Friday, September 19, 2014

Hulaween’s musical guest: Earth Wind And Fire

Hulaween will be held Oct 31, 2014 at the Waldorf Atoria in New York City!

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

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Teaser For Bette’s New CD: Bette Photobombs Martha And The Vandellas

@BetteMidler: Dreams come true. I photobomb Martha & The Vandellas.

Bx0txi0CUAEPMCu

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

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Willis Avenue community garden reopens in Mott Haven. Thanks Miss M

image

The Willis Avenue community garden in Mott Haven was officially reopened Thursday after months of renovations.

The site was transformed with the help of New York Restoration Project, the nonprofit founded by actress and singer Bette Midler, who attended the reopening.

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

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bette Midler To Tour In 2015

New York Daily News
Divinity has arrived in the Bronx — with a huge pair of scissors.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 9:01 PM

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The two-time Academy Award nominee, Bette Midler, said she is planning to release a new album in November and go on tour in 2015.

“I haven’t really toured for a number of years,” Midler said, noting that she had a regular gig at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas, from 2008 to 2010. “It will be fun to get back on the bus.”

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

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Meet the Cast of Vineyard Theatre’s BILLY & RAY

Sophie is about to co-star in a Garry Marshall directed play entitled Billy & Ray.

BetteUcation ~Garry Marshall also directed her mum in Beaches

Here’s an article about the press launch:

BWW
Meet the Cast of Vineyard Theatre‘s BILLY & RAY
September 5
👤by Jennifer Bros

Sophie von Haselberg

Sophie von Haselberg

Mad Men” star Vincent Kartheiser and Broadway’s Larry Pine (CASA VALENTINA) will play Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, respectively, in BILLY & RAY, Mike Bencivenga’s new play — directed by the legendary director/writer/producer Garry Marshall – being given its NY premiere this fall at the Vineyard Theatre (108 E. 15 St.), with previews scheduled to begin October 1 prior to an official opening on October 20. The company just met the press and you can check out photos from inside the event below!

Completing the cast of BILLY & RAY are Sophie von Haselberg (THE CAT AND THE CANARY) as Wilder’s long-suffering secretary, and Drew Gehling (JERSEY BOYS) as a beleaguered studio chief.

BILLY & RAY — a whip-smart comedy charting the birth of the film noir genre — follows literary odd couple writer-director Billy Wilder and novelist Raymond Chandler as they contentiously collaborate to adapt the novel Double Indemnity for the silver screen. Set in 1940s Hollywood, BILLY & RAY is the true story of how two brilliant and thorny artists battled the Hollywood censors and each other to create a groundbreaking movie classic.

Also announced is the design team for BILLY & RAY with scenic design by Charlie Corcoran, lighting design byRussell Champa, costume design by Michael Krass and sound design by David Van Tieghem.

BILLY & RAY will begin performances October 1 with shows on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7 pm, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 3 pm. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on September 4. For performance and ticket information, call The Vineyard box office at 212 353 0303 or visitwww.vineyardtheatre.org.

Drew Gehling, Vincent Kartheiser, Garry Marshall, Mike Bencivenga, Sophie von Haselberg, Larry Pine

Drew Gehling, Vincent Kartheiser, Garry Marshall, Mike Bencivenga, Sophie von Haselberg, Larry Pine

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski

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

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What a rose! Bette Midler to unveil Bronx community garden renovated by her nonprofit

Mister D: Looks like there are plans for a tour in 2015

New York Daily News
What a rose! Bette Midler to unveil Bronx community garden renovated by her nonprofit
Willis Avenue Community Garden in Mott Haven is one of dozens of sites that singer’s New York Restoration Project maintains across the city.
BY RAY MONELL NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 9:01 PM

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Divinity has arrived in the Bronx — with a huge pair of scissors.

Bette Midler will be in Mott Haven on Thursday to help unwrap the recently renovated Willis Avenue Community Garden, one of dozens of sites that the New York Restoration Project — the nonprofit founded by the Divine Miss M — maintains across the city.

“I’m from Hawaii and I grew up with a deep love — and, more importantly, respect — for nature,” the three-time Grammy winner told the Daily News.

“Every time we are able to restore a garden, I am filled with the hope that, well, New Yorkers really do care — not only about nature, but about their communities.”

Increasing access to green spaces, particularly in poverty-stricken neighborhoods such as the South Bronx, is precisely what compelled Midler to found the organization in 1995.

Right here in the Bronx, people can grow their own fruits and vegetables, take them home and cook them for dinner.

