“The Showgirl” Fan Reviews

What Beautiful Earrings
Written by Lee Ann
August 23, 2009

Dear Mister D,

I just had to share with you the experience my cousin Toni and I had with the Divine Miss M. We purchased her Smug Mutha package and had the opportunity to meet her this past Sunday night. Needless to say she was an absolutely wonderful hostess. Her show was amazing as usual. This was our fourth time seeing her and she just keeps getting better and better. We sat front row right where she sits on the steps and plays the ukelele, which is one of the best moments in her show.

After the show we were taken backstage by Talia from AEG Live to wait on Bette. And let me just say how nice Talia, Marty Hom, and all of Bette’s staff were to us. When Bette came in to meet us, she first took a moment to speak with the L.A. chief of police Mr. William Bratton and his lovely wife. They both were also wonderfully nice to us. After speaking with them, it was our turn to meet Bette. Without hesitation, she gave us both a big hug and welcomed us. She told us several time how adorable we were and asked us about where we were from. My cousin mentioned to her that this was our fourth time seeing her show, and she looked at Toni with that look that only Bette can give and said, “four times?…but it’s the same show!”. We both immediately told her how great the show was and we would be back to see her as long as she was performing.

Then came time to take our photo with her, which I will treasure forever. Bette was wearing a beautiful pair of turqoise earrings that I had noticed as soon as she came in. While she was chatting with Mr. Bratton and his wife, I told Toni how pretty those were. Well, after the photo, Bette reached to her ear and started pulling the earrings off because they were dangling down and bothering her ears. As she was taking them off I made the comment of how pretty I thought they were, and again without even thinking twice about it, she said “here, take ’em!” and gave them to me. I couldn’t believe it!

We got to chat with her for a couple more minutes while she signed some pictures for us and then we said goodbye to her. She hugged us two more times and thanked us so much for coming to her show. We were then escorted out by one of her staff members.

As soon as we got out of there we had to just take a minute and sit down and let it all sink in. It was such a surreal moment! I still can’t believe it even happened! I think the thing that amazed me the most was how much she thanked us and told us how honored she was to meet us. She is an absolute treasure and a one of a kind entertainer. I can’t wait to do it all over again!

Love and Blessings,

Lee Ann


My Bette Midler Experience.
by Danielle Gruskiewicz

“First off I want to say warning if you are under 21 you will not be allowed to enter into the show without an adult. O wait let me rephrase that, they will let you in the first 4 times you go but the 5th time they have a problem. O and even on the Bette Midler website it says there are no age requirements but they still have a problem, but only the 5th time. Ok I am done venting now, lets begin.

So I got to Vegas on Monday and spent the day having fun with my mom and doing all the things that one can do while in Vegas when under 21, which is basically everything except gamble. I would recommend a Vegas vacation to anyone of any age. There is something for everyone to do. Then on Tuesday I spent the day at the pool and shopping with my mom for the perfect dress to meet Bette in. That night I had 4th row seats to see Bette!

So I got ready and my mom and I walked up to the doors of the Colosseum. Since as you all probably well know, Bette tickets are not cheap so that my mom and I don’t have the money to buy tickets for the both of us. So when I go to see Bette I usual go in by myself, nobody has a problem and there was no difference this time. So I am seated in fourth row and I am right in front of the part of the stage where she sits down to play the ukulele, so I have a great seat.

Then the show starts and Bette appears. She was just amazing. Just breathe taking. The crowd went nuts. She changed her little jokes that she makes after her opening number to be more current and o my goodness I was laughing so hard when she mad fun of Sarah Palin and Jon and Kate. Sorry all of you who are fans of there’s but all three of them are idiots.

Moving on, all of her songs were amazing especially From a Distance, which is one of my favorites. It was just so powerful, but she always is. Also when the band is playing during the middle of the song and she is running around the stage she stops and like pretends to play hop scotch or something and people giggle, both times I went people giggled… don’t… moving on.

Another one of my favorites was When a Man Loves a Woman. She was so powerful she took my words away, even right now. Right when she walked out she had one hand on her back and I realized that she was trying to fix her mic box. I wear mic boxes all the time for productions and I know how big of a pain they can be. I felt so bad this was giving her trouble. As I watched I noticed, she is not fixing this. For the first half of the song the poor lady could not get the box to behave. Then the band’s solo came and she walked in the direction of Bette Sussman and her lead guitarist and I could see they were nervous too because the both shook their heads at her as too say, “are you ok.” But she put the microphone under her arm fixed the mic and nodded back, then finished the song with and amazing ending. I would have given her a standing o anyways but this time I think she really deserved it. lol
I also loved when she did Soph. I must say she looked amazing and I could not stop myself from thinking that they really jammed her boobs up into her corset type costume that she wore for Soph. They were practically at her throat. But they looked good all the same. lol She was hysterical. I love the joke about the Doberman pinscher and the Chihuahua. That one is probably my favorite.

Then came Wind Beneath My Wings, again another classic, she started off by saying ok the song you have been waiting for, then singing some Celine Dion song. I don’t know the exact words I am not that familiar with her. It was really funny because people laughed and she pretended to look sad. lol But when she really sang WBMW it was magnificent. I don’t know if she knows this or not, maybe she does, but I think the reason that song was so successful for her is because she is the person in that song for all of us. Yes I am sure some people take the song and use it when they want to express this emotion to others. I know one of them. But most of her fans really feel this way about her. I know she is my hero.

So then the next day, which was a Wednesday, was the day I would have front row seats and get to meet Bette Midler!!! I was so excited I could hardly think! So again my mom walks me up to the doors and hear is where things start to go crazy. So, I give my ticket to the guy and no special person takes me to my seat “clue number one something is wrong.” Ok, then I get seated next to this very nice man, Michael who I gabbed with about how much we love Bette and yatta yatta. He had seen Bette 17 times in his life, now 5 doesn’t seen so bad, does it now, lol. Then a woman named Talia “very nice Bette worker” gives Michael and I a little envelope that says VIP on it and says to stay in our seats after the show and she would take us to Bette. So by this time it was already 7:30 and the show usually starts a little late so I look in my envelope thing and there is no drink coupon “clue number 2.” So I just thought I will go up to the guy and show him what I have and see what he says. He told me no free drink, crap. This was bad for me because unfortunately I had no money on me and right during Bette’s show and I had to take some prescribed medication and a freaken water is 5 dollars. So I run out of the show to my mother who gives me some money and when I am coming back in a man who is suppose to check your bag asks me where my mother is. He said I could not get in, even though I had just been in the night before and 5 seconds ago without an adult. So I ran to my mother again and she runs to the box office 10 seconds before the show starts and has to buy a 100 dollar ticket.

So I go to my seat and watch the whole show which was amazing, I had the front row seat right in front of the step were she sings, you could not get any closer! She was beautiful and amazing and it was an experience I will never forget. Then, before the show is even over, Talia wisked us away to go wait for Bette!

We waited in this very nice furnished room for a while, while Talia said Bette “freshened up” after the show. So while I waited I chatted again with Michael and this very nice couple from London who had seen Bette 20 time “wow” and had just seen Bette when she was on Loose Women. Then when Bette came in she came in the side door and stood in front of the camera, then one by one we went in front of the camera talked to her for a minute or 2, took our picture, said goodbye to her, and left. I was second. When it was my turn she came back from behind the camera and put out her hand to shake mine with a big smile on her face and said o my goodness you are beautiful. I was so flattered. Then she put her arm around me and said to Marty the guy who was on Kathy Griffin, is she a “Smug?” and he nodded his head yes. I was so relieved; at least one person today was not going to try to kick me out of here. Then she said O my you are so young what are you doing here, you can’t be any more than nineteen. I then told her that I was fifteen. She asked me if I came with someone. I should have just said yes and left the question alone but like the idiot I am the word vomit came out and I told her what happened. I only said it because it was kind of a funny story to break the ice with freaken Bette Midler and I wanted to make sure that all of the security guards there new that I did not come alone so they would not throw me out anymore. Anyways, Bette said she was so sorry for what happened and said that she would have I guess her manager J.J refund me the 100 dollars I spent on the ticket. I was so stunned. I thought that was really really nice of her and very unnecessary. I think that shows just how down to earth she is. She did not have to do that for me and she did it with out even thinking about it.

Then she asked me where I was from and I told her I was from New Jersey and she said her parents were from there in this voice and we had this moment that was really cool and I said o really like I didn’t know even though I was perfectly aware of that fact. They lived in Paterson New Jersey. I just had a star struck moment was all. Anyways then she was like well I think you might be my youngest fan, well maybe not my youngest but my nicest and I said thank you. Then she said you are just so cute give me a hug so I gave her a hug and told her that I just loved her and thought she was great. Then we took our picture and she then told J.J to take care of me again.

Bette was so kind to me, I was afraid that she would not be mean but not as nice to me because I was younger but it was just the opposite. I want to thank her so much for her kindness towards me and putting up with me while I was so nervous. lol She is the wind beneath my wings.”

Love, Danielle xoxo


“This is my Divine encounter with Miss M.

When i got to the Collosseum, Bruce, the manager took me to get my “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” drink, which was delicious. I recommend it to you all. I was seated next to a nice lady, who had seen Bette at Caesars before, but in 1976. She was a great company.

After the show, we were taken to the Green Room, where Kathy Griffin waited for Bette as well. There was Rita Rudner, also waiting for Bette along with her posse. We were told that Bette is doing a CBS interview and that she would be there shortly.

She finally came with Marty, her tour manager and was introduced to us ( like she needed it ), and then she took pics, with the other fan and signed her a personalized autograph on the 1976 program ( so if u want a personalized signature bring something u have, cos the one on the program is a pre signed thing ) and then it was my turn. I gave her the letter I wrote for her and then we had a little chit chat. She told me she was preparing something for next year for Europe. We hugged and had the best of times ( or at least i did ). Then i had to leave.

