A special luncheon for The Weinstein Company‘s RADiUS-TWC’s new music doc, “20 Feet From Stardom”, at NYC’s posh Mandarin Oriental brought together an eclectic group of celebrities to help celebrate the widely-acclaimed documentary. Stars such as Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon and Bernadette Peters schmoozed with the likes of Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Weisel and character actor Dan Hedaya, all of whom came out to show their support for Morgan Neville’s new film which tells the story of female backup singers from the rock ‘n’ roll era.
On this day, the swanky Mandarin Oriental in New York City’s Columbus Circle became quite the hot spot for an eclectic bunch of celebrity sightings. Heartrhrob Adam Brody, who made his claim to fame starring in Fox’s “The O.C.”, was also spotted just steps away from the “20 Feet From Stardom” celebration as he left a press juneket for The Weinstein Company’s other film, “Lovelace” starting Amanda Seyfried.
No matter the nearby slew of stars, here all eyes were on “20 Feet From Stardom” singers Darlene Love and Lisa Fischer, both of whom spoke briefly and performed TK soul-stirring songs at Tuesday’s event for the small group of celebrities and press individuals in attendance.
Though there are currently no set plans to send the women of “20 Feet From Stardom” on an official tour, Lisa Fischer, who has up until recently been busy on the road with the Rolling Stones, adamantly wants a tour to happen. “I don’t know if [a tour] will happen,” Fischer told Billboard. “I’m hoping that it does even if it’s just for a few shows—that would be amazing! A tour is definitely something I’m interested in pursuing—I love these women!”
Though Fischer is hoping even a small tour with select dates across the U.S. works out, she says she thinks it’ll come down to a mix of where her fellow co-stars, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Tata Vega and Judith Hill, want to go from here and what everyone’s schedules look like.
Billboard also caught up with Bette Midler at Tuesday’s luncheon who shed some light on what she looked for when hiring her own background singers, a trio of girls who go by the name The Harlettes. Midler said because her shows are very performance oriented, she was more often than not looking for someone who could do more than just sing.
“My auditions are pretty stringent because they not only have to sing, they also have to do a dance combination but they also have to be funny and have a personality,” said The Divine Miss M. “It’s a little bit of a wider range and we try to get people who are jolly because when you’re on the road, you don’t want people who are going to be really grim or anything but I’ve had great girls.”
Of the potential for an “Standing” to get an Oscar nod at the 2014 Academy Awards, Midler said, “It certainly is moving enough—it certainly packs the talent. I think it’s a wonderful picture and I enjoyed it so much and I was thrilled to be part of it, just thrilled!” said Midler. “And the girls, you really see their soul shining through and it’s a real treat and a real tribute to the filmmaker too.”