the Divine Miss M at age 6, and Bette Midler‘s music soon became the soundtrack of Carly’s adolescence-a source of comfort and “musical therapy.” Remembers Carly, “I loved how over-the-top she was, and how she didn’t apologize for her big voice and personality.”

In Midler on the Roof, Carly portrays her younger self from elementary through high school as she faces her fears, finds her voice, and gradually learns to embrace her unique identity as a budding performer. She recognizes the family and friends who had her back and also recalls some awkward teenage moments-like auditioning for the school band with a Bette Midler song instead of Bach (she’ll even play the tune on her old clarinet!).

Carly’s “powerhouse” vocals (Sue Matsuki, Cabaret Hotline Online) are an ideal match for Midler’s extensive and eclectic catalogue, spanning from early gems like “Delta Dawn” and “Hello in There” to the Tom Waits-penned “Shiver Me Timbers” to the huge hit “Wind Beneath My Wings.” The show’s musical director and pianist Steven Ray Watkins has created a special arrangement of the Julie Gold classic “From a Distance” that Carly describes as “my anti-bullying anthem.” With support from her backup singers (and acclaimed vocalists in their own right) Karen Mack and Uraina Collazo, Carly will invite the audience to join in a rousing sing-along of “I’m Beautiful” from Midler’s album Bathhouse Betty. And yes, there will be a nod to Midler’s early Broadway turn in Fiddler on the Roof-but Carly prefers to keep the details of that homage under wraps.

Carly Ozard hails from San Francisco, where she won the San Francisco Cabaret Competition; presented many one-woman shows at the prestigious Rrazz Room; and appeared in the Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation Benefits. In 2009, she debuted Somebody to Love: My Musical Tribute to Freddie Mercury to a sold-out house at New York City’s Don’t Tell Mama; according to Broadwayworld.com, “What a debut it was! Full of heart, passion, great music, and fantastic vocals, it was a thoroughly entertaining show from top to bottom.” Since moving to New York City, Carly has also wowed audiences at 54 Below, Jim Caruso’s Cast Party at Birdland, The Cranky Cabaret, The Iridium, The Duplex, Stu Hamstra’s Annual “March is Cabaret Month” Gala, and as guest host of Mark Janas’ award-winning Salon. Other New York credits include Toulouse! The Musical with the New York Theatre Barn, and the upcoming Dragula with Variations Theatre Group. Carly has shared the stage with Ann Hampton Callaway, Bruce Vilanch, Debby Boone, Tim Hockenberry, and Sharon McNight among other music and comedy luminaries. Visit www.carlyozard.com

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Bette to speak at Hyatt luncheon May 1 in Dallas

The Dallas Voice
Bette to speak at Hyatt luncheon
Posted on 17 Apr 2014 at 3:53pm

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If you think I should have put a last name in the headline, you have no need to read further and won’t be attending.

Bette Midler will be in town on May 1 for the Woman to Woman 2014 Luncheon benefiting Jewish Family Services. Chad Mantooth and I are two Jewish women here in the Dallas Voice office that will be there.

The first time I saw Midler perform was in her first role on Broadway as Tzeitel in the original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof. I saved my Playbill and years later she signed it. A few years later, I saw her first concert on Broadway, Clams on the Half Shell. Her piano player from her Continental Baths show, Barry Manilow, was in the audience. She pulled him up on stage, and they did an extra half hour that day. Over the years, I’ve seen a number of her concerts. I’ve always been exhausted after watching her perform. She’s always been nonstop, high-energy, start to finish.

The only reason I’m not still watching Ruthless People and Down and Out in Beverly Hills is because my Beta machine finally conked out, and I never replaced them on DVD.

Beaches I only saw once — I thought a great Bette movie would be comforting after coming home from my partner Jon’s funeral. Not the right time to watch it, but I had a good cry with Bette.

For anyone unfamiliar with Jewish Family Services, their offices are on Arapahoe Road in a building on the old Prestonwood Mall site. Its services, open to anyone, not just the Jewish community, include marital, family, divorce and individual counseling. LGBT families have always been welcome at JFS, which has partnered in the past with LGBT synagogue Congregation Beth El Binah to create a coming out and a parents group. A food bank, family violence intervention, employment services and services for children and adults with special needs are among the many services provided by JFS.

Woman to Woman luncheon at Hyatt Regency Hotel, 300 Reunion Blvd. May 1 at 11:30 a.m. Individual tickets $250 available online or at 469-206-1664.