I mentioned you Don and that you said hi, and she told me how sweet and they think of you often. She checked your blog a few days ago and that she says hello.” 🙂 Bette immediately knew who I was talking about, and let’s be honest. No matter how divine you are, you cant resist not to google yourself. If i had a blog I’d be there all day long 🙂

The box office manager told me, that Bette was supposed to shoot the show this month, but nothing is scheduled yet, so he isnt sure they will release a DVD. And he told me that Celine might come back after Bette is done with her contract.

It was worth it. I still cant believe it. I look at the pic… and still cant believe it”


The Showgirls Must Go On: OPENING NIGHT
by: Crystal Lo

Oy Vegas, here we come!! The morning Katrin and I arrived, I was already coming down with the flu and miss K was jet-lagged from her flight from Germany. We flew in Monday morning to Las Vegas. Saw the Grand Canyon from the sky chatted with passengers for Las Vegas travel tips. I kept my little tissues in my bag and sniffled all the way to landing (God, it was torture!).

It was a beautiful day with blue skies. Once you enter the Las Vegas airport, the sound of slot machines just hits you! It was so exciting to hear the first noise of Las Vegas.It’s everywhere from the time you land to the time you leave. Wewould eventually get sick of it… We grabbed our bags and got on a shuttle to the MGM Grand Casino.Cameras in hand in case we pass by any Bette Midler billboards or ads along the way. We were in Divine Lala Land.

I don’t know how long we gawked at the MGM and it’s grand entrance, but it was a while. The lobby was filled with tourists, marble floors, and the tackiest gold statue of a lion right dab in the middle of it all. There were so many elevators to different towers of the casino. I would’ve hated being a drunk looking for my room. I think I would have given up and slept on the floor.Hoping to get our room upgraded, we were going to try to flirt with the front desk agent. Unfortunately, the dude did not seem at all interested with our shenanigans, but upgraded us to a Bungalow suite on the 26th floor just to get rid of us. The first thing Katrin noticed was the fantastic view of the Strip and the mountains in the distance. My jaw dropped when I saw the beds, I so wanted to hide under the covers and run up the room service bill on chicken noodle soup and meds. The room had two of everything, thank God. Because I hate sharing…there was one toilet unfortunately.

We both knew where we needed to stop first, Caesars Palace! Sure, there’s other sights to see; Cirque Soleil, impersonators, the Bellagio water show, pirate battles…The Thunders from Down Under, but we had to confirm ourselves that Bette Midler was headlining the Colosseum first. We got off a cab at Caesars and notice a Toni Braxton photo sprawled over the Flamingo building across the strip. As Bette said from Showgirl, “I would’ve hate to be the one who got the room with the crotch”… As we walked into the casino, we passed by Elton’s store, Pure, and The Pussycat Lounge. Finally we found the Colosseum with Bette ads surrounding it. The Bette store was our Louis Vuitton! Once you step in, the music of Kiss My Brass is being played.We gawked at theflat screens for hours. The Bette store was filled with goodies including a signed Swarovsky encrusted ukulele in which my mind told me that I must have, even if I had no plans on learning how to play.


(Da’Vi, Crystal, and Katrin)

After hours in the Forum Shops and almost being kicked out from FAO Schwartz, our NYC BetteHead, DaVi was going to meet up with us at the Bette Store. We headed on down to Margaritaville and had a nice convo about the show and share stories about our experience with Bette. It was sonice to be around people who shared the same thoughts for the Divine as you had. It was like talking to yourself, but with2 other heads. “And you know 2 heads are better than one.”Da’Vi (master of the slots) taught us, slot virgins, how to use the machines, I don’t remember winning a dime but I distinctly remember Katrin doing pretty well to the point that I was so mad I demanded half of her winnings, just so I wouldn’t have to tell people that I left Vegas empty handed. We all went Moon and Playboy Club that evening. There was plenty of eye candy for the guys, and Star Wars convention men for us girls… We were like,”Where’s our Thunder from Down Under??”

The next morning, we were greeted with caged lions on our way to the MGM breakfast buffet (which I must say was amazing!)We watched some of the MGM staff feed and play with the lions. It started to rain which kinda took me by surprised because we were in the desert! But it later cleared and we went on sightseeing, checking into the Bette store once or twice…ok, every 30 minutes.

We decided to save money and ride the tram through the strip. Not so great. I didn’t realize that all the stops required so much walking in the underground of the casinos! And there was nothing to see.I would suggest taking a cab instead. It costs more, but you’ll be able to use your time wisely and see more.The cab drivers are pretty knowledgeable about the restaurants and entertainment on the Strip. One cab driver told me that most casinos/venues gave away free tickets to shows and meal vouchers to cab drivers just so they could refer passengers. I also enjoyed hearing stories who they’ve picked up in their cab once or twice. One said he picked up a drunk Jack Nicholson back and forth to the airport. Best part about riding the cabswas the stocked Las Vegas guides of Bette Midler on the covers. So each time we rode the cab,we probably stuffed 10-15 Bette Midler rags into our purses and bra.

On opening night, I was still sick with the flu, I had lost my voice, my color, and my MIND! Thankfully, Katrin came stocked full of cold medicines. I don’t know where I would have been without Doctor Katrin. I was not missing opening night for the world and I knew Katrin wouldn’t let me either. We called Don from Bootleg Betty about our whereabouts and he told us about the other BetteHeads to look for at the show. So we showered, we shaved, we FDS’d ourselves into a stupor and met up with Da’Vi for shots of Goldschlagers before heading down to the Colosseum. Note to self, never mix goldschlagers with cold medicine, EVER!

There was already a crowd of fans and paparazzi waiting outside and our jittery little hearts were screaming to get in! When the doors opened, security searched everyone.Then the three of us took a good look around the venue. It was the biggest and the most beautiful stage that I’ve ever seen in my life! Bette’s picture was sprawled as the backdrop for the stage. Our usher helped us find our seats, which was on the left side of the stage. Did I mention it was front row? Katrin and I looked at each other in shock! I swear, I purchased my tickets months after it went on sale and was told the seats were the last ones available on the floor. I didn’t check with the usher if he made a mistake. As if things weren’t amazing enough, someone from behind asked us if we were Crystal and Katrin. At first, I was surprised to know that someone knew our names. It was Benny and his partner Nik. Don had mentioned about them and now they’re right behind us. Twilight zone…

When the lights dimmed, the crazy sounds of donkeys and crows began. The backdrop of the stage became a video clip of a cyclone ripping through Las Vegas. Bette Midler came on Donkey from stage left and audience went wild. The Showgirl Must Go On had begun! She had lost lots of weight and her hair was surprisingly long, because I remembered her sporting a short do not too long ago. Weave or Rogaine she looked great! The opening outfits on Bette and the girls were so glittery; they looked like fireworks prancing on the stage. The audience wasn’t as crazy and wild from what I’m used to when Bette performs in Atlanta, but they would eventually let loose and forget about getting a second mortgage job for their tickets.

The songs chosen for the show were mostly hits, executed beautifully. She made a hilarious salute to all the Celebri”tarts” exposures from the tabs and taking a minute or two admiring a photo of her from the seventies exposing her cute booty! No nipples in the wind..dammit! The Soph portion was one of my favorite costumes of the show. I couldn’t believe she could still rock out in a corset and letting those infamous legs shame us. I think everyone agrees that Bette Midler playing Glory of Love on her ukulele was something to witness. Lights were down, the spotlight was on Miss M, and she sat in the audience and softly played. Breathtaking..

The first time I was introduced to Bette was watching Delores ripping out of her mermaid tail screaming, “It’s A Miracle!!” So Delores holds a special place in my heart…but for a 90 minute show, Bette can do without her, sorry. Hello In There was the highlight of the evening for me, seeing the backdrop of foggy New York and hearing her sing in the shadows was very emotional. This song had so much meaning to me, it was the first Bette song I played on my stereo. So I was thankful to hear it live. For the rest of the evening, she sang more of her hits with more wonderful costumes and choreography. She had a standing ovation after WBMW. Overall, I thought the show was stunning spectacle, Bette was in wonderful shape, her voice was polished, the Harlettes were flawless, the Caesar Salad Girls were adorable, and the band rocked. I only wished the show could have lasted longer!

BUT THE NIGHT WASN’T OVER! Katrin completed her longtime dream to see Bette Midler live, I could see how overwhelmed she felt when tears came down. This was the first time, I ever been to a Bette Midler concert with other BetteHeads. Opening night, Vegas, front row seats, BetteHeads, what more could you ask for?? I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Da’Vi, Benny, and Nik met up with us and we all chatted about the show and how we all knew Don. We shook Toni Basil’s hand before she rushed backstage and caught Bruce Vilanch and rushed to hug him. “Come children” he says. I felt like a little kid seeing gay Santa for the first time! Outside the colosseum, we met Bette Sussman, Carol Hatchet, and other dancers from the show. After a while, we just mingled with people on the front steps of the Colosseum. There were two particular ladies we met, a mother from Brooklyn and her daughter from Cali. Both were big Bette fans and the sweetest people ever.