“When I first moved back to New York and saw the state of disrepair many of our public spaces were in, well, I couldn’t stand by and do nothing,” she said.

The group has teamed up with volunteers, donors and members of the communities it serves, Midler said, to restore four parks in upper Manhattan and save 114 community gardens from being auctioned off by City Hall to real estate developers.

Community gardens are typically open to the public during daylight hours, tended by neighborhood residents and managed by a small group of caretakers. Midler’s group manages 52 of the hundreds of community gardens in the city, and she says all but 17 have been restored.

The 9,063-square-foot garden at 378 Willis Ave. near E. 143rd St. takes up four city lots. It features a “casita,” or small house, where members of the predominantly Latino community can gather for meals, music or simply to play dominoes.

The Divine Miss M,” singer Bette Midler, will be on hand Thursday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the recently renovated community garden in Mott Haven, one of dozens of sites that the three-time Grammy Award winner’s nonprofit organization, the New York Restoration Project, oversees across the city.

“Right here in the Bronx, people can grow their own fruits and vegetables, take them home and cook them for dinner to share a meal with family,” Midler added. “That’s a glorious thing.”

The spruced-up community garden on Willis Ave. will now be equipped with Wi-Fi and solar panels, enabling the site to double as a crisis center after a major storm, the group said.

The two-time Academy Award nominee said she is planning to release a new album in November and go on tour in 2015.

“I haven’t really toured for a number of years,” Midler said, noting that she had a regular gig at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas, from 2008 to 2010. “It will be fun to get back on the bus.”

For more photos of the garden: Click Here

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

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In My Life – Bette Midler Cover (Performed by Don Bradshaw)

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

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Superstar – Bette Midler

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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 Midler: Sweet On Marijuana (Thanks Andy)

CelebStoner
Bette Midler: Sweet on Marijuana

Singer/actress Bette Midler’s marijuana advocacy dates back to the ’70s. On Monday, she tweeted about Philadelphia decriminalizing pot…

Last year, Midler tweeted: “FDA claims marijuana’s as toxic as alcohol. 41,682 alcohol related deaths last year. Marijuana, 0. Guess nobody’s died of the munchies.”

According to Very Important Potheads, “Midler famously planned to put a joint underneath every seat of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles for her New Year‘s Eve show in 1975/76, to celebrate California’s pending decriminalization law. Her staff had purportedly rolled 1,800 joints before word leaked out and she was talked out of the magic moment by her lawyers and the L.A. district attorney. Instead she dropped her top at midnight.”

In 1976, Midler’s version of the reefer-jazz classic “Sweet Marijuana” was released on Songs for the New Depression (titled “Marajuana” on the album). The song was written in 1934 and originally performed by Gertrude Michael.

 

From Very Important Potheads:

Bette Midler was performing on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof when her sister died, sending the young performer into a more self-expressive career. She honed her beautifully raunchy “Divine Miss M” persona at gay baths in New York, and soon was a hit with her “Clams on the Half Shell” revue (pictured).

Taking her show on the road, Midler performed her cover of the 1934 Arthur Johnston/Sam Coslow tune “[Sweet] Marihuana,” feigning hallucinations as she danced with two “Doobie Brothers.” (The song is on her “Songs for the New Depression” album). “In the ’70s, Midler’s self-professed fondness for marijuana was legendary and unashamed, as was her objection to its criminalised status,” wrote Australia’s The Age.

Midler famously planned to put a joint underneath every seat of the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles for her New Year’s Eve show in 1975/76, to celebrate California’s pending decriminalization law. Her staff had purportedly rolled 1800 joints before word leaked out and she was talked out of the magic moment by her lawyers and the LA district attorney. Instead she dropped her top at midnight. (California did enact decrim on January 1, 1976, saving the state $1 billion in the next decade.)

On February 15, 1976 Midler bailed seven members of her touring entourage out of jail after they were arrested on cocaine and marijuana possession charges. Two days later, she accepted the Harvard Hasty Pudding award before opening for five nights at Boston’s Orpheum on a tour that ended wth a five-day run at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. (She was recently back in Vegas in “The Showgirl Must Go On.”)

In advance of her Emmy-winning TV special 1977, TV Guide wrote a feature article on a toned-down Midler that ended, “Even her dad ought to be able to watch her perform this time.” A career in Disney films followed, as well as the tragically overlooked “For the Boys” (1991) where Midler shows some of her indomitable spirit. Admired for her witty performances and appearances on the Grammys (with a gold record in her hair) and the Golden Globes (“I’ll show you a pair…”), in 1992 Midler seranaded Johnny Carson on his last Tonight Show.

