Publication: Kingston Gleaner
Issue Date: April 10, 1987
As a fund-raiser, the American Cinematheque staged Its second annual Moving Picture Ball at the Palladium in Los Angeles, with Bette Midler as the special guest. And. after the dinner, once the raffle winners were announced by Ed Begley Jr. and Deldre Hall, master of ceremonies Dudley Moore, who does every-thing right and then some, started the show.
Hilarious film clips of Bette Midler were screened. Tonl Basil sang and danced like a spinning.top with her troupe. Melba Moore crooned, Whoopi Goldberg praised Bette (“She does what she does the way she wants to do It, an to heck with them if they can’t take a joke”)
HBO’s chairman Michael Fuchs declared Bette’s.”flash with trash, sleaze with ease” special put HBO on the” map. the Manhattan Transfer harmonized on “The Duke, of Dobuque.* and “Stevie Wonder thanked .Bette for -“being there* for him during a Martin Luther King’ benefit, and after apologizing for “my messed-up throat,” sang “I Just Called To- Say I Love You,” with Dudley Moore playing the piano.
Barry ‘Manllow who was Bette’s «nusical director and conductor way-back-when • during her early road shows and Continental Baths nights, performed, and soon was joined in a duet by Melissa Manchester — it turns out Melissa was one of Bette’s backup singing Harlettes (for 30 seconds”).
Melissa and Barry then rollcalled 11 Harlettes alumlnl from the ’70s and ’80s. (Including the Delago Sisters, thost cheeky mermaids In wheelchairs), who romped on .stage in their hell-on-wheels drag and sang “Boogie Woogle Bugle Boy from Company B”.
‘Introducing her as “the bawdy broad with the vocabulary of a Marine drill sergeant on leave In downtown Tokyo that gave bad taste a good name,” Dudley Moore presented Bette with the evening’s award. “It comes with Its own batteries.” quipped Dudley, while Bette cried, *I can’t believe so many peopie came out for me, considering what a howler I’ve been all my professional life. This Is the cherry on the cake of my resurrection.”
She recalled how, as a child, she played a record over and over.” A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes,” and wasn’t it “fate., a bizarre destiny that it was a Disney record from ‘Cinderella’?* (Betty’s blockbuster comedies have all been for Disney).
Joining the Harlettes in a slambang reprise of ‘Boggle Woogte Bugle Boy from Company B.” she received a standing ovarton from the •black-tie, white-tie, no-tie* crowd that Inlcuded Greek actress Lily Kokkodl (a statesque young stunner best described as a cross between Irene* Papas and Marie Callus).
About the Cinematheque. Bette mused, “It’s a good cause — seeing moving images of beautiful people.
With Dudley Moore summing up that the Cinematheque will “show films 24 hours a day. thereby guaranteeing that serious students of films can be molested • morning, noon and night.*