All of sudden, Bette Midler stepped out from the entrance, heading towards us. I could see why all the paparazzi were awaiting at the sides of the colosseum before the show. Without thinking twice, I went over to shake her hand. I had the camera ready in one hand and Katrin asked Bette politely for a quick picture. Bette apologized because she was in a hurry. “This girl came all the way from Germany! You have to take a picture with her!!” yelled the Brooklyn mother. “Well ok..” said Bette and stood between Katrin and Da’Vi. Everyone’s eyes was on me. Just when I was about to take the picture, I froze…In 2 seconds flat, security escorted her away and there I stood with my mouth open. Katrin and Da’Vi asked me how the picture turned out. When I told them I didn’t press the button, I just wanted to hide in the bathroom and stick my head in a toilet bowl…

We tried to follow Bette to the red carpet of Pure. By now, the crowd was already growing enormously around her and she disappeared. Lights were flashing and people were screaming her name. She and a few other celebs took some pictures and interviews on the red carpet before ducking into Pure with her family and the crowd slowly parted…..

And I thought that was that, I was sad I didn’t get that photo of Bette Katrin and DaVi together. Hey, at least we got to see Bette Midler in person.So I looked around to see who else we could get a picture with us. I asked Cojo from ET and he came right over from the red carpet to us. Then there was this crazy lady who charged in front of us to get a photo with Cojo. Somehow Katrin’s purse got locked into that crazy lady’s arm and poor Katrin was being dragged away by her. Cojo saw what was happening and asked the crazy lady “What are you doing? Are you some bag knapper?” and set Katrin free. I thought it was hilarious! We went to the restroom to freshen up, on the way out I saw Da’Vi sitting patiently in the lounge. He told us to look to his right and sitting across from him was Seigfried from Seigfried and Roy. He was just sitting there quietly to himself. So we asked him nicely if we could have a photo. He did, but made us take multiple pictures and he asked me if he was smiling in any of the photos…

Later on that evening we saw Meatloaf, the Harlettes, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, Robin Leach, Dixie Chicks, Rita Rudner, Idina Menzel, Taye Diggs, and who else knows. People kept asking me who these people were. I chased over to Dee Dee Bridgewater, a Grammy award jazz singer/Dreamgirl for a photo. She had the warmest smile and asked about myself. Then she said “There’s a aura about you girl.” I think I nearly died! One of our highlights was meeting Linda Hart, a Harlette from Bette’s World Tour!! She came out of Pure with her mother sweetly stopping to take a picture with us. I remembered her sharing stories from her days as a Harlette with us. Linda asked Katrin if she saw the World Tour in Germany. We didn’t know how to tell her that she was only a baby! For some reason, Linda’s mother adored Katrin’s heels. We both knew we will never throw those shoes away!

Things were getting quiet and I noticed security was gathering together outside of Pure. The Divine One came out looking radiant in her sparkling silver dress and those long diamond drop earrings. When she came towards us, I asked God if he was giving me a second chance? This time Katrin asked Bette for a picture, “AGAIN?!” said Bette. She explained that I had forgotten to push the button last time. Bette said, “Then I think it’ll be safer if you did it yourself.” I have never been so relieved in my life!


(Katrin and Bette Midler!)

The END


Bryce Gets “Smug Mutha” With Bette Midler
Bryce Gledhill

If you haven’t booked your smug mutha tickets you need to book them asap… the smug mutha experience was amazing… from beginning right to the end… its a memory you will cherish for forever… not only are you front row… but the you are truly treated like a vip guest… Bettes staff completely take care of you and they are a great bunch of people…

See I was a very lucky smug mutha, I got to meet bette by myself… I was the only smug mutha, Bettes manager said that there were 23 smug muthas the night before… so how lucky was i…

As i sat in the waiting room… my hands were shaking… I was getting really nervous but so excited at the same time… the door opens and in struts Bette… I jumped up started screaming I couldn’t believe Bette was standing in front of me… i gave her the biggest hug…

Bettes assistant came in with a glass of champagne for Bette, Bette said Bryce would you like a glass of champagne I said yes please… so the assistant went to get me a glass… Bette said Bryce here you have mine and ill wait for the other one… I was like no bette you have it… she said no you have it… I said you performed tonight you deserve it… she said thank you very much… it was so cute just shows you what a beautiful woman she is… we talked about everything… my job, Australia, Bette climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, New York City, Bettes book a view from abroad, she was telling me all of her favourite things to do in LA… she was said oh god I sound like such a mom…

I took in a pic of a Bette Midler cake my mum made for me when i was 12, bette loved it… I said take it with you the next time your on Oprah… Bette laughed haha

I told Bette that the highlight of the show was when she sang when a man loves a woman… wow she was amazing… she just belted it out… she had the whole colosseum on their feet just screaming… it was amazing… I told her she should have gotten the oscar for The Rose… which I strongly believe, I also told her my favourite song of hers is stay with me… she thanked me…

Bettes one of those people you can talk to for hours, she made me feel so comfortable which I thought was fantastic, she was everything I expected and more…

Thank you Bette and your amazing staff for the best night of my life…

love bryce x


The Showgirl Must Go On
Las Vegas ~ The Showgirl Must Go On
Amanda Tomczak
August 15th, 2009

As I got off the plane and headed down the escalator towards baggage claim, there she was; a 20 foot long poster of Bette sporting those fabulous legs. After my mother and I got our luggage, and went to our hotel (which was across the street from Caesars Palace), we went downtown. The one spot I was most eager to visit was Mermaids, the place where Bette got the deep fried Twinkies. Unfortunately when we got there they sold out. Oh well!

So the first day was done. The second day the first thing we did was go to Caesars Palace and go to Bette’s store. I spent more money in there than I spend in a normal store. I’m not ashamed. My mother was kind enough to buy me a booklet which was $30. I have to say the Caesars Palace was the most beautiful hotel/casino that was there. You can disagree with me if you want. I don’t care. We went to other hotels and checked them out. We went to the Eiffel Tower and saw an amazing view of the strip at night. It was so beautiful. Every time I stepped into Caesars my eyes were peeled for Bette. . . I didn’t see her.

The third day of my vacation. The day that I have been waiting for, for so many months. The day I would see Bette. That day we went to the box office to see if my mother could get a closer spot to me. I was supposed to have second row but they moved me up to first row to fill a spot that wasn’t filled. They said I was the lucky one that was picked. When I found that out I started crying. I ended up sitting in front of the spot where Bette would be playing the ukulele. My mom ended up being 4 rows behind me.

The stage looked like it had sheets that were covering props. On the screen was Bette showing her incredible legs. I’m sure most of you know the picture I’m talking about. The picture on the cover of Jackpot. Finally the show was starting. The picture on the screen ended up being the billboard that eventually gets torn apart by the tornado. Once the clip finished the sheets were flown off the stage and the Staggering Harlettes began singing Big Noise from Wintekka. They looked amazing and they sounded great. Behind them there was a ton of suitcases spiraling up from the floor. I knew Bette was hiding on top behind them. Finally the tower of suitcases turned and there she was! The Divine One up on the suitcases shaking everything she had. God she is tiny! Um… I kinda forget what happens next. I’m sure she sings Big Noise, Showgirl, and definitely In The Mood. I was too swept away in her looks that I wasn’t paying attention to what she was saying. She is so pretty even in person. To be honest I was looking at her ass quite a bit. It wasn’t that bad. 🙂 hehe. Anyways… after the 3 numbers she fake faints backwards and the Harlettes catch her… I think that’s what happens. The Harlettes run off stage and get the giant lips so Bette could be pushed around on the stage. Bette said they were Octomom’s lips. They rolled her around on the stage while Bette asked where her Jews were at. A lot of people cheered. She then asked where her gays were at. Another roar from the audience. She showed the picture of her, Elton John, and Cher. She said something like “look at us girls.” She started telling a joke about how Lindsay and Britney are always exposing themselves to get ahead in there career. As she is getting off the giant lips she spreads her legs wide open like how the girls do when they get out of their cars and show their crotch. She goes on saying it’s disgusting that the expose themselves like that and on the screen behind her showed the picture of her showing her bare ass from a long time ago. She tells us a joke about how “I was taking a shower one time and felt something behind my knee. It was my ass.” At this time she gets ready to sing The Rose. She sings it and it’s terrific! I stood up along with a few other guys behind to my left. I sat down before Bette came back up to the front of the stage and she saw me sit down but the other guys were still standing. She said she loves it when there are people who give standing ovations after every song and she began to do a victory dance kind of a thing. It was cute but I should have stood longer. She would have given me more attention. Hehe. After The Rose she sings Do You Wanna Dance? After Do You Wanna Dance she runs off the stage for a costume change. The Harlettes and the showgirls did a beautiful dance. She then comes out in the dress that has leaves all over it in fall colors. It was really pretty. She only sang From A Distance before she changed again. A whole bunch of showgirls came out to cover a costume change.