Though she said in 2005 that she hasn’t smoked pot in 25 years, Bette shamanically imbibes cannabis on film as Mel Gibson’s psychotherapist in “What Women Want” (2000)–but you won’t see that part of the scene on TNT, where it is censored. In 2008′s “The Women,” Meg Ryan discovers her husband is cheating on her, and goes to a yoga retreat where she encounters Midler — who has procured a joint. Though Meg does imbibe in the movie proper, you’ll have to go to the deleted scenes on the DVD to hear her saying “I’m really stoned.” After this scene, her character finds her way to her own center.

“The Women” is a re-make of a play by Clare Booth Luce, wife of Time Inc. founder Henry Luce. The Luces admittedly tried LSD, and thought it was great, but wasn’t for the masses. In the 1939 movie based on the play, one character, played by Marjorie Main, often exclaims, “Smokin’ Oakum!” Oakum is made of the small fibers of the hemp plant and used to plug holes in the planks of ships.

In 2013, Midler was a hit in her one-woman show ”I’ll Eat You Last” playing the pot-loving superagent Sue Mengers. After a successful run on broadway, she played Mengers to sold-out shows in Los Angeles and regaled Jay Leno with tales of her past pot use and Sue’s too.

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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, September 16, 2014

Mostly Babs New CD Review But A Bette Mention

HuffPost
Barbra Streisand, Partners (Review)
Posted: 09/15/2014 3:19 pm EDT Updated: 09/15/2014 3:59 pm EDT

National Museum of American Jewish History opening gala hosted by Jerry Seinfeld and Bette Midler

Barbra Streisand helped usher in the era of the ‘music superstar duet’ in 1978 when she and Neil Diamond recorded “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” Her streak of hit duets continued the following year with Donna Summer on “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” and the year after with Barry Gibb on the Guilty album.

The queen returns to the duets throne for Partners, an album featuring her and male singers only.

For the uninitiated, the casual, or hard-core fans with a more unbridled affection for Streisand than mine (yes, it’s possible), Partners is likely to be received as a total knockout. That’s not necessarily unjustified.

As someone who owns every Streisand album and has essentially studied her career since I could put a needle on a turntable, the song selection on Partners is vexing. I readily acknowledge and respect that I’m not the target audience. Nevertheless, I’m still here and listening.

I understand the reasoning behind this release. The template was set in 1993 when Frank Sinatra released Duets, an album of his classics and standards re-worked for him and other singers with (in most cases) the intention to bring a new, younger, or different audience to Sinatra. The trend continued more recently with Tony Bennett on his own “duet” albums.

Apparently it’s time for Streisand to join the ranks of Sinatra and Bennett in this respect. However, the template of “revisiting the classics” didn’t need to be followed.

It’s difficult for this listener to get past the fact that we are hearing many of Streisand’s enduring standards (especially “People,” “The Way We Were” and “Evergreen”) again, even if they have been altered and reinterpreted.

What makes the re-visitations more disheartening is that Barbra Streisand is in exemplary vocal shape. In fact, the voice is startlingly stronger than it appeared on her last two studio albums or during her mini-concert tours in 2012 and 2013! When she employs the belt at the top end of her range, it remains a marvel.

Given this fact, and with the utmost respect, for Barbra to be wasting her time and still extraordinary instrument on songs she’s already recorded and sung live to death — especially when she has said many times that singing these songs over and over *bores her* — is truly unfortunate.

With each new Streisand concert outing, arrangements and vocal decisions for her classics change in order to keep the material fresh and inspiring for both the singer and her audience.

A similar “modus operandi” is in place for most of Partners. In the original or previous live versions, if a note was taken down, now it’s taken up. If an arrangement was jazzy before, now it’s rock; and so on. The study in opposites seems to serve only to keep Streisand interested and engaged.

The duet partners could have remained the same but an A&R representative could have gone through these gents’ catalogs to find one of their songs that might have been a good fit. Either that, or those who are songwriters could have written an original to sing with her. A third option would have been to choose a standard or Broadway tune Streisand has never recorded.

I wholeheartedly believe the commercial viability of Partners would be no different had they taken one or all of these alternate routes.

Having said all of that, I can step back from the frustration to take the album for what it is. In that respect, I’m happy to report that the Streisand magic is intact on much of Partners.

