Monday, November 24, 2014

Bette Midler And Adele dine at Locanda Localetti last Friday night!

11-23-2014 8-00-01 AM

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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 Adds Second Show To London Gig!

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Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer and legendary performer Bette Midler has today announced that she will play a second show at The O2, London due to incredible demand.

This show will take place on Sunday 19th July and become the final performance of her long awaited UK tour. Following the immediate sell out of July 18th performance, be sure to snap up a ticket before they go! The Divine Miss M will now play the following shows:

Bette Midler ‘ July 2015
Thursday 9th Barclaycard Arena Birmingham
Saturday 11th Manchester Arena
Monday 13th The SSE Hydro Glasgow
Wednesday 15th first direct arena Leeds
Saturday 18th The O2 London

Sunday 19th The O2 London

Tickets available here.

The UK tour follows Bette Midler’s previously announced North American tour and will feature material from her iconic career and material from her new album, ‘It’s The Girls!‘ – a glorious tribute to girl groups through the ages. ‘It’s The Girls!’ features the swinging sounds of WWII-era Andrews Sisters, to 60’s super-groups like the Supremes and the Shirelles, to 90’s hit makers TLC.The album is out now on Warner Music UK.

‘It’s The Girls!’ reunites Bette Midler with long-time collaborator and Award-winning composer Marc Shaiman who produced the album, along with Scott M. Riesett. The album effortlessly showcases Midler’s distinctive and versatile vocal range while honoring timeless classic melodic harmonies.

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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 Talks Hawaii, The Jewish Experience, Broadway, And Movies

The Times Of Israel
Bette Midler talks Jewish shop on London tour stop
While promoting her new album, The Divine Miss M discusses her Hawaiian Judaism and the paucity of accurate portrayals of pogroms on film
BY LIAM HOARE November 24, 2014, 2:25 pm

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LONDON – “Talk is cheap,” Bette Midler tells me during a meeting at London’s Claridge’s Hotel. In a form-fitting black dress, radiantly sitting on a huge chair padded with pillows so her small frame isn’t engulfed, the notoriously outrageous Midler at 69 is engaging and personable — affectionate even — when discussing today’s young talent.

“You can make friends with 15,000 people for no money at all,” said the seasoned performer, in criticism of contemporary over-the-top productions on tour.

Midler was in town to promote her new back-to-basics album, “It’s The Girls,” in which she pays homage to the girl groups of her youth, and beyond. In numbers originated by acts as diverse as The Andrews Sisters, The Shirelles, and TLC, Midler sings in harmony, even in trio — with herself.

During her childhood, “I fell in love with voices in harmony,” Midler said. “I still listen to girl groups 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.”

Midler’s childhood was on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, which she left for New York City to pursue life as a performer at 19. But Hawaii was not always paradise for the young Midler, the only Jewish girl in her class at school.

“At the time I really hated it – I was an alien, a foreigner even though I was born there. I remember children being so cruel. You don’t forget these things,” she is quoted as saying in “Bette: An Intimate Biography of Bette Midler.”

Talking to The Times of Israel, however, she warmly described Jewish life on the island where her father worked on an American naval base. The small Jewish community shared a space on the base, she said, with the Christian Scientists.

‘One of the thrills of [my parents’] life – because they had so little Jewish contact – was to see someone like Myron Cohen or Sam Levenson on The Ed Sullivan Show, being very Jewish’

“The Jews used the building on Fridays and Saturday and the Christian Scientists used it on Sundays.”

In Honolulu, there was what Midler called the synagogue “for the rich people,” Temple Emanu-El. “Of course it was called that!” she exclaimed.

“I always knew who I was and what I was,” she said.

Does she think experience of growing up Jewish in Hawaii impacted on her act?

“I wouldn’t say so, no. I will say that my family really loved Jewish humor. My dad was a funny man, he loved a good joke, and one of the thrills of [my parents’] life – because they had so little Jewish contact – was to see someone like Myron Cohen or Sam Levenson on The Ed Sullivan Show, being very Jewish.”

After moving to New York, one of Midler’s first gigs was taking over the role of eldest daughter, Tzeitel, in the original Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof” in February 1967, a role she played for three years.

“I still think it’s one of the most beautiful shows I’ve ever seen: the way it was lit, the choreography. It was so above so much of what was going on” at the time.”