There was a clip of the judges from American Idol playing on the screen. To the right of the stage a bed was wheeled out. Bette obviously was in it. She had her head covered and her fin was showing at the end of the bed. Yes, this is the part of Delores Delago. The clip of the American Idol judges was only a dream that Delores was having. Then the phone rang at the side of the bed and someone was on the other line. Some famous weird guy. IDK who it was. Whoever it was gave her a gig at Cirque Du Solei. It ended up being a trashy Sunque Du Solow or whatever. She goes behind the trashy hotel where she gets ready to go on the huge fish hook. She sings a song that I don’t know then there is a clip of newspapers and magazine reviews of Delores’s show, all of them say she is really bad. She gets depressed but then Elvis appears on the screen behind her so she turns around. I get a great view of her ass again. YAY! Elvis talks for a little while giving her words of encouragement. She and Elvis do a little duet. When the duet is done she does some dolphin call. To be honest…it was kind of awkward but a little cute and funny. She gets back on her wheelchair and while she is going behind the prop/curtain she said something to me. She actually looked at me and said something. I couldn’t make out what she said. Even the woman next to me said Bette was talking to me but she didn’t know what she said either. My Mom who was 4 rows back even seen it. I will never find out what she said but what can you do? She came out again dressed as Elvis in her Delores costume. She was adorable and she sang the song very well. I think there was a medley and went into a new song. She was then on the ground doing awesome designs with the other Harlettes like what she did for In The Mood for Art or Bust except waaaaay better. This woman never stops moving. She is all over the place!! But finally she left.
I’m pretty sure after this she changes into the black dress and she sings Hello In There, where I started crying, and When A Man Loves A Woman. After WAMLAW she received a standing ovation. A much deserved standing O. She went to the left side (my left) of the stage to the right and began giving thank yous to everyone. Once again she looked at me. OMG! She looked at me quite a bit during the show. Whoot! The Harlettes came out and sang Pretty Legs. My favorite song. The curtains finally opened and Bette was in her costume for Sophie. She did a lot of jokes that I heard before. One I haven’t but I don’t remember it very well. She told the joke about how she walked across the beach and saw men telling time with their penises. When she was about to say “fondling himself” she said, “How am I going to say this with all these children present,” and she looked at me for a split second. Apparently she thought I was young to hear that stuff. But she did say it out loud after mouthing it a couple of times and finished the joke. She chatted with the audience for a minute or so. She may have asked me if I was ok. I nodded my head but she asked me again and I nodded my head more. It wasn’t till later that I began to realize maybe she wasn’t talking to me but the guy 2 seats away who didn’t look like he was having the best time. Directly across from me was a woman who had her arms crossed. Bette was trying to get the women to uncross her arms. She was like showing the woman how to uncross her arms. It was funny but the woman left her arms crossed. She then asked the woman where she was from. She said California and Bette said, “Oh, I lived in California for 10 years.” Now, this is the part that I was waiting for. The part when she sand Glory of Love. I knew she would be only feet away from me. Before she sat down she mentioned how she has been telling these jokes for 40 years. People began cheering be she said, “No, No, No. Don’t do that. I’m saying that because they are the same jokes I’ve been telling for that last 40 years and you’ve still been laughing at them for the past 40 years.” Finally she sat down right in front of me. Ok just imagine Bette 2 feet away from you. It’s an indescribable feeling to be that close to your idol but I wasn’t nervous. She made you feel calm and relaxed. She is stunning and her boobs are huge. Seriously. They were about to fall out of her costume. She went on saying how when she created that character she thought she was 60 and she had a sad look on her face. She told a story about Soph and began singing the song. It was great but it didn’t last that long and she was gone but she did look at me some more.

She came out singing Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy!!! Bette’s outfit was beautiful. She was so sparkly. I have never seen an outfit like that before. I was in awe. When we thought the song was done we gave her a standing O but then she started another verse and we still stood and a lot of people danced and clapped along. It was awesome. Bette looked that she was shocked and very pleased to see us standing and clapping along. And the last song…. 🙂 Wind Beneath My Wings. Before she sang she said that we were a fabulous Saturday night audience and she couldn’t wait to sing the song for us. And sing she did. There probably wasn’t a dry eye in the house. When she said her thank yous she began with the people in front who were really giving it their all during the show. I was one of the lucky ones she pointed at. She got another standing ovation and she was gone.

The show was amazing. There were so many things going on that it didn’t even feel like 90 minutes. More like 5 minutes. I would definitely go again to see her. My Mom wasn’t that big of a fan but after the show her mind was changed. My Mom liked the fact that she dropped the “F” bomb a lot. She said it made her look more real.

Guest Blogger: Bill J.: Las Vegas Getaway To Bettesville

Mister D: I’d like to thank Bill for taking the time to write such a detailed and interesting story on his Las Vegas trip. I, for one, truly felt I was there with he and his friends. I hope you guys and girlie poos enjoyed it, too. Sorry I have not been present much in the comments…just going through a down time, but fighting hard to get back up. Thanks to Bill and all the readers who make this a special place! Oh, at the end of this essay, there are links to more Bette products. Now read this story!:

When I stepped off the plane to enter Las Vegas for the very first time, I almost immediately felt welcomed by the voice of an old friend “A Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from company B” resonated from the speakers inside of the airport, accompanied by video and ticket information. Yes, the main reason for my visit to Las Vegas, my all-time favorite singer, Bette Midler, was even at the airport. I knew from then on that Vegas was going to be my kind of town and this a wonderful and memorable trip.

Photo: Looking Good, Bill!

After checking into my hotel room at Caesar’s Palace I decided to go into the casino and explore a little, while awaiting the arrival of my friend and Vegas roommate, Rick, to fly in from New York. From what I had read previously on Bootleg Betty’s website is that Bette Midler paraphernalia was being sold at a store in Caesar’s to tie in with her show. What I didn’t understand until I got there was that there was a whole damn store with nothing but Bette Midler merchandise in it! I seriously thought I had died and gone to heaven! I swear I had to change my underwear twice I was so excited! You name it and Bette’s photo and/or name was on it: t-shirts, mugs, shot glasses, sweat shirts, champagne glasses, diamond jewelry, crystal, key chains, $200 limited edition signed posters, The Saga of Baby Divine book, Baby Divine snow globes and jewelry cases, chocolate bars, hoodies, jackets, refrigerator magnets, playing cards, CDs – you name it and The Bette Midler Store had it! I could not take this excitement alone, so I called my friend Carrie from New York, who wanted to be there and could not make it, and I just wondered around for about forty-five minutes giving her detailed descriptions on all the merchandise, while both of us repeating several “ooohs” while I found something new and exciting. I didn’t want to go crazy and spend all of my money in there right then and there, so I bought a fabulous deck of Bette playing cards ($5) and a The Showgirl Must Go On program ($7.42).

Several hours later, after Rick had arrived, I took him back down to the store and he too was in awe of everything that was Bette. But we were both good boys and did not buy anything – yet.

The following day Rick and I were meeting three friends of ours who live in Las Vegas at the Caesar’s buffet (not all that cheap and mediocre food). The temperature was pretty cool that day so we decided to stay in Caesar’s Palace since there was plenty to do. The first thing on the agenda, after the buffet, was to walk over to the box office to inquire about two extra show tickets Rick was sent a few weeks earlier. Rick and I through his AMEX, ordered our tickets the very day they went on sale (I think it was this past November?) and we were extremely happy to have gotten our two seventh row seats. I had seen Bette in concert seven times prior, and had NEVER had seats that close. The only time I was actually close to her was when I got to briefly meet her as she signed my Peggy Lee CD and Kiss My Brass t-shirt (while I was still wearing it) in NYC in 2005. So Rick and I figured it must have been some kind of computer glitch or something that sent us, months later, THIRD ROW tickets to the same performance! It’s a damn good thing we did not give away or tried selling the original tickets because what had happened was they had upgraded us! The upgrade was from seventh to third row because since our original order, they had added one hundred seats to the theater and didn’t want to punish us obsessive “gotta get those tickets right away” fans by making us sit back further from the stage. A very nice gesture, but a note probably should have been included in order to cut down all the confusion that we had had.

After spending several more hours with the friends we had not seen in about five years, (and seeing Bette’s music accompanist Bette Sussman near the Bette store, right outside of the Coliseum; I am still kicking myself for not introducing myself!) we went back up to the hotel room and each took a short nap so we would be fully rested for the show, which was only a few hours away. At about seven O’clock, we took the elevator downstairs and got in the very long line at The Coliseum for the show, which thankfully went very quickly. I didn’t want to be carrying a bunch of crap into the show, so I had only brought my Pennsylvania driver’s license in my pocket, my ticket, and nothing else. Much to my shock there was a shitload of additional Bette merchandise in the lobby that was not available in the Bette store. Although the majority of stuff at the Bette store was somewhat reasonably priced compared to the prices of stuff on her tours, the stuff inside The Coliseum tended to be even a little cheaper. I was freaking out because I had no money on me (remember it was all up in the hotel room), but thankfully Rick was kind enough to lend me some money, so I bought a mug for myself ($15), a Venus de Midler t-shirt ($22) and the same things for a mutual friend’s upcoming birthday. I was extremely temped to buy a photo that they take of you in the lobby, next to show showgirls, before the show, and it’s put into a small album with some great pictures of Bette, but I thought the forty dollar asking price was a little steep. Maybe next time.

We entered the theatre and the usherette (a word I love to use since Bette used it on the old Bing Crosby special) accompanied us to our seats. I loved that she said, “Keep going Keep going” as our seats were that close to the stage! We finally get to our seats (about ten feet away from the stage!!!) and Rick and I begin talking to two men who were a couple from Long Island, who were sitting right in front of us. The one guy was a wedding photographer who loved Bette and was in town on business, and his partner came along with him. His company had tried getting tickets to Bette to no avail and finally earlier that afternoon (eight minutes before) there had been a cancellation for three second row seats! They took the two seats (another woman bought the third) and there they were! We were laughing about how many of us homos were there, especially in that section alone. A very nice straight couple from Texas eventually sat down next to Rick and I, and the wife told me that they too were upgraded, but they did not find out until earlier that day when Caesar’s contacted them, informing them that their tickets had been cancelled. This scared the shit out of them, as it would me, but they finished by telling them that they had been upgraded. Apparently the ticket people at Caesar’s like to play little jokes like this on us patrons.