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Reminder: The Brilliant Lecture Series Presents ‘A Conversation with Bette Midler’

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The Brilliant Lecture Series, Inc. is a non-profit company that aims to inspire and educate Houston audiences by presenting them with prominent members of our society such as national and international leaders, artists, humanitarians, philanthropists, and role models. In the past, they have hosted such influential names as Dr. Maya Angelou, Linda Eder, Professor Stephen Hawking, Betty White, Betty Buckley, Sir Sidney Poitier, and Diane Keaton to name just a few. On par with their mission, in the past, Brilliant Lecture Series has also hosted BRiLL KiDS Talks, which teach children about a variety of subjects ranging from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Seminars to sessions on Space Exploration and Financial Literacy. One of the central goals of this non-profit organization is to present audiences with speakers that can motivate them and can emphasize the importance of having a dream and following it.

For those that have yet to experience one of these events, now is the perfect time! Their next event is about a week away. On April 29, the Brilliant Lecture Series, with Tenenbaum & Co. Classic Jeweler and Lynn Wyatt, will be bringing in Bette Midler for a one night engagement. In an intimate evening with Hollywood royalty, The Divine Miss M is set to take the stage for an interview highlighting her astonishing life and career. As part of the “Conversations with Brilliance” series, Bette Midler will take the audience through her life journey, which includes a career spanning more than 40 years, earning her Grammys, Emmys, Golden Globes, a Tony, and Academy Award nominations.

As an artist, her accomplishments are innumerable. Bette Midler has appeared in over two dozen films, sold millions of albums, published two books, made her mark on television, and deftly delivered over 200 performances of her Vegas Spectacular, The Showgirl Must Go On. Most recently, she returned to the Broadway stage in the critically acclaimed one-woman play, I’LL EAT YOU LAST. Incidentally, her efforts to support and give back to the community are equally impressive. In 1994, she started the non-profit New York Restoration Project (NYRP), an organization dedicated to bringing neglected parks, gardens, and open spaces in all five boroughs back to life. NYRP set the standard for greening efforts in New York City and is committed to creating a greener, more sustainable city. Bette Midler’s appearance, culminating in a question and answer session, is sure to be as unforgettable an experience as it is inspiring.

“A Conversation with Bette Midler” is an event that is too good to miss! The one night only engagement takes place on Tuesday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. in The Wortham Center, Brown Theater. To book your tickets, please call: (832) 487-7041. For tickets, more information about Brilliant Lecture Series, or to view upcoming events, please visit www.BrilliantLectures.org.

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Catching Up: Bette Midler Attends the 3rd Annual Sean Penn & Friends HELP HAITI HOME Gala

Yahoo News
By SANDY COHEN
January 12, 2014 5:38 AM

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — While many stars are awash in the gifts and parties of Golden Globes weekend, a few used their privilege to benefit the people of Haiti — and they were rewarded with an intimate performance by U2.

Bette Midler, Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, Piers Morgan, Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, Idris Elba and Kathryn Bigelow were among the guests Saturday at Sean Penn‘s third annual Help Haiti Home benefit, which raised nearly $6 million for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. The dinner party at the Montage Hotel included a surprise performance by U2— the band’s first in four years.

The J/P Haitian Relief Organization has been working since the 2010 earthquake to provide emergency care and sustainable shelter and education to the people of Haiti. But Penn says he hopes his organization is obsolete within 10 years.

He said progress in the Caribbean nation has been miraculous despite corruption and “inaccurate, bad Journalism.”

“I’m not satisfied. I want more,” he said. “But this couldn’t have happened in the United States: This amount of clean up, this amount of resilience.”

He expects all of the people displaced by the earthquake to find permanent housing within the next two years. Nearly two million have already moved out of the emergency camps and into homes.

Besides lending his time and his fame to the cause, Penn also gave his vintage El Camino to benefit his organization. It sold for $100,000 at auction Saturday.

The earth is such a tiny speck in the universe that the only thing that makes sense is to take care of those on the planet with us, he said. He promised to reward those who participated in the auction.

Midler, Paltrow and Kevin Bacon cast bids. Paltrow’s husband, Coldplay front man Chris Martin, won an exclusive art piece from Banksy for $650,000. Anderson Cooper, the evening’s host, gave the biggest donation: His auction bid of $1.4 million won a sculpture to be made from Penn’s 65 discarded firearms.