Her tremendous vocal blend with Andrea Bocelli on “I Still Can See Your Face,” a new and heartbreaking remembrance of departed love, brought tears and the ever-valued “Streisand spine tingle.”

Of Streisand’s three beloved classics, “The Way We Were” with Lionel Richie is the most completely revitalized. Conceptually, the song becomes lovers singing their regrets to each other. The re-structuring of certain melodic phrases, backing vocals from album co-producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, and even a slight guitar nod to “Evergreen” 30 seconds in, all work to remarkable effect.

Whatever adult contemporary radio is these days, it should pounce on that one. It ‘truly’ could be a hit all over again.

Blake Shelton’s country drawl is occasionally thick mixing with Streisand’s more lyrical tone, but “I’d Want It To Be You” is a considerably sweet new pop tune about friendship. “How Deep Is the Ocean”, Streisand’s duet with her richly voiced son Jason Gould, remains poignant and affecting as it was during Streisand’s most recent live performances.

I enjoy the subtle alterations to the melody of “Somewhere” with Josh Groban, and “Love Me Tender,” featuring a vocal from the late Elvis Presley, is effective and striking. However, I can tell it would have been so even if Streisand had sung it alone for a different project.

A big surprise is the decision to remake one of Streisand’s previous duets, especially one from Guilty, the biggest selling album in Streisand’s vast catalog.

Originally sung with Barry Gibb, “What Kind of Fool” with John Legend is given a hugely dramatic and epic arrangement. The layers to the sweeping, cinematic track are dense, haunting and incredibly successful. Legend and Streisand match the arrangement with palpable passion. If you want the actress in song, here she is!

The “big” treatment isn’t as kind to “New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel. Streisand is over-singing and despite echoes of Gershwin in Billy’s piano playing (I assume it’s Billy; I don’t have liner notes), the love of New York is not as present as in Streisand’s original. When Barbra and Billy banter at the end, it’s cute, but doesn’t resonate beyond “cute.”

It’s great to hear Streisand swing with Michael Bublé on the thrilling “It Had To Be You,” but when the big band comes in on “Come Rain or Come Shine” with John Mayer, the mix puts Mayer’s fantastic, B.B. King-esque blues guitar in battle with it. Keeping it stripped down to Mayer’s guitar and the voices would have been more than enough.

“People” is the one song I sense Barbra Streisand would rather not sing again if she had her druthers. I was rather excited, though, to see Stevie Wonder paired with her for this version. As one of the most vibrant and alive musicians on the planet, I figured his presence would give “People” a real shot in the arm. While Stevie and Barbra sound lovely as imagined, it’s rather subdued. I expected some unrestrained “Stevie joy.”

I completely see the impulse to turn “People” into a samba or bossa nova. The tone conjures images of a slow tango, which makes perfect sense given the album’s concept (twos, couplings).

However, the lyric to “People” isn’t ‘sensual’ enough to sustain the nature of the arrangement. This becomes most apparent when, out of nowhere, the orchestra swells as it does in most of Streisand’s previous arrangements. It feels out of place. Shortly after, when Stevie starts riffs of “send them your love,” I had the idea that combining “People” into a medley with Stevie’s “Send One Your Love” might have increased the viability of “People” with this sensual context.

Streisand’s “Evergreen” melody may be too sophisticated for the Babyface R&B treatment. The other Babyface collaboration, “Lost Inside of You” (on the deluxe album edition only available via Target), fares much better and is another highly evocative track.

Babyface and co-producer Walter Afanasieff provide a welcome shift from the rather standard sonic landscape Streisand has been surrounded by with rare exception over the last 20 years. The variations in tempo, genre and style continue to prove Streisand’s incredible flexibility as a singer.

Rumor has it that a follow-up to Partners, with all female singers, is already in progress. Speculated names have included Bette Midler, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and perhaps a posthumous pairing with Whitney Houston.

This being the case, I would like to close with a quote. Granted, it’s a quote that’s over 30 years old and perspectives can change in that amount of time.

In 1983, Streisand said, “The last couple of times I performed, I picked all new material; stuff that would interest me to sing. The audience really complained, y’know? They wanted to hear my old standards. I tried to say, even to them, I have to grow. I have to move forward. I can’t live in the past. I can’t grow old singing “People” and “The Way We Were”.

Despite the many delights of Partners, Barbra Streisand seems to be doing just that. I, of course, understand if she sings these songs again in any future live setting. As far as studio albums go, I would like this to be the last we hear of them.

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

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