And now…The Showgirl Must Go On…

As I had already read about in most of the reviews of the show, the IMAX-like screen at the back of the stage explodes with images of the Vegas desert, with various pictures of Miss M flying around, and a seemingly lost donkey appearing at various times. The stage itself then began to blow and Bette herself eventually rose up on top of several suitcases to Big Noise from Winnetka/ The Showgirl Must Go On. She looked beyond fabulous for a forty-year-old woman, but for a woman who was already sixty-two? Forget about it! Simply unbelievable! Her voice was in top form, she was funny, the aforementioned gorgeous, and the excitement from the crowd was overwhelming. Now, as typical with me, I cannot remember every single thing from the entire show. There are usually two reasons for this. Number one, I am too much in awe and it seems otherworldly. And number two, we were so fuckin’ close that I was shell shocked and that seems to do a lot for my memory  I remember that Bette did go into In The Mood, which was a wonderful surprise for me since she does not perform that song live so much anymore, followed by The Rose. I was personally extremely happy to hear her sing The Rose because I had read in one of the articles that before opening they were not sure if they could fit that song into the show. They did, and once again she brought the house down. Since not many of us carry around cigarette lighters anymore, Bette told us we could hold up our lit cell phones during the show and wave them over our heads. And that is exactly what we did.

Other songs she sang included From a Distance, which had a beautiful autumnal background, Do You Wanna Dance, the standing ovation finale of Wind Beneath My Wings, and Hello in There. Every concert I have been to of hers she sings Hello in There and I have to admit that this was the most beautiful version of it that I had ever heard. The stage was decorated with screens that had silhouettes of old city buildings, and they were all surrounding her as she sang her heart out about having had that apartment in the city. Even more than usual with this song, tears rolled down my face.

I had always loved her version of When a Man Loves a Woman from the film, The Rose and after all of the reviews I had read about this performance I was particularly excited. Although it was an excellent job on her part and she did indeed receive a standing ovation, I felt it was a far cry from what she could usually do to that song. Her voice didn’t quite have the edge it usually does on that song. An edge she had the last time I had seen her sing it when I saw Kiss My Brass three times. I don’t know if she was tired and anxious to get back to New York (this was her very last show until June) but I was admittingly a little disappointed.

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, as usual was lots of fun. As she had in Kiss My Brass, she danced on the stage accompanied by the three Bette’s from yesteryear on the screen behind her. This time her new Harlettes dressed in matching outfits and red wigs to match the Bettes on the screens mimicked her dancing and all did an excellent job. These were three of the best Harlettes I think there ever were. Not to mention her countless number of Caesar Salad Showgirls. These ladies wore some gorgeous costumes, and did amazing work supporting the legend that is Bette.

Bette did her famous Delores Delago: The Toast of Chicago about halfway through the show and I love that gal. On the giant screen, the three judges from American Idol were shown judging Delores and of course Simon was particularly nasty. I am probably the only person in this country who never watches American Idol, so I imagine if I had been a fan of the show I would have enjoyed this skit even more, but knowing what little I know about the show, I thought it was still great.

As Delores, Bette sings a slew of Vegas medleys (my favorite being Viva Las Vegas) but of course Delores’ reviews stank (“fin-ished”) and she thought she would have to leave the desert town. Until, also up on the screen, the ghost of Elvis visited Delores telling her that it was her duty to be there and to entertain the Vegas folk. Admittingly the Delores routine ran a little long, but it was still a lot of fun.

Soph was not absent from the festivities either. All of the jokes I had heard Bette tell before (the seeing eye dog, the naked man telling time by his penis, etc.) but she chose some of the very best from her repertoire. I laughed all over again at the tales of Soph, her friend Clemintine and her boyfriend Ernie.

What I thought was special about Soph in this particular show is that she showed another side, a more sensitive part of her being. As Soph, Bette sang The Glory of Love, while sitting on the step of the stage while playing the ukulele. No one who has not seen this could fathom how beautiful this rendition of that song was. The song finished with the usual luscious background orchestration, but the ukulele gave a whole new meaning to the song. Again, I was in tears.

As usual, Bette herself told lots of jokes. There was one about the New York governor Spitzer and she asked the front row people how the fuck they got those seats. “Even I can’t get those seats!” At the beginning of the show she asked where all of her Jews and gays were. She said that her Jews were usually on her right, so she went to the right of the stage and said, “I knew this is where most of my Jews were! I heard someone over here before the show complaining that it was too cold in here!” Bette then went to the left of the stage, where we were sitting, and said usually all her gays are over there and we were cheering and screaming. It was hysterical.

The sweet straight woman from Texas nervously asked me after the show why Bette had such a huge gay following. I replied with something along the lines of “Oh, because she is fabulous. She was never the prettiest one around and could have been an outsider, but she has always had her own voice (both literally and figuratively) and I think a lot of once oppressed gay men probably identify with that.” I continued to say that she was also a one of a kind legend and so ahead of her time. After all, I have been a huge Bette fan ever since I was ten in 1990. I know I am younger than the majority of her fans (although I know quite a few around my own age), but there is just something magical about this woman. Something I could not put into words for this woman sitting next to me and cannot for you readers today. But I am sure that most of you reading this know what that “something” is and feel it in the depths of your souls. I felt that long after I left the theater, while repeating to myself “I must see this show again!”

The following day was my last full day in Vegas. A friend who we met with from the day before was off from work that day and took us to various Vegas landmarks both on and off the strip. After we returned I still had to buy all of my Bette crap from the store. I was buying for friends, as well as myself. I wound up buying the “Bette Midler” album cover t-shirt (A LOT of money at $45, but I figured “fuck it” and bought it anyway), as well as a turquoise The Showgirl Must Go On t-shirt ($30), a shot glass ($8) more programs for friends, an army camouflage shirt for a friend ($28) a Divinity for Dummies t-shirt for another friend ($22), a picture frame ($12) and a metal key chain for seven dollars because the plastic ones I usually buy always fall apart. I was listening to the not-yet-released Jackpot! album on the headphones because I wanted to hear the un-released song. I admit that I could barely hear it because both the quality of the audio stunk and the three plasma TVs that they had in the store blasting various scenes from Kiss My Brass kind of made it difficult. I asked where they got such a good copy of Kiss My Brass since it was light years away in picture quality from the bootleg I bought taken from Madison Square Garden in 2004. The one young lady told me it had been released in Europe and not here, but I think she got it mixed up with Diva Las Vegas.

I had asked earlier if it would be ok for me to take pictures of the various items in the store to show to my friends back East. The very nice employee said they had gotten that request and that it would be fine as long as I did not photograph any of the jewelry. I said none of my friends would be able to afford any of that anyway, so that was fine and that I’d be back later. Several hours later, when I came back with my camera, I asked the young woman who was not working behind the counter if it would be all right. She said the same thing about the jewelry and I again said that would be no problem. I got maybe two or three photos taken when she stopped me and told me I would have to put my camera away. She told me that the people in the back room of the store were looking at me on the security camera and thought it weird that I was taking pictures of the merchandise. They said it would be fine if I wanted to pose with the merchandise but that I had to be in the picture. I thought, and still do think, that this rationale is ludicrous. I politely told the woman that the only reason I was taking the photos was to show friends back home the merchandise so they would call and order some stuff thus giving them more money. I told her it was stupid that they did not sell the stuff anywhere on the web (I asked) and did not have photo catalogs of any of it. I informed her that there are a lot of fans who cannot make it to Vegas who would still love to buy the stuff and of course see it first! There was no point as I was not going to win this argument and I knew that it was not her fault anyway. If anyone is interested in buying anything from there, they do ship and can be reached by phone at 702-866-1091. But a little tip: please do not think of buying any of the CDs there (Cool Yule was almost forty dollars!) and the one DVD they have, The Bette A&E Biography, was a whopping forty-five dollars! Some very sweet women were about to buy the DVD and I told them not to waste their money, that they could buy it online for usually fifteen to twenty dollars. They thanked for several times profusely and bought some store-exclusive stuff instead.

Later on, on my last night in Las Vegas, I came down to the lobby and next to The Colesium where only hours earlier a giant poster of Bette hung, was now a poster of Elton John. And since the Cher and Bette stores will be alternating from the one store location, the Bette stuff was coming down and the Cher going up. Although I think Cher is fabulous I must admit that I was a bit melancholy about seeing the Bette stuff being temporarily torn down, but come June the showgirl will again go on…

Thanks for taking the time to read this. And for those of you who haven’t seen the show yet…GO!!!

– Bill J

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March 7th Show

Prior to Bette entering .…..
The curtain lifted and the theater music was still playing background music, but Bette Sussman and the band were in place just killing time. Bette Sussman was stretching her fingers, shaking her hands, and arranging her sheet music. She continued to fidget with her chair, tape some of her music together, and continued to warm up her hands. I would say they were in place about 2 minutes before the video of the tornado, donkey, and Vegas stuff started.

The other thing we noticed was in the back of the theater, that only Bette can see, is a TV screen with just Bette Sussman on it-nothing else.
Bette Sussman has a video screen right in front of her that only has Bette Midler on it. This must help both of them keep the music in sync with the signing. Just thought it was interesting.

1. The Show Girl Must Go On
No donkey, but does arrive on the luggage as already stated. If you look carefully you can see her behind the luggage-or rather her hair! She is very cautious as she walks down the luggage.

2. In The Mood – Bette does her thang with the audience…
She of course, picked on the front and center people asking them how they got the tickets and then stated that even she can’t get those seats. She wants the Jews to clap so they do, and then she asked how many of them came only because it was named the Coliseum and thought the Christians were going to be thrown to the lions. Then she asks where the Christians are, and then tells them that 8 of the 10 commandments will be broken during the show. It was really funny.

Her speaking voice was a little raspy sounding and I was concerned that her singing would be affected, but it wasn’t and in fact was great as everyone has said.

3. She tires out and asks for her transporter…a bright red Lips Chair…the Harlettes push her anywhere she wants to go…
She does not sing I’ve Still Got My Health (best I can remember!) as reported before but talks about bad behavior and ill health of all the stars lately…Lohan, Hilton, Britney. etc…..then a pic comes up of her Hasty Puddings Acceptance where she twirls and reveals her butt.
She comments about how nice her butt looked and that it was so tight you could bounce a quarter off it! Then she says that she hoped the whole audience had a photo of their butt at their ideal weight. Too funny.

