I've written before that folks who only think of Bette Mider as the funny lady in DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS and BEACHES and as the singer who warbled "Wind Beneath My Wings" in a music video that we played plenty on VH1 back in the day really need to see her galvanizing performance as a hot rock star on the brink of burning out in THE ROSE. Ever since its release, it's been written that the character was based on Janis Joplin. But I read an interview in which Midler said she used more Jim Morrison of The Doors to create her character. Bette Midler had scored big on the record charts, in concert dates and in fabulous appearances on network variety shows. She was of the 1970s, a vocalist who could belt 'em like an Old School diva and a bawdy, lovable comedienne who could have you in stitches with her, as she called it, "tit and wit." But even we hardcore Midler fans were not fully prepared for the dramatic grit she gave us as THE ROSE. She was raw and revealing and every inch a rock star whose joys and pains came out in her music. They came out with such heartbreaking intensity that the rock star will become a rock legend.
I was in New York City this month for a few days of physically and emotionally draining non-show biz work. When I was done, I took a walk over to the theater district. Bette Midler is one of the hottest tickets in town. Her revival of HELLO, DOLLY! is in previews and will soon have its official opening night this week. I took this photo.
I'd love to see both Broadway shows.