Bette Midler has always been quotable. Often she’s been definitive. Back when she was only a recent emigrant from New York’s Continental baths, the Divine Miss M observed about Karen Carpenter that there was nothing wrong with her singing, “it’s her drumming that sucks.” When she met Queen Elizabeth after a command performance, she informed us all back home “honey’s she’s the whitest woman you ever saw.”
It has been a long-established fact that Midler is one of the greatest talkers – and wisecrackers – extant. What that means is that some of the luckiest people in Western New York and Southern Ontario are those who have bought tickets for Midler’s two sold-out shows (7 p.m. Sunday and 8:30 p.m. Monday) at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ont.
What she’s doing is billed as “A Conversation with Bette Midler,” a “remember when” format when first invented by, yes, Cary Grant, who wanted a way for an international movie star to remind middle America that he was once a touring performer in the provinces and midlands. (That’s why he died in Davenport, Iowa.) With Midler you have one of the funniest and wisest women in show business so if she ditches nostalgia for long periods, who’d argue? (Maybe she’ll even talk about her bust in Buffalo.)
One of the more welcome celebrity visits of 2013.
– Jeff Simon