4. Some People’s Lives is cut and The Rose is sung.
She asks everyone in the audience to open their cell phones and wave them around instead of lighters like days of old. It actually looked really neat, and she shields her eyes against the lights and looks around and smiles. Very nice…

5. Next a big production number of Do You Wanna Dance? with the Harlettes and The Caesar Salad Girls in the rain with their umbrellas….when the song is over, Bette disappears behind a wall of umbrellas…the music continues and all the girls continue to dance until the music for the next number comes….

That stayed and was performed very nicely.

6. From A Distance
I could be mistaken, as I was so excited and didn’t write things down, but I don’t think she was on a stairway. She does have the orange dress on and I am pretty sure she is wearing shoes because some other people have said she was barefoot. I just can’t remember.

7. Harlettes and dancers do a little dance wearing skimpy outfits…their black hats turn into a beautful array of colored flowers….

8. Delores DeLago segment-
I know there has been lots of discussion about whether Delores should stay or go, but the whole thing was pretty funny. I do think the hopping around and getting up and down is tiring for her, in fact she wobbled once and a Ceasear Salad girl put a hand on her back to stabilize her and then she was fine. She had problems with her balls- she got them twirling and then came back and klunked her in the noggin, but she laughed and threw them in the audience.

9. Hello In There –
She starts to walk forward and her heel gets stuck in the stage or something and momentarily stumbles-not bad at all but I was concerned that she would twist an ankle. I kind of held my breath for her to take another step to see if her heel broke or something, but there was no issues. Her voice didn’t even waver while she was singing!

Absolutely breathtaking is all I can say. Her voice was just perfect and sung with emotion and was very special.

10. When A Man Loves A Woman-
Not sung with the emotion I have seen her before, but still a great job. The house was standing and clapping, but being a greedy Bettehead I had really hoped for the shaking, crying version, but I will have to get that when I return!

11. Soph/The Oldest Living Showgirl…. …”It’s Getting Hot In Here”
Her cape is so long that she gets it wrapped around her legs and is kind of ‘stuck’. She keeps telling her Soph joke, and keeps messing with it and I thought it could lead to disaster, but she was very smooth and got out of it without an issue.

She does have a new joke about Clementine joining the Hell’s Angels. I don’t remember the whole thing, but it was new to me.

Oh, the funniest thing happened while she was in her Soph outfit. The low V-neck bustline is pretty revealing already and then she starts kind of dancing sideways across the stage with her arms straight out. Well, the ‘girls’ get a little bouncy and right when she gets in front of us she quickly grabs her chest to impede an escape!! She doesn’t say anything, but the expression on her face was priceless. Vegas might be all about exposure for some, but not for the Divine! We were in the 7th row, so we could see what most people had missed. It was hilarious although probably not what she had in mind!!

She does go by the steps and tells everyone that she has to sit down because her dogs are barkin’. Then she sings the Glory of Love accompanied by the ukulele and played it well-no mix ups.

12. BWBB….
The dancers are out all dressed like Bette and the old footage is on the screen. I thought it was nice and a fun thing to watch.

14. WBMW’s –
She does flub a note at the end and her expression that we saw was that she was pissed that she messed up, but it was no big deal. That happens every once in a while when you sing your own songs!!

I agree with everyone that has seen any of her other shows that this one seems ‘rushed’. She can’t banter with the crowd like we all like to hear because she is on a set time schedule.

I did talk with one person on the plane going home that had never seen her live before and she thought it was spectacular-I think we are just spoiled! The show is fun and there is not a bad seat in the house. If you can swing it you need to go and see the Divine One in Vegas!!

K~


OH MY BETTE!!! I saw the show on March 7th!! I just had to let you know what a trooper you are that you were able to give updates and reviews so soon after experiencing the Divine. I’ve been speechless for three days.

Each number was the best rendition of that song I’ve ever heard, live or recorded, by Bette or anyone else. I wept openly during “Hello in There”. And I do mean “wept”…..I was a mess. The emotion and depth she’s able to pack into such a simple musical arrangment is nothing short of awe inspiring. “When a Man Loves a Woman” blew me away….and even “From a Distance” managed to get me a little choked up. She truly looks and sounds as good as she ever has.

Thanks again for your blog….as we were counting down the days to our trip, checking your site daily really was the perfect way for me and my crew of Betteheads to get psyched up for the show.

~Amy


Don,

10 f’ing years later (=

So, the show……

I was there opening night. The anticipation was like an out of body experience. Remember how I was trying to get in touch with Crystal and Katrin? They freakin ended up being in the seats right in front of us! It was like this intense Bette-Head explosion. The whole opening with the tornado blowing through Vegas was perfect for the mad rush of anticipation! I thought they did a great job on that whole episode. Bette came trudding out on this donkey, that was pretty funny, but come on? The arrival on opening night of the greatest legend in entertainment? That in itself deserved a dropping out of the ceiling or cloud of smoke effect! I must say, “The Showgirl Must Go On” song was brilliant and perfect for Bette.

Not only did Bette look ageless and perfect, but her voice sounded epic! How on God’s green earth does her voice just get more and more powerful and creative?

I must agree with a lot of the other reviews…too much Delores and not enough of Bette rockin’ out and giving us that pure insatiable soul that people line up to see. I love Delores, but with only an hour and a half…I would rather sacrifice Delores for more “Bette”. 10 minutes would have been sufficient….. anymore takes away the rawness Bette has above any other performer.

“Hello in There” brought me to absolute tears….that backdrop of NYC in black and white pierced me with that haunting way she sings that song.
I was a little confused when Bette did “Do you Wanna Dance” in her Boogie Woogie costume….that song is usually so much more powerful when she is covered in a sexy gown or dress.

From a Distance and WBMW was performed as some of the best I have ever seen her do!

The whole night was magical! I think the issue everyone has, is not getting enough of Bette in that hour and a half…because the show is BRILLIANT!

I just crave more of her old stuff and linger on every last second she is on that stage. She has truly revolutionized the entertainment world, and anyone that can get their hands on her tickets should JUMP!

Benny


Hello Mister D,

How are you ?

I just wanted to send you a few of the things i thought about Bette’s show on Saturday. I started liking Bette about 14 years ago, and followed here in the manner i could over there in the post communistic Romania. There was a period where they showed a lot of her movies on tv and then all of a sudden they stopped. The first movie that i saw was Big Business. And it is still one of my favs, and definitely the one i saw most.

So you can just imagine how i felt last May when I found out about her show in Vegas. I waited a while though to get the tickets because my student visa was pending at that time. But then i finally got the ticket in October. I felt it was going to take forever till the first of March. But it didn’t, so there i was in the Collosseum trying to wake myself up from that dream. Was looking at the people coming, thinking about Bette getting ready.

And then a little after 7.30 pm on the big screen that had the picture of Bette on, some crazy birds started flying and making noises, a donkey appeared too and then the big hurricane that cleaned all up in it’s way to the Collosseum in Vegas. My heart was raising to the sky.
I will never forget the first glimpse of her… She was on the top of a pile of luggage with her back to the stage, but i could still see her hair. It was the greatest feeling to see her.

She started the show with “The Showgirl Must Go On” and them followed “In The Mood”. Afterwards she made some jokes ( i wont tell you all cos im sure u’ll see it and still want some mystery ). I will just tell you the song list i remember, cos i saw u asked us to tell. I forgot my notebook at my friends house. So maybe some of them will not be in the exact order she sang them, but here they are. Then she sang The Rose, Do You Want To Dance, From A Distance. Then Delores came with her flashy mermaid tail. She sang a song about her being a stinky fish, Luck Be a Lady Tonight, Viva Las Vegas.

And then she changed clothes and sang Hello In There, When A Man Loves A Woman. Then Sophie came and sang The Glory Of Love. At the end she sang Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and the closing song was Wind Beneath My Wings.

All the songs were great. Her voice was in better shape than ever. She was so sweet dancing on From A Distance. And i got the chills when she sang When a Man Loves a Woman. All in all everysong was great. I dont think anyone fan or not will ever forget Do You Want to Dance or Hello In There. Or the Glory Of Love, where she said before she sang to find out light, because “They can’t love you, if they don’t see you!”.

She is the greatest. And even though it will never be enough for me, i know that in that hour and a half she concentrated the best of her performances and shows.

I am looking forward to going back there.

Keep in touch

Love,
Mihai


Hi Don!

Firstly i’d like to say what a fantastic website you run and on behalf of all the fans thank you, it must take up a lot of your time. But it’s great, I’m on it every day. Shame the “official” site isn’t kept as up-to-date and interactive. Anyway i’m just e-mailing after getting back from Las Vegas this weekend. I’ve been a huge Bette fan since i was 13 years old and on my 30th in December I had tickets bought for me to see Bette in concert last tuesday the 26th. I’d been so excited for weeks, months! We all flew out from Manchester UK on the Sunday to Las Vegas and the flight couldn’t go fast enough.

When I finally got into the theatre a few days later, sitting only 8 rows from the front right in the middle of the front orchestra, my heart was racing! The concert was amazing!! To see bette perform live after so many years was a dream come true. She was as fantastic as i’d heard, and looking fabulous! absolutely gorgeous!

I was there with my partner and my mum who weren’t really Bette fans but there for me, however when we left the concert, they were converts! My mum raided The Bette Shop as I had done the day earlier, which is also great. I mean a bette shop How perfect. Wish they had sold posters though, but the shop girl told me more was to come?!

