Sunday, June 29, 2014

Getting to Know Bette Midler

                        An Encounter with the Divine: Getting to Know Bette Midler By Grace Stearns | Friday, June 27, 2014 

 One emerges from Bette Midler’s fantastical memoir as if from a dream, the mind alight with visions of a larger-than-life, untainted era of show business and a yearning to construct a time machine for the sole purpose of experiencing it firsthand. The magnetic, charmingly transcendent figure at the heart, Bette is at once at her reader’s cool big sister and favorite cartoon character. In a voice by turns angelic and maniacal, she lulls readers into a 230 page-long dream state, pulling them ever deeper into a shimmering, purple rabbit hole. It shames me now to admit that until six months ago I had never heard of The Broad in question, an embarrassing admission that quickly became my greatest indignity. 

Upon noticing Bette’s name printed on a publication schedule posted in the office this past fall, I made the colossal mistake of revealing my naïveté to a room of coworkers in a meeting called to develop publicity plans surrounding the reissue of Bette’s 1980 memoir A View From A Broad. “Er…who exactly is Bette Midler?” I asked, having noticed the jolly reverence with which everyone in the room kept referring to her. Smiles quickly fell into looks of concern and outrage. Smalltalk dissipated. Jaws hit the floor. A beat of deafening silence preceded the requisite inquiries: “Haven’t you ever seen Beaches?” three of them asked practically in unison, the corners of their mouths twitching over thinly veiled expressions of disgust. - 

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