(It is rumored that the show’s director and choreographer, Jerome Robbins, didn’t want her in the show, deeming her too short.)

The last time Midler was on Broadway was in 2013 in “I’ll Eat You Last,” a play about Sue Mengers, talent agent to among others Barbra Streisand. She wouldn’t consider going back to the stage again, however, to do a musical.

“I can’t do that, it’s too hard. It’s eight shows a week and I just can’t do it – I don’t have it in me anymore. I did seven shows a week in ‘I’ll Eat You Last’ and that was a solo performance, no actors, no music, and it was wonderful but it was hard. It was ninety minutes of non-stop talking.”

Midler has made musicals for the screen, including a 1993 television movie adaptation of “Gypsy,” in which she starred as the monomaniacal Mama Rose.

“It was a very hard situation. The director [Emile Ardolino, who died in 1993 of AIDS complications] was very sick at the time. It was stressful but I thought it came out wonderfully. The editor was fantastic. The production was top-drawer. I could do a musical on television, I could do a musical on film, but to actually go to the theater every night for eight shows, I can’t.”

After her run ended in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Midler’s next big break came in 1970 at The Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in the basement of the Ansonia Hotel. It was here that she created the persona of The Divine Miss M, developed songs that would become standards for her like “Friends,” introduced her backing group The Harlettes, and met Barry Manilow, who was her pianist and later a producer on her debut album, The Divine Miss M.

“We had a lot of fun together,” Midler said of those early days. “When he [Manilow] left me, I was pretty devastated because I really liked what he brought to the table. I think he was hurt that I didn’t want him to leave. He was hurt that I didn’t want to see him soar; I never said that I didn’t, maybe I didn’t want to see him soar, I don’t know. But I really had counted on him. Maybe I thought he would be more loyal but I don’t blame him for wanting to have a solo career.”

In the years since, Manilow has among other things given part of his life to working on “Harmony,” a musical about the Comedian Harmonists, an all-male vocal ensemble persecuted by the Nazis in the early years of the Third Reich. Other contemporaries of Midler have also pursued passion projects related to the Jewish experience, notably Barbra Streisand, who produced, directed, and starred in the musical drama “Yentl,” adapted from the Isaac Bashevis Singer short story, “Yentl the Yeshiva Boy”.

Not to say she has to make Yentl, I put it to Midler (she laughed, mercifully), but has she ever considered a project – be it a movie, an album, or play – that was in some way a reflection of the Jewish experience?

“I’ve had projects submitted to me. There was a project about Florence Greenberg” – the Jewish American record label owner and music producer – “that came to me that didn’t turn out well, though that’s not exactly the Jewish experience.

“I don’t think the real Jewish experience has ever been captured, the real historical experience of wandering through the desert and what the Zionist movement was all about and how Jews had no liberty at all. And the pogroms, they’ve never covered the pogroms – has there ever been a movie about a pogrom? I’ve never seen one. Have you?”

What about Fiddler on the Roof, I ventured.

“But you don’t really see the pogrom.” Midler cited numerous episodes in the history of the Jews that she would like to see portrayed on the big screen, including the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492.

“Can you imagine having to hide what you are and having to be a marrano?” she asked.

Midler was “hysterical”, she said, when she heard the news that the Spanish government was to issue passports to the descendants of those expelled and dispersed after 1492.

“The Spanish said, ‘Come back, Jews, all is forgiven!’ I was like, ‘Transparent, moi?’ Here, they throw you out in 1492, and then 500 years later they say, ‘It’s okay, you can come back now.’ Their economy is totally flat and then they say, ‘We’d like to have you back.’ Unbelievable. You couldn’t make it up.”

So you need to form a production company in order to tell these essential Jewish stories, I put it to her.

“I don’t have it in me anymore, I’m too old,” Midler replied. “‘I’m tired, tired, tired,’ as Chris Rock likes to say.”

With a new album just behind her and a tour — rumor has it with a stop in Israel — in front of her, The Divine Miss M hardly seems on the path to retirement.