I had to go again, so the wednesday I bought tickets to see Bette for a 2nd time but this time to watch it from the first mezzanine so i could see it from another angle. And what I hadn’t noticed the first time was exactly how much Bette does dance around the stage. the energy in the concert is nothing like i’ve ever seen in any concert before and Bette exceeded any expectations that I had. My only regret is that i haven’t been able to see her in earlier concerts and I wish this concert was longer than 90 mins. But there are reasons why it is 90 mins and i really hope this is not her last tour!

I will fly out again and see her next year and I’ll definitley see the last concert at Caesers no matter what the tickets cost. I’ve heard that people are concerned about the price but its worth every penny (cent sorry) and the seating is really good in that theatre so you’d get a decent seat even if you could only afford the cheaper seats.

My only advice on that one is don’t buy them from ebay or worry if the ticket master ones available weeks in advance aren’t very good because on the day you can still get great front orchestra seats as the hotel releases them. The tickets we bid on and won through ebay cost almost £200 a ticket and when i looked on the day, (WHY!?! just for torture!) we saw tickets pretty much in the same place for the set theatre price! But hey as i said well worth it!

And Vegas is fab, really lovely people there too. It was also so exciting to see all the Bette articles and billboards everywhere in Vegas, we don’t get enough Bette stuff over here in the UK. I wish we did and i really wish she’d do a tour that came to England, I don’t know any other really huge bette fans in the uk but there are plenty and we’d love to see her here!!

Ok, well thanks for letting me rattle on and once again thanks for keeping us all informed with everything that’s happening since i found your website it’s been so much easier for me to find out what’s going on and feel a part of the bette midler fan cirlce!

Rik


March 3, 2008

Don,

I have just returned from Las Vegas. Words cannot describe how amazing The Showgirl Must Go on was on March 01, 2008. I sat in awe at how truly DIVINE Miss Midler is on stage. I have seen her three times in the past, and none of them compare to this show. The fact that she packed SO MUCH into ninety minutes is awesome! I went with my girlfriend, who had never seen a Bette Midler show, and my best friend, who accompanied me to one of the Kiss My Brass shows that I saw. All three of us LOVED it! My girlfriend has been converted to a Bettehead now! 🙂

Before I get into the actual show, I wanted to tell you that the Betteheads shirt is $40. (I’m assuming that that is the same price when you were there.) I, of course, purchased it! I don’t know if it was there when you were in Las Vegas, but Miss Midler’s new C.D., ‘Jackpot!: The Best Bette’ was available to buy, so I bought that, as well. It has nineteen tracks, including “Cool Yule” for the last song. Fantastic! I have to include that my girlfriend and my best friend ended up buying me so much stuff that I can’t even believe it to this moment. I knew that I couldn’t afford all that I actually wanted; however, with their help, I was able to get more than I ever imagined. HaHa!

Onto the show… I absolutely loved her entrance on the luggage, and she looked absolutely amazing throughout the entire night! She sounded in top form on every song and received standing ovations after “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “Wind Beneath My Wings”.

Here was the set list from the show:

“Big Noise From Winnetka”/”The Showgirl Must Go on”
“In The Mood”
“The Rose”
“Do You Want to Dance?”
“From a Distance”
Delores DeLago:

“My Kind of Town”
“Flipper”
“Hooked on a Feeling”
“Play That Funky Music, White Boy”
“Bad Girls”
“It’s Now or Never”
“Viva Las Vegas”
“Luck Be a Lady Tonight”
“Blue Hawaii”
“My Way”
“Hello in There”
“When a Man Loves a Woman”
Soph/The Oldest Living Showgirl:

“Pretty Legs and Great, Big Knockers”
“It’s Getting Hot in Here”
“The Glory of Love”
“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”
“Wind Beneath My Wings”

It’s so hard for me to pick my favorite part of the show. I loved everything about it and am really hoping to go back towards the end of her two-year run to see if the show has changed from now. I’m sure that it will, and that will certainly be interesting to see.

I am also desperately hoping that this is released on DVD or C.D. or both, especially after her stint has ended. People who cannot afford to go should be able to see it somehow. It’s an absolutely amazing show, and I am so glad and so lucky that I was able to go. I will never forget it… You know?! 🙂

Thanks for taking my “review”, even though I can never say anything negative about Miss Midler. So… It’s not so much of a review, but more of a play-by-play. HaHa!

I hope that all is well with you. Thanks again!

Kyle


HI Don-

Long time no emails! I hope you are doing well. I just back from a whirlwind 24 hours in Vegas. I took a redeye and am at work, so can’t write much yet. But I did see your write-up of Sunday’s dress rehearsal and can let you know the following:

1) They did cut Some People’s Lives. Bummer!!! Love that song…

2) They didn’t touch BWBB, from what I can tell. Each Harlette dressed as one of the Bette’s in the montage (in red, yellow, and blue, with different wigs to match Bette’s hair in each!)

3) The Rose was much earlier. I’m not sure, but maybe it’s in the Some People’s Lives slot.

4) She had a little mishap w/ her poi balls last night – but in typical Bette style she laughed it off and threw them into the audience. I was so bummed I didn’t catch one!!! A guy caught one, and I didn’t realize the other landed at the edge of the stage. Someone ran up after the show to snag it!

5) No shoe mishaps or stage mishaps that I saw last night!

6) Celebs at opening night: I saw Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, and Bruce Vilanch in the audience. Apparently Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel, Jennifer Coolidge, Alan Thicke, Robin Leach, and Sigfried & Roy were also there, but I didn’t see…

7) Bette said she had “a little speech” right after she introduced the band, noting she had something to say “before I sing the only hit I have left to sing”. She thanked the entire team/crew profusely for all the hard work, noting everyone had worked extremely hard and that there were “no duds” in the group. My friend went to the afterparty at Pure (which went on despite the earlier issues). Apparently Bette gave a gracious speech, but I don’t have details.

I agree w/ what you wrote- she does so much, it’s really hard to condense to 90 minutes (though last night ran over too). My favorite moments by far was when Bette was onstage, alone, belting it out. From a Distance, Hello In There (did you note she changed it to “we lost Davy, in the last war” – I expected that, but was glad she did) WBMW, WAMLAW, etc. She was just amazing during each of those numbers. I wish there were more of them – she doesn’t need 20 Caesar Salad girls!!!!!

By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her do a show without singing Friends!

Oh in terms of merchandise, something for folks to know – there are 5 or 6 teeshirts, and maybe some other stuff, ONLY available in the Coliseum (during/after the show). The boutique has a ton (and I bought more than I should admit!!) but so folks know, there are other items at the theatre, only.


(by Anonymous)


Mister D

Review

Cyclone Video

Showgirl Must Go On (Silver Pant Suit-rides in on donkey, which I dont think suits our DIVA)

In the Mood

The Rose

Do You Want to Dance

From a Distance (Orange Dress-does shoe bit at the beginning)

Delores Segment-same as you described

Hello in There (Black short dress with cityscape, very nicely done)

When A Man Loves a Woman (powerful as ever, but not crazy about placement in show)

Sophie Segment (As described, best part of the entire show…. CLASSIC AND LOVED IT)

Boogie Woogie (enters stage half way through song, black pants up to bust line with white shirt, very nice)

Wind Beneath My Wings (rising stage at end, very very nice)

Loved the show. I figure like Celine’s it will be perfected as it goes. Celines was good the first time I saw it two months after it opened and AMAZING by the time I saw it two months before it closed.

Thanks. I pray they release the older shows, although Ive heard her say she doesn’t like to do that.

John


Hey Don…just back from Vegas and thought I’d give you the latest:

We saw the show Wednesday night…the donkey is definitely gone from the opening number, replaced by a GIANT stack of Louis Vuitton
suitcases which rotate to reveal a staircase with Miss M at the top. Her opening quip: ‘And, this is just the carry on!”

“The Rose” was moved up and comes right after “In The Mood.” “Some People’s Lives” was cut, but other than that, everything seems to be the same.

The only thing that’s different is the balance of my bank account after 3 visits to the Bette store!

Hope you’re well…

Jeff


Mister D: Hey BetteHeads, just wanted to let you know that Mihai wrote me and told me about his Divine experience seeing, well, The Divine Bette Midler, so I asked if he wouldn’t mind me sharing his email. Of course, he said, “yes!”

Hi Don,

How are you ?

Im still super super happy after my weekend in Vegas. So as you already know, i bought my ticket a week prior to the 29th of May show. I got to buy a AA Forch seat. And then i decided to buy some cheaper ones for 45 dollars, 2nd mezzanine for Saturday the 30th of May. So when i got to the Colosseum, before i got in i saw Toni Basil walking through the casino, i smiled at her and she smiled back. Such a sweet lady. And then when the usher took me to my seat i realized i was right in front of the stairs where she plays her Ukulele, during the Glory of Love number. So that made me so nervous and excited. While waiting for the show to start i noticed the second mezzaning was closed. But the usher said they will open it for the next show.

The show started and she was very close to me the entire time. I couldnt take my eyes off of her. She was in such a good mood. I think she had a friend there, because she kept looking his way and making faces at him. One of the best moments, was during When a Man Loves a Woman, when one of her shoes fell off her foot and she threw the other one and sang barefooted. And then after Bette Midler finished singing Wind Beneath My Wings she started shaking hands with some people on the left side of the stage ( my left ) and then i stood up and was praying for her to come shake my hand too, and not to skip me. And she did come to me and we shook hands. She is such a wonderful person. I looked at her and she shook hands with everyone that raised their hand. So what i felt in that moment… not enough words to describe it.

