Bette Midler

A documentary film

Marshall J. Gardner Center For The Arts

Join us Saturday June 24th for our popular docuementary film night featuring Bette Midler.

Your ticket price (purchased at the door) of $11 included introductory lecture, film and popcorn. A cash bar will also be available.

Documentary is best Bette for fun summer viewing

GARY, IN – The outrageous fortune of a legendary superstar will be explored, not from a distance, but up-close-and-personal, when “The Divine Bette Midler” screens Saturday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts in the Miller Beach section of Gary.

Sponsored by the Miller Beach Arts & Creative District, the PBS documentary will be introduced by Larry Lapidus, a member of the Board of Directors of the Miller Beach Arts & Creative District as well as for the Near North Chapter of Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he procures speakers and singers for fundraising events, as well as being a volunteer lecturer for community outreach.

A Hawaiian native, the in-depth study takes Midler from the days when she was down and out in Honolulu to her first Broadway show (“Fiddler on the Roof”), to her early performances in a gay bathhouse in New York (Barry Manilow was her piano accompanist), all the way to fame and fortune in the theater, recording, and film industries.

“Midler’s wide taste in different genres of music mimics her versatility as an artist,” Lapidus said. “She was never a one-note performer in any way, shape, or form. She preferred to be considered an artist of many talents over many landscapes.”

Indeed, Midler’s hit records include everything from updated swing (“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”) to piercing ballads (“The Rose”) to pop and rock (“Beast of Burden,” “Pink Cadillac”). She’s covered everyone from Rosemary Clooney to Bruce Springsteen; and released duets with everyone from Tom Waites to Mick Jagger. In her nearly half-century career she’s won three Grammy Awards, three Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes, and two Tony Awards – the latest for her current run on Broadway in “Hello, Dolly!”

In 1979, her film debut as a self-destructive Janis Joplin-like rock star in “The Rose” garnered her the first of two Best Actress Oscar nominations and kicked off a late-blooming, but hugely lucrative movie career.

“I don’t think that decision (to take so long before jumping into the film industry) belonged to her,” Lapidus said. “Hollywood had very specific ideas about who would be a bankable star. Her looks didn’t conform to that dynamic; she had an over-the-top personality – that didn’t help either. I think she frightened casting people. Very few thought Bette was beautiful, but finally most everyone recognized her tremendous talent.”

Surprisingly, it was the Walt Disney Studios who nabbed the bawdy, outspoken entertainer, signing her to a multi-picture deal in 1985 that resulted in her becoming their top star throughout the rest of that decade. Her hits for the studio included “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” “Ruthless People,” “Outrageous Fortune,” “Big Business,” “Oliver & Company,” “Hocus Pocus,” and the classic tearjerker “Beaches.”

Lapidus said he didn’t think Disney’s interest was all that shocking. “They like to make money,” he explained. “They sniffed this out and realized she might be a good bet. Even though Disney’s name had been synonymous with family-oriented films, they were smart and knew where to move next.”

After sold-out live performances around the world, a residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, her own television sitcom, authorship of several books, and boundless environmental charity work, Midler is still a force to be reckoned with.

“Her long-term success is a result of her amazing talent and personality,” Lapidus said. “She appeals to so many types of folks and so many age ranges. She’s always found new ways to highlight her ability to entertain. Her versatility as a movie actress goes from despair and sadness to outlandish comedy. She gives it all, all the time. It’s hard not to fall in love with Bette Midler.”

Audiences can be put under the artist’s spell when “The Divine Bette Midler” screens Saturday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, 540 S. Lake St., Gary, IN. An $11 donation includes admission to the screening, soft drinks, popcorn, and the introduction by Larry Lapidus. There will be a cash bar.

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“Bette Midler” is part of our Screenings series.

Upcoming events

June

7th
Farmers Market 2020 New hours! New plan!

August

8th
Painters Printing: Miller Edition Monotype Printing by Angela Saxon, Anne Corlett, Royce Deans
15th
Plein Air Event and Exhibit

September

4th
Alumni Art Exhibit William A. Wirt High School

November

6th
Suzy Vance Fibre Art Exhibit
21st
Artisan Fair

December

4th
Community Art Show
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Updates

Announcing a new artist residency, exhibit, classes and sidewalk sales
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We are open again: Friday June 19, 6-8 pm

Miller Beach Arts
& Creative District

P.O. Box 2405, Gary, IN 46403
(773) 822-8086

Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts

540 S. Lake Street, Gary, IN 46403
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