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

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Join The Bette Midler: It’s The Girls Tour 2015 Facebook Page

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Be sure to bookmark this page and share with us the cities, stories, and photos you take when you go see the The Divine Miss M, Bette Midler, on her latest 2015 tour! This is a place for you to gather, discuss, share stories, meet and greet photos or even any concert photos. Jump in when the tour starts or let people know where you’re going now! Spread the news to other concertgoers! Thanks!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bette-Midler-Its-The-Girls-Tour-2015/1501605586782939?ref=hl

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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 On Loose Women Parts I, II, And III

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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 Promo From LiveNation

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

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bette Midler On Chatty Man

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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 On Chatty Man (Audio Only)

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Bette - Chatty Man - 2014
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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 On Chatty Man

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

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Midler: “Of Course I’m Going To Retire”

The Telegraph
Bette Midler: ‘It was a wonderful life’
Half a century of showbusiness has taught Bette Midler how to look immaculate and stay professional to the end, writes Bryony Gordon
By Bryony Gordon
6:35PM GMT
21 Nov 2014

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Bette Midler is tiny but what she lacks in height she makes up for in attitude. She’s running late, then suddenly she’s not, except, in the end, it turns out she is. There is a PR to meet me in the foyer of Claridge’s, and a PR in the hall of the huge suite that her record company have taken over. Looking for the loo I accidentally stumble on a room that is a hive of activity – four or five people on laptops, phones clamped to ears, a nerve centre in miniature. These are Bette’s people. Bette has a lot of people. They are, she tells me later with a joyous hoot, the wind beneath her wings.

Behind closed doors I can hear another interview coming to an end. “Feel free to make me sound funnier than I actually am!” she says. It is a line I suspect she has trotted out many times over the last few days. She is in town to announce her first UK tour in 35 years and to launch a new album. While she’s here, she would like to visit Cliveden (“how do you pronounce it Bry-oh-knee? Cleeeave-den?”) as she’s been reading a book about it, but her wonders if it’s too far away.

Midler is wearing a slinky black dress and a pair of Christian Loboutins. She has aged exceptionally well, like a fine wine; she looks better at 68 than she ever did, her corkscrew curls replaced by an elegant updo. Almost 50 years in showbusiness have taught her a lot: she knows that she must always look immaculate. “Women now, they [have to] pose,” she drawls. “They don’t want those ugly pictures of them on the internet, and I don’t blame them. It’s like a war! It’s poisonous, totally toxic,” she says. “If you get on that red carpet, you better be prepared for the results, truly.”

She did The Royal Variety Performance the other day. “I met the beautiful Duchess [of Cambridge] and her wonderful, handsome husband and they’re lovely, lovely people and I was delighted to be introduced.” One Direction were also there. Did she meet them? “I saw them from across a crowded room,” she says, an insincere smile on her face. “Simon Cowell was there so I didn’t dare approach them.” She mimes a theatrical retch as she says this.

We are here to talk about her new album, It’s the Girl’s, a compilation of covers of the girl bands of her youth. “The Ronettes, The Chiffons, The Marvelettes, The Crystals…” They all had such wonderful names, I say. “Oh yeah, they really did. So evocative. They were completely and utterly wholesome and whimsical. And optimistic. The music was very optimistic and upbeat. The ballads were sometimes sad but you knew things were going to turn out in the end. The music wasn’t bleak. This was before Bob Dylan, you know,” she says drily.

There is only one modern song on the album – Waterfalls by TLC. I ask if she considered using the music of any other contemporary bands. “I couldn’t think of a girl group that was modern who had a song as meaningful as [the one by] TLC. I couldn’t find one. I mean, who are you talking about? The Spice Girls?” She looks aghast. “I like Destiny’s Child. I think that was the last great girl band there was.”

We talk about the pornification of pop music. “It’s terrible! It’s always surprising to see someone like Ariana Grande with that silly high voice, a very wholesome voice, slithering around on a couch,” – here, she does some slithering herself – “looking so ridiculous. I mean, it’s silly beyond belief and I don’t know who’s telling her to do it. I wish they’d stop. But it’s not my business, I’m not her mother. Or her manager. Maybe they tell them that’s what you’ve got to do. Sex sells. Sex has always sold.”

But does it sell more now? “Well whatever strictures there were have fallen apart. And now it’s whatever you feel like doing you can do. I mean, apparently people really like to pretend they’re having sex. They really like to slap each other’s butts.” She slaps her own butt. “I mean, don’t ask me. It’s beyond me. I’m too old. I don’t know what the end game is going to be. I don’t know where you go from all that sex in your twenties. I don’t know how you sustain it.” If she had any advice for a young woman wanting to break in to showbusiness today, it would be this: “trust your talent. You don’t have to make a whore out of yourself to get ahead. You really don’t.”

