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Bette Midler and Jimmy Fallon Do a Lip Flip Cover of 'Baby It's You' - VIDEO

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Jimmy Fallon's fan favorite segment is back, with the late night host joining Bette Midler in a duet of The Shirelles' "Baby It's You" like you've never seen before. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

And to catch Bette Midler's actual cover of this song and other great girl group hits from the past, be sure and check out her new album It's The Girls! 

Continue reading "Bette Midler and Jimmy Fallon Do a Lip Flip Cover of 'Baby It's You' - VIDEO" »


Bette Midler Covers TLC's 'Waterfalls' - AUDIO

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From her upcoming 14th studio album It's the Girls! featuring covers of popular gal group hits.

Give it a listen (you know you want to), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bette Midler Covers TLC's 'Waterfalls' - AUDIO" »


Bette Midler to Drop First Album Since 2006: 'It's The Girls!'

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From the people who brought you "Beaches" and "Hairspray: The Musical" comes something gayer than you ever could've imagined. It's the triumphant return of Bette Midler, of course!

"It's The Girls!" was produced by Mark Shaiman ("Hairspray"), and it's dropping November 4 on Warner Bros. Records. The album is sure to push the boundaries of "campy" — from the title's exclamation point to the album's entire premise — covers, but only of girl group hits; it's everything from 30s trios like the Andrews Sisters to TLC.

Midler's enthusiasm for the project is palpable. Talking with Billboard, she says:

I have loved the sound of females harmonizing since I was a kid; I always sang along. Didn't we all? [...] I think the idea that you could become part of the group was the thing that endeared me to the girl groups. You weren't just singing along, you were THERE!

Is she still the wind beneath your wings? Buy the album and find out.

Check out the tracklist (also via Billboard) AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bette Midler to Drop First Album Since 2006: 'It's The Girls!'" »


Gay Iconography: Bette's Divine Legacy

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Summer is camp season, and there are few people campier than the Divine Miss M herself, Bette Midler. (Seriously, who else could possibly do Mae West justice?)

Nearly a half-century since she arrived in New York City, Midler is still entertaining audiences on stages and screens, large and small. Her big voice and bawdy humor have made her a legendary performer, but her larger-than-life persona and roots in the gay community have endeared her to LGBT audiences for years. With Bette, it’s not all just attributed to her show-stopping numbers and over-the-top costumes. She got her start playing in a gay New York City bathhouse.

That doesn’t mean she’s always been in the gay community’s good graces. She ran afoul of LGBT advocates when she gave a less-than-supportive response to Larry King over the issue of same-sex marriage in an interview in 2003:

“I don't think it really hurts anybody. I think … gay men, they like to -- you know, they like to move around. … That's part of the fun of being a gay man. So if they're married, does that mean they're not going to cheat, they're only going to be with one…”

Like other public figures, her views seemed to evolve over time when in 2009 she told the Associated Press “I'm all in favor of gay marriage. I think it's fabulous.” 

From the bathhouse to the big screen, treat yourself to a few beloved Bette numbers, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Gay Iconography: Bette's Divine Legacy" »


Bette Midler Opens On Broadway In ‘I’ll Eat You Last:’ REVIEW

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 BY NAVEEN KUMAR

One Hollywood legend is playing another on Broadway, and there’s a good chance you’ve only heard of one of them. But by the end of I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers, which opened on Wednesday at the Booth Theatre, everyone walks away feeling like old friends.

Bette1That includes Bette Midler, and every guest welcomed into the Beverly Hills mansion of Hollywood super agent Sue Mengers for this aptly titled and utterly delightful ‘chat.’ Written by John Logan, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter (Hugo, The Aviator) and Tony-winning playwright (Red), the show offers a delicious insider glimpse into the seedy yet glamorous world of the Hollywood talent business.

Sue Mengers, whose career spanned nearly thirty years beginning in the 1960s, wasn’t just any agent. She discovered Barbra Streisand singing in a gay bar, landed Gene Hackman in The French Connection, represented Sidney Lumet, Mike Nichols and Bob Fosse. But loyalty is not a well-known virtue in this business—as the show begins, Sue is expecting a call from Barbra to fire her.

Bette2In the meantime, she spends the evening doing what she loves best: dishing, smoking (tobacco and otherwise), and picking up the occasional phone call from an A-list star. Ms. Midler proves her rightful place in the latter category with her gleefully engaging performance, delivered entirely from the comfort of her plush sofa. Why stand? We’re all friends here.

Under Joe Mantello’s fine direction, Sue’s stories take on a happy rhythm, punctuated with often-riotous punch lines. An opening example: regarding a certain legendary guest expected at her dinner party later in the evening, “Elton’s the easiest dinner guest ever: he’ll eat anything but pussy.”

Bette3Through the course of a tight 85 minutes, Sue delivers everything from behind-the-scenes gossip, straight-shot industry wisdom, and enough of the soft side beneath her brassy surface to bring us firmly on her side. Like any animated conversation (one-sided though this one may be), Logan’s script is built on non-sequiturs that nevertheless flow together naturally. Good agents can talk to anyone, and Sue’s certainly no exception.