U2′s three-song performance — stunning in a hotel ballroom — followed a tender, acoustic performance earlier in the evening with Bono, guitarist The Edge and Haitian singer Anaelle Jean-Pierre.

Emma Thompson noted the contrast between the Help Haiti event and other pre-awards-show parties.

“I’m here for awards season,” she said, “and this is the first night I’ve been having a good time.”

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Queerty: Bette Midler As Mae West: Five Reasons To Be Excited

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Has there ever been a broad  brassier  than Bette Midler? It’s debatable, but Mae West definitely comes close.  We’ll soon get a chance to compare the two tough-talking dames when the self-proclaimed Divine Miss M. plays the legendary screen siren in an upcoming film.

maepaulYounger Queerty readers with only a passing knowledge of  Midler’s extraordinary career are unlikely to be familiar with the wild West so here’s a short primer:

Noted for bawdy zingers such as “So many men, so little time!” and (my personal fave) ”I’ve been in more laps than a napkin” (slip that bon mot into your next holiday party conversation!), she basically put the “bomb” in bombshell. After achieving success on Broadway in the roaring 1920s with her racy self-penned sex opuses, West headed to Hollywood to make a string of hit comedy films. She launched Cary Grant’s career and saved Paramount studios from bankruptcy. When her film career waned, she returned to the stage, always surrounded by a bevy of beefy bodybuilders and/or gay men, even singing on the Oscars with Rock Hudson. She returned to movies in the 1970s still cluelessly pushing the same sexy act on audiences with two lurid camp classics, Myra Breckinridge and Sextette, before her death in 1980. West’s penchant for shocking audiences undoubtedly paved the road to superstardom for other blonde provocateurs like Madonna and Gaga.

Potentially good stuff, right? However, it’s always a very slippery slope when one iconic entertainer portrays another. For every Barbra Streisand who won a best actress Oscar for her interpretation of vaudevillian Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, there’s a Lindsay Lohan who sunk to a depressing career low when she tried to impersonate Ole Violet Eyes Elizabeth Taylor in Liz & Dick. Below are a few reasons to look forward to this movie.

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The film has a tony pedigree.

William Friedkin, an Oscar-winning director responsible for The Boys in the Band, among other classics, knows how to shoot a bitchy one-liner. He’ll helm the pic from a screenplay written by Harvey Fierstein (above), the outspoken genius responsible for dragtastic triumphs such as Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage aux Folles and Kinky Boots. His source material is West’s candid 1959 memoir Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It. The movie will air on HBO, undoubtedly still giddy from the success of its sensational Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra.

Sextette

It could be a future camp classic.

The biopic will reportedly concentrate on West’s early years. The blond bombshell was 34 when she was thrown into the slammer on indecency charges over her risque stage show Sex and not quite 40 when she became a film star. Midler is currently 68 years old. In a way, this is fitting as the indomitable West refused to let old age deter her sex drive. Watch a clip fromSextette in which an 85-year-old West seduces future 007 Timothy Dalton while “singing” a Captain and Tennille hit here.

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She inspired and stole from drag queens.

Charles Pierce (above), one of the last century’s most prominent female impersonators (and bestie to Golden Girls star Bea Arthur!), thrilled audiences with his dead-on embodiment of West delivering his signature take on zingers such as “If you’re gonna come up and see me sometime remember safe sex isn’t an affair with a locksmith.” it’s absolutely fitting that she was a drag staple since a persistent rumor claimed that West borrowed her best and naughtiest one-liners from an early 20th century drag performer named Bert Savoy.

Mae-West-Raquel-Welch

Maybe there will be a big reveal.

This could turn into HBO’s version of The Crying Game. Another sex symbol, Raquel Welch, is convinced that West was a man in drag. The two icons clashed when Welch starred opposite West in 1970 as, ironically, the MTF title character in the disastrous adaptation of Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckinridge.
It has to be better than this.

Midler won’t be the first actress to play West. Ann Jillian starred in a TV bio in 1982 opposite future Streisand hubby James Brolin. And, holy shit, what do you know? There’s also Faye Dunaway, who portrayed the legend in a no-budget 2002 drama about evangelist Leroy Jenkins called The Calling, though sometimes known as Man of Faith. While La Dunaway still blames her ferocious turn as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest for the downward spiral her career took in the ’80s, she’s probably grateful that few (if any) fans have seen this bomb in which the Oscar-winner vamps and shifts her hips like there’s no tomorrow.

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Video: I Shall Be Released – Bette Midler – Divine Madness

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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