Though Bette Midler seems as Manhattan as Woody Allen, she was actually born in Hawaii, of all, places, at the end of the Second World War. Her father was a painter who disapproved of her showbiz ambitions; her mother, a seamstress, named her after Bette Davis and is said to have screamed “fabulous… I didn’t know she was so witty!” when she first saw her daughter perform.

Midler worked in a pineapple factory before escaping to New York City where she got a role as one of the sisters in Fiddler on the Roof. She played the eldest daughter. “She was supposed to be tall and lean,” said Midler in an interview a long, long time ago, “and I was short and fat.” But what did it matter how beautiful she was with humour and talent like that?

Midler’s own sister, Judith, was killed in a car crash while on the way to see her perform. It is said to have haunted Midler for many years afterwards. But she overcame personal tragedy to achieve professional success. It was in New York that she began singing in a gay bathhouse with Barry Manilow as her pianist, adopting the alter ego The Divine Miss M. The bathhouse – and what exactly took place there – is the subject of much speculation, but she’s always maintained that she didn’t notice anything untoward because she was too busy focusing on her own performance. That’s Bette for you. Professional to the end.

Musical success (she has won three Grammy awards) was followed by movie success – her first, The Rose, won her a Golden Globe, while Beaches still tops weepy lists almost 30 years after its release. She has been a brilliant comedienne too, her mermaid in a wheelchair character ripped off by the likes of Lady Gaga.

“I have dabbled in this, dabbled in that,” she says now, of her varied career. “I’m easily distracted but focused. Once I decide what I’m going to do I’m like a dog with a bone. I can’t let it go until it’s done and it’s done well.” But you don’t get multi-tasking entertainers any more. Nowadays, “the comics don’t make music and the musicians don’t make comedy, which is so wrong. In the old days everybody did everything, and that was the best way to do it.”

The stage, she says, is her “spiritual home. It’s where I live. But I do like being off the stage as well. I have a big life off stage.” There’s her husband of almost 30 years, Martin von Haselberg, who gave up his job as a commodities broker to support Midler’s career and bring up their daughter, Sophie, now 28. Sophie is an actress who will shortly appear in the new Woody Allen film. “My husband and I are both very happy and proud and obsessed.”

Then there’s her charity, The New York Restoration Project, which has been going for nearly 20 years. Its aim is to plant trees and restore run-down buildings in deprived areas of the city; Midler bought 52 community gardens in the area and is a passionate horticulturist. Her interest started when Sophie was born – she says she looked back to the “sunny” world she grew up in and couldn’t bear that her daughter wouldn’t get to do the same.

“The whole world has become disposable,” she says, concern writ large over her small face. “People use things once, then they throw it away. I grew up really frugal. It was the end of the war and people didn’t have anything. They had to take care of what they had. They had to polish their shoes. I mean, you say polish your shoes to someone nowadays and they don’t know what you’re talking about!” She throws her hands in the air. She doesn’t let plastic in her house. All the water bottles in the room are glass.

Her work ethos is equally old school. “Now you feel entitled to it without working for it. You come out of college and think ‘well, I can do anything’. No one is willing to learn the game and plunge in before they are a star.” She wishes if anything, she had been more relaxed about her career. “I worked a little too hard, I’m afraid. I should have been easier on myself. But I like rehearsal. I love the business.”

Will she ever retire? “Of course I’m going to retire.” Oops, sorry for asking. “You just take your time and you just sort of sneak out when no one’s looking. I definitely think that will happen.” What’s the key to her longevity? “I think it’s… gee, that’s…” for the first time during our encounter, she is lost for words. “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.

“It was a wonderful life,” she says, suddenly the narrator of her own life story. “I did good with it. I didn’t shame anybody. I didn’t mortify anybody. I didn’t take my clothes off. I wasn’t caught in flagrante. The fact that they never caught me is really kind of the thrill.”

One of her umpteen PRs is now in the room, letting me know our time is up. “Feel free to make me sound more funny that I actually am!” she says, and I leave with the sense that I have just been in the presence of one of the last great entertainers. A true star.

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

To share a single post on Facebook, Twitter, etc.: Click on the title link of the post, then locate the SHARE button on the Toolbar at the bottom of the page. Then Click which Social Media site you want to share the post on.....

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