Thursday, September 29, 2016

BetteBack April 4, 1997: Roger Ebert – That Old Feeling

The Record (Bergen County, NJ)
April 4, 1997 | ROGER EBERT

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Remember those little Scotty dogs kids used to play with? They were
glued to magnets. If you pointed them one way, they jumped toward each
other, and if you pointed them the opposite way, they jumped apart. Carl
Reiner’s “That Old Feeling” is an entire movie based on the dance of the
Scotty dogs, and the characters in it act as mechanically as if they had
big magnets strapped to their thighs.

The premise: A senator’s son (Jamie Denton) gets engaged to the
daughter (Paula Marshall) of a movie star and a journalist. He wants a
big marriage. Her parents have been divorced for 15 years and both have
remarried. He insists on inviting everyone. She warns against it: “My
parents hate each other with a nuclear capacity.”

She is right. In no time at all her parents (Bette Midler and
Dennis Farina) are insulting each other on the dance floor (“I could
have had the entire rock-and-roll hall of fame!” Midler shouts. “I
turned down a Beatle for you.”). This is, of course, painful to their
current spouses: Farina’s wife (Gail O’Grady) and Midler’s husband
(David Rasche). But not nearly as disturbing as when the fighting couple
suddenly fall into each other’s arms.

OK. So now we have Farina and Midler fighting and loving and
fighting and loving. The wheezy screenplay by Leslie Dixon now works out
the other combinations with almost mathematical precision. First it must
be established that the young groom is a prig. Then the plot must
contrive to lock the bride into a hotel room with a paparazzo (Danny
Nucci) who has been following her movie-star mother. Then Farina’s wife
must get drunk with the groom, with predictable consequences.

And so on. There is not a moment that is believable, but of course
the movie is not intended as realism. It is intended as comedy. So
consider this “funny” scene: Marshall and Nucci, locked in the hotel
room, try to attract attention by dropping fruit from a balcony. Cops
see them, but nod indulgently and walk on. So the two continue to drop
fruit. End of scene, with a whole lot of fruit on the sidewalk.

What’s in slow motion here is the progress of the plot. Every
development is exhausting because we have arrived at it long, long
before the characters. There are only two saving graces. One is that
Midler sings “Somewhere Along the Way” to Farina in a piano bar, very
nicely. The other is that Rasche has some funny dialogue. He is a
self-help counselor with smarmy little slogans at his command: “It is
important to dialogue and to language each other,” he says, and he
recommends “emotional valet parking” and says to Farina’s wife: “Is any
part of your body original? You are so at odds with your shadow self.”

I liked his dialogue because it was smart and satirical. I liked the
two young actors — Denton and Marshall — because they were fresh and
appealing. Hell, I liked Farina and Midler, too. I liked everyone:
O’Grady, Nucci …make a list. They all seemed way too nice to have done
anything to deserve this screenplay.

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Bette Midler On Playing Gypsy:

Bette Midler On Playing Gypsy: “There are some shows that are just better than all of the others, There’s ‘Gypsy,’ there’s ‘South Pacific,’ there’s ‘Guys and Dolls.’ These shows are so American, and they’re so ingrained in the consciousness, they’re classics. And when you get the chance to play them, you jump at it, because it’s a thrill to be able to open your mouth and say those words and sing those songs. There’s no false notes in any of it: The dialogue is as pure as it can be; the characters are fully fleshed-out human beings; the story evolves naturally; it has real conflict; it has everything. It’s great.” (1993)

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Bette Midler – American Idol – Wind Beneath My Wings

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BetteBack December 25, 1973: Bette’s Price Too High For Vegas!

Cedar Rapids Gazette
December 25, 1973

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The New MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas wanted very much to add Bette Midler to its list of superstars. But not to the tune of $250,000 a week, which is what her agent was asking …

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Bette Midler In Experience The Divine: “Bet you didn’t expect me to look quite this fabulous!” (1993)

Bette Midler In Experience The Divine: “Bet you didn’t expect me to look quite this fabulous!” (1993)

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1991 – BETTE MIDLER WOGAN (PART 2) – With Joanna Lumley

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Bette Midler – Soph Jokes – A Doctor – Pretty Legs – Burlesque – Experience The Divine 1993

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What to Expect From the Hocus Pocus Musical Parody

Playbill
What to Expect From the Hocus Pocus Musical Parody
BY MICHAEL GIOIA
SEP 28, 2016

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The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Hocus Pocus will cast a spell on Los Angeles beginning tomorrow, but before it takes the stage at Rockwell, Marissa Jaret Winokur spills the beans on what to expect.

First and foremost, “it’s not for kids,” Winokur says, “and I have so many friends who are like, ‘Oh! I’m buying tickets for me and my kids!’ And I [say], ‘Well, you need to be inviting your friends and getting a babysitter’ because it’s [at] a nightclub… It’s a bar. We say, ’f*ck!’”

The musical parody of the 1993 cult Halloween film, starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as the sinister Sanderson sisters, will take shape at L.A.’s Rockwell Table & Stage, where many an unauthorized musical parody—including Clueless, The Devil Wears Prada and Troop Beverly Hills—have played before.

It was when Winokur saw Troop Beverly Hills that she was asked to come on board as Winifred Sanderson, originated on screen by Midler, for the September 29-November 12 engagement. (She alternates in the starring role alongside recording artist Becky Baeling Lythgoe.)

Like the unauthorized parody musicals before it, Hocus Pocus will incorporate popular music from the ’80s and ’90s to further the plot. Winokur teased that some titles include AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind,” the Backstreet Boys’ “Backstreet’s Back,” Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero,” the Bette Midler tunes “From a Distance” and “The Rose” and, naturally, “I Put a Spell On You” from the film.

“Whenever I go into doing a spell, I’ll do a Bette Midler song, and [the other characters are] like, ‘No! Not that spell!’ I’ll start singing ‘From a Distance’ or ‘The Rose,’ so there’s funny things like that,” she explains. “We also have Peter Boyd playing The Book, which is like the narrator, to help the story [along]. … They keep really true to the stories, but when the Sanderson sisters come back, we literally become The Backstreet Boys [and do] ‘Backstreet’s Back,’ and all of a sudden I’m dancing like a Backstreet Boy, which is so ridiculous!”

The adaptation is by Kate Pazakis and John Flynn. Pazakis is executive producer. Tye Blue will direct.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bette Midler On The Key To Her Longevity:

Bette Midler On The Key To Her Longevity: “I think it’s… gee, that’s…I think it’s perseverance. Continuing to put one foot in front of the other. And taking advantage of the opportunities. I took advantage of some opportunities that I shouldn’t have, but in the long [term], I had more peaks than I had valleys, and I never let anything distress me so much that I couldn’t get up off the floor.” (2014)

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Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton – You Don’t Own Me

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This is a scrapbook site devoted to Bette Midler. Absolutely no profits are being made from the posting of this work. It is presented here for educational and historical reasons only. If, however, you are the owner of this work and would like it removed from this website, please contact me and I will comply as soon as I get the message. Thank you for your time and patience. No disrespect intended. Just a huge admirer and collector of all things Bette Midler. You can contact me at: misterd@bootlegbetty.com