The Divine Miss Bette
Well what can I say? the The Divine Miss Bette is simply divine. Catherine Alcorn uses her considerable talents to channel the legendary Bette Midler in a show that runs through some of Midler’s best-known songs.
With the aid of Trevor Jones on piano, Alcorn fills the stage, lewd, cheeky and sassy, she transports the audience to Midler’s early days. Enthralling the audience with her performance, right from the start she had us. From the first song the audience was signing along, by the time she had got to the absolute classic Wind beneath my wings she had her own chorus line.
Halfway through, one of Midler’s most famous characters, Sophie Tucker makes her presence known, with her comical songs and fabulous jokes she spices up an already saucy show, everyone was in stitches. Regardless of whether Alcorn was Midler or Midler as Tucker, she interacted seamlessly with the audience, feeding off our energy and laughter, never once breaking character.
Now I have a confession to make, I am not particularly familiar with the works of Bette Midler, however I am very happy to report that to enjoy Divine Miss Bette this is not a requirement, I had a ball. Alcorn is so adept at bringing Midler to the stage and so entertaining that whether or not you understand all the in jokes and references you are going to have an excellent and entertaining hour. For those that do understand all the references, it enriches and deepens the experience. It was clear that most of the audience were intimately acquainted with Midler, they just as clearly enjoyed themselves immensely.
From that response alone I feel safe saying that Alcorn does an excellent performance as Bette Midler. (Interestingly, the very man who gave Midler her start in the industry, Steve Ostrow, trained Alcorn in this role.)
The Divine Miss Bette is a fresh, entertaining and sassy show, it ended before I was ready to say goodbye. It also means I will spending a fair bit of time in the near future acquainting myself with this hilarious individual.
Sadly The Divine Miss Bette had a very short season in the Cabaret Fringe, if you you wish to see the show, hope that Alcorn brings it back for another season.
Now because I was allowed to tweet during the viewing, I’ve collected some tweets about the Divine Miss Bette and included them here to share with you all. View them on Storify here.