From gathering courage to approach the most popular girl on the playground to a profession in schmoozing, through-lines from Sue’s formative experiences are simply drawn. But Logan’s economy with storytelling serves the play and its star well, who keeps her captive audience rapt with interest.

If we find Sue in the twilight of her career (Logan’s play is set in the early 80s, Sue died in 2011), her years have made her wise, though she’s no less passionate about show business. She loves the game with every fiber of her being (including her diaphanous kaftan), even as the game keeps changing and she loses her footing.

When she finally does stand to conclude our chat (spoiler alert), the feeling is pretty near momentous.  

(Bottom image: Sue Mengers, 1976, by Ron Galella)

Recent theatre features...
 'Orphans,' Starring Alec Baldwin Opens On Broadway: REVIEW
Richard Greenberg’s ‘The Assembled Parties’ Opens on Broadway: REVIEW
Playwright Douglas Carter Beane is Back On Broadway With ‘The Nance:’ INTERVIEW
'Matilda The Musical' Opens On Broadway: REVIEW
'Kinky Boots' Opens On Broadway: REVIEW

Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos: richard termine; getty images)


News: Dear Abby, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bette Midler, 'Guy Code'

1NewsIcon GQ magazine, Andy Cohen discusses why straight guys love his show: "I show a bunch of boobs and asses and good-looking women. I get your wives and girlfriends playing drinking games. I get 'em wound up, I get 'em drunk, and just when they're at the point where.... [then] I'm off the air.'"

Guycode1NewsIcon MTV2's testosterone-laden show Guy Code will be addressing the gay spectrum next week, and most of the gents agree there is such a spectrum.

1NewsIcon They don't illustrate like this anymore.

1NewsIcon On gun control and gay marriage: "...The long-term trend on gun control, unlike gay marriage, has been a rise in opposition. As recently as April, the Pew Research Center put out a report noting the divergent trends on the two issues, noting that 'on gun control, Americans have become more conservative; on gay marriage, Americans have become more liberal.'"

1NewsIcon  Michael Triplett, president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association, has died at the age of 48 after a battle with cancer. From the group's website: "His quiet demeanor masked a steely resolve and an uncanny ability to push our organization forward. Michael quickly became someone who could be relied on both to provide sage advice as well as the time and energy to help us accomplish our goals…. Michael was truly a joy for all of us to work with, and his loss will be felt among our organization for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his partner, Jack and his family in Alabama."

1NewsIcon An unknown number of hostages are dead during a state-run raid to end a siege in Algeria.

Snowflake1NewsIcon This camera can capture 3D images of falling snow.

1NewsIcon Chris Christie calls the NRA ad attacking the President for using Secret Service for his children "reprehensible."

1NewsIcon Sorry, conservatives, but Bette Midler is right about Ronald Reagan and the mentally ill.

1NewsIcon Hateful Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins is wrong about It Gets Better, which he calls a "deceptive lie."

1NewsIcon Pauline Friedman Phillips, the woman who wrote the Dr. Abby column as Abigail Van Buren, died at the age of 94.

1NewsIcon A Toronto man accused of murdering his husband is now asking for the victim's $2 million life insurance and is also demanding his mourning family never see a dime.

1NewsIcon Nicholous Hoult looked refreshingly hot at the Rome premiere of Warm Bodies.

1NewsIcon You will be forgiven for taking some time to watch Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj hate one another.

1NewsIcon Heads up, Australia - Robert Pattinson brought his guitar.

BomerT1NewsIcon Matt Bomer is designing men's apparel inspired by his show, White Collar.

1NewsIcon There's a new support group for GBT men in Atlanta who have been victims of hate crimes.

1NewsIcon Retired Baptist Rev. Howard Bess stands with gay students at evangelical Wheaton College: "I am one of those supporters though I am not gay. Wheaton College is my alma mater and I am proud to be a Wheaton graduate. I found Wheaton to be a home for a rigorous academic education, and Wheaton’s student body and faculty comprised the greatest group of people I have ever known. They were dedicated, hard-working and highly principled. To them, Christ was Lord; nothing else was so important."

1NewsIcon British Evangelical leader Steve Chalke comes out for recognition of same-sex relationships: "When we refuse to make room for gay people to live in loving, stable relationships, we consign them to lives of loneness, secrecy and fear."

1NewsIcon Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is again leading the call for Homeland Security and the Justice Department to guarantee that married bi-national same-sex couples not be deported or separated before the Supreme Court rules on marriage equality. "By taking these interim steps, vulnerable families affected by DOMA can remain together until the Supreme Court issues its decision," Gillibrand and other senators wrote. "Preserving family unity is a fundamental American value and is the cornerstone of our nation’s immigration law."

1NewsIcon "No more wedding jokes, please," says Kim Kardashian.


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