On Saturday, i was kind of sad, because my seats were so far away ( but as usual i bought my friend the ticket ), so that was all i could afford. But when i got up to the second level, there was a pretty girl that gave me the big news. The second mezzanine was still closed, and she was upgrading tickets. So she gave me a section6 front orchestra ticket row OO. Could have i asked for more ? Well, yes… I went down and got my seat, and right before the show started i noticed on row LL there was an empty seat right by the stage, so i ran to the usher and asked if i could switch places, and he told me that, yes, but later in the show. And i did so, after she sang The Rose. It was amazing. I saw her so close again.

There werent many things changed, just the jokes. And the lady at the store said they wont sell Bette posters, because the Cher ones are doing really bad and they are discontinuing them. And she also said, that they will not release KMB, and that the copy in the store is a personal copy from Bette. And that a live CD of TSMGO is unlikely to be released, since she released Jackpot. But other than that they have cute new stuff there at the store.

Well this pretty much sums up my Divine weekend.

I really want to go again in August. But i wont buy tix so far ahead, since i heard people in the first row bought them the day of the show or a week before, just as i did.

Have a great day and thanks for reading….

Love,
Mihai

Thanks, Mihai!!!!


December 6, 2008
Do You Wanna Know A Secret? (Thanks Mark M.)

Don, I dunno, I have to let you and your readers in on the best secret of this year, so ….. Here we go, folks.

I am astounded at the 2008 shows of Bette Midler’s I have attended….The seasonal variant (didn’t realize that was the correct way to mention the show I saw on 12.02.08) was superb…and I attended concerts of hers which were indescribably and memorably great way back in the seventies….so maybe I would have some background with which to know the difference!

The show 12.02.08 went by without a word about her Dec. 1 birthday, but that’s okay, sometimes I don’t mention my own b-day as well! So, it’s December 2 at the Colloseum and I’m all jacked up to see this show, and it was nothing like the 08.08.08 Hammond Venue opening night performance I saw (that was like a high school reunion show) Go figure out what that means! I think it means it’s like having a great entertainer appear in a gymnasium after knowing the big buck staging which is available but not utilized for time or money’s sake…but 08.08.08 was GREAT, a good memorable show, nonetheless, and having not seen TSMGO at that time I had nothing from the past year or two to compare The Venue show to…)

Last Tuesday night, Bette sang COOL YULE, which was awesome, all that dancing a la Rockettes style and such high kicking from her dance troupe including a costumed Santa Claus. And when the song FROM A DISTANCE emblazoned itself at the beginning strains of music onstage, well, it looked like Midler herself had festooned a green mosquito army surplus netting outfit (green concept fully understood, Miss M!) decked with humongous red BALLS all over the shoulder like a scarf (what was she THINKING???) and yes, I have listened to the whole COOL YULE CD, and yes the song appears with special lyrics for the holidays so yes, it made sense that the holiday theme was in full force or enforced in full for TSMGO.

I would have thought the two songs alone made nice holiday bookends in a show so full of energy that if all she decided to do after that was simply sit down under the piano cross legged, and read out loud the phone book, it would have been just fine with me! (She used to take her heels off and sit at Barry Manilow’s feet way back when he was her show accompanist, hey, its not so far fetched!)

(Maybe I was just in Vegas just a day too many by this time? I wonder…)

Songs which evoke strong personal memories from the vaults were also performed such as “HELLO IN THERE” , which, admittedly, dammit, I bawled my eyes out, maybe a bit too much, so it was catharsis at its epic Greek Colloseum saga finest, (but when in Rome…) contrasted with the bawdy Soph jokes which were an experience in contrasts one must live through at least once in your life….right?!…all the way to the closing encore of “I’M DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS” in Las Vegas NV, instead of Beverly Hills EL LAY….well, not even the Tony Bennett show last Saturday I witnessed at the Hilton could match the height and depth and breadth of a showgirl of such proportions as Miss M, a truly living, breathing, artistic musical phenomenon DIVINE ‘EM talent that just keeps amazing me, myself and I ( and the few close personal friends/fans of Miss M’s who I share) all the way up and down from the depths of my toes to the top of my high hatted head….

Well, if I was alive to have seen the great live performances of say Billie Holiday or Judy Garland, just maybe I could compare and contrast even more, but after several standing ovations for Bette, and memorable song and show choices, I have nothing to complain about except that I don’t work for the Midler entourage. Just to have the chance to see this performer go through the arc of such an amazing show, whereas the singers of today have to learn how to breathe and dress and talk and walk in such a way which Bette Midler makes look like is as simple as breathing and walking and talking itself!

Long live the Divine Miss M! GO SEE THIS SHOW IN VEGAS!


The Magic Of Moments
BetteHead: Jeff D.

ArtWork: Lucy Wilkins

I was fortunate enough to have seen “The Showgirl Must Go On!” at the second-to-last show (of her first run) on the night of Saturday, March 15. I treated my father to the show.

Seeing Bette live is always a highlight, but I have to say the best way to see her is in a setting such as the Coliseum because it is a much more intimate setting. I’ve seen her previously in arenas sitting in the nosebleed section, and spent most of the time watching the monitor since she was so far away – and the sound was always dubious at best. The Coliseum did come through as far as being a perfect showcase for Bette – the view, the sound, the lighting – all were excellent.

Here are some of my observations, starting with “drama” even before I got to the show…

Are these Tickets Legit?!: I had bought my tix through a seller on eBay and received them weeks in advance – 7th row in the side orchestra. I was ecstatic. Then the day before I was to fly out to Vegas, I received a frantic email from the seller who informed me she was sent two new tix and that the current ones – the ones I had in my possession – were cancelled. The seller found out through Caesar’s that they had added more seats and rearranged the orchestra seating – and was told that the new seats were actually better. Thank God the seller lived in Vegas – she agreed to leave the tix for me at Caesar’s where I was staying. I was so paranoid, I had these visions of sitting down and then the ushers coming and telling me there had been a mix-up. So, when I actually got my two hands on the tix, I marched on over to the Coliseum box office and one of the nice employees there confirmed that the new tix were in fact legit. Then, and only then, did I relax.

The drama was all worth it. I could not believe how great the seats were! They ended up being four rows from the stage on the side – with only four seats per row. When Bette came down to our side of the stage she was probably no more than 15-20 feet away! She looked fantastic – and you know how that 1000-watt smile of hers can light up a room!

The set was the same as Kyle (and others) mentions above in their reviews.

For me a highlight was when the camera phones were lit up during The Rose – it really enhanced the experience, and was indeed quite something to see.

A Truly Bette Moment: Before From a Distance, thousands of beads of gold coins came down forming trees – I found out later that they were all individually hand-painted. Coming down the stairs to sing the song, Bette tripped. She regained her composure, stopped the song and then yelled, “It’s these FUCKING shoes!” She then reached down and pulled them off, exclaiming, “$10 million dollars and I got no shoes!” Then she tossed them offstage, turned around, gamely walked back up the stairs and started the song again. The place went apeshit because it was so impromptu, so…her! Any other diva would have pretended that the tripping never happened…

No Fan of Delores (sorry, sue me!): I don’t wish to be negative, but I have never been a fan of Delores DeLago. I remember even back in 1984 groaning because Bette brought her back for De Tour (which I saw on HBO’s Art or Bust). I remember hoping that was the end of her. Oh well. I’ve never been able to understand why she thinks that character has such an appeal. I do appreciate the effort going into it, but the visual joke of a mermaid in a wheelchair fades after a few minutes. Thus, the Delores segment to me was mildly amusing, but not great in my mind – and the reaction from the audience was not overwhelming – not bad, just not enthusiastic – I don’t think non-BetteHeads know what to think of the character. I would have preferred other segments, more songs or even new characters. The segment just went on longer than I would have preferred. But, that’s my opinion – and it’s a minor issue I admit. Perhaps others love the bit. C’est la vie.

Another Truly Bette Moment: At the end of the Oldest Living Showgirl/Soph segment she quietly sat down on the edge of the stage (really close to me!), picked up her ukulele and sang “The Glory of Love” As Soph she said, “Find your light. They can’t love ya if they can’t see ya.” This was one of the things that has always made me love Bette Midler (for almost 30 years now). These bittersweet magical moments in which the show seems to stand still – where all the glamour and noise and craziness has died down – and it’s just you and her – even in the past watching her on the tv screen I could still feel an intimate connection with her in moments such as these. And there I was a few yards away from her – simply magical and unforgettable.

Although the show was fantastic and energetic and wonderful, the best part of the whole event for me was my father’s reaction. I don’t get to see him that much – he’s in his 70s and has had poor health in the past. I wanted to do something together that would be fun for both of us – hence the thought of Vegas, with the added highlight of seeing Bette. I did not previously tell my dad where our seats were – nor did I tell him how much the tix cost – and when we sat down he was like a little kid, he couldn’t believe we were that close. All through the show, he reacted enthusiastically, laughing during the patter and comic bits, and saying over and over, “Oh that song brings back so many memories.” During WBMW, he reached over and grabbed my knee. After the show he kept repeating to me how grateful he was that I had treated him to Bette’s show. I mean, the man paid for our hotel room at Caesar’s, but me getting him a ticket to see Bette Midler was like winning the lottery to him. So, it was definitely more than worth it and something that I’ll never forget (I will never forget it, ya know!)

So my advice to all you BetteHeads out there – yes, the ticket costs may be exorbitant and may seem frivolous, but I encourage you to make the best effort to see the Divine Miss M while she’s headlining at Caesar’s – it will truly be a memory that you’ll cherish the rest of your life.

My final thought – like many others, I too, am curious to see how the show will evolve during her two-year run. I definitely plan on coming back to see for myself!

Thanks, Don, for letting me babble, and thank you for affording me and others a place to do it…

Love, your own “personal brown-eyed motherfucker,”

Jeff D

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