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Bette Midler

Thursday night brought three time Grammy Winner, four time Golden Globe Winner and three time Emmy winner Bette Midler and her brash and bawdy new show The Divine Intervention Tour to the Chicago United Center for a delightful, two hour walk down memory lane. With class, brass and loads of sass, the Devine Miss M lightened, brightened and frightened a near sell out stadium crowd. Arriving center stage on her makeshift  “throne” Queen Bette put on a show for her legion of loyal fans: Men, Women and a series of other queens all there to share in her glory, with love. Erect in a pink mini skirt with beaded accents, the 69 year old diva started her show with the song “Divine Intervention” and quipped “we’re here to lift your spirits, like a boob job for your soul!”

Bette Midler

“Ah, Sweet Home Chicago” Midler cooed while engaging the crowd. “So good to know so many of my fans can still drive at night” she joked. Motioning to a section of the audience right off of the stage, Midler noted “It’s like 50 shades of grey in this section right here.” The audience continued to cheer when she teased “I don’t know if I should sing to you or talk to you about the advantages of a reverse mortgage.” Before starting her second song, “I Look Good” Midler kidded with her usual reverence, “I remain a triumph of science and fiction!” Then added “I’m like vodka: ageless, odorless and tasteless.” After finishing, she shot off a quick  “Thank you for the parade” referencing the Blackhawks Championship parade from earlier in the day that brought over 1.5 million fans downtown to celebrate the Stanley Cup winning hockey champions. “I live for your applause” she giggled.

Bette Midler

With a set list that taps almost every aspect of her illustrious career, this flashy and sometimes trashy performer introduced her trio of backup girls, The Infamous Harlettes; Caroline Hatchett, Nicolette Hart and Kyra DaCosta. “They used to be fact checkers at Fox News. I snatched them up and nobody even noticed they were gone.” Ripping off their black costumes to reveal flower petal pastel dresses,  the ladies crooned through “I’ve Still Got My Health” from Beaches, the Bobby Freeman cover “Do You Wanna Dance?” and “Throw It Away.” A noted environmentalist, Bette commented that she throws nothing away. “I put the whore in Hoarder” she wisecracked! On tour to promote her latest cd “It’s the Girls” the ladies wowed with a spirited cover of the Exciters hit “Tell Him” slowed it down with lovely harmonies on the Andrew Sisters classic “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon” and then finished with Midler doing a soulful, passionate, and heartbreaking rendition of TLC’s “Waterfalls.” “Some people rescue animals, I rescue old songs” said a Midler clearly influenced by the strength and power of those classic hits.

Bette Midler

Gearing up the self deprecating humor, Midler then had the Harlettes chase her around the stage with an oxygen tank and a red rolling couch shaped like a giant pair of lips. With this highly theatrical production, Bette collapsed on the couch to ponder contemporary celebrity culture.  “Butts have kicked Boobs to the curb” she shrieked. “We have gone from do these jeans make my butt look big to do these jeans make my butt look big enough?” “We are so starved for entertainment. It’s no wonder people are taking pictures of their food!” If you cannot beat them, join them. In a hysterical bit, Midler exclaimed “I could kick myself for not having the brains to monetize my sex life!” and then treated the audience to hysterical photo images of her indisposed with several high profile men through the years. Of Richard Nixon she lamented “Don’t laugh. Why do you think they called him Tricky Dick?”  With Bruce Jenner  she clamored “Ah Caitlyn.  We watched Beaches and then painted each other’s toes.” Finally with the entire Blackhawks hockey team, she boasted “they sure can PUCK!” “Remember when people were afraid of being followed? Now they’re devastated when they’re not!” After tickling our ribs, Midler returned to song with stunning renditions of  “I Think it’s Going to Rain Today” fervently singing of the triumph of “Human Kindness.”

Bette Midler

With a quick costume change, Midler emerged next as Winnie Henderson, the lead sister from the Disney Cult Halloween Classic Hocus Pocus. Joined by two Harlettes backing as the other two sisters, the trio offered up a rousing rendition of the Nina Simone song “I’ve Put A Spell On You.” Adding a clever mid-song curse, Midler cracked “I will take all the money you made on the Hawks, and bet it on the Cubs!” Another quick change saw Midler and the girls emerge in Vegas showgirl bird suits to sing “Bird in the Hand” and for Midler to rapid fire tell a string of raunchy Sophie Tucker jokes about “My boyfriend Ernie” and “Clementine” close in tow.  Most of the jokes were peppered with four letter words starting with “F” so lets just say for the next five minutes there was “Chaos at the Club Canary!”  During the final quick change the audience was treated to a mock award show In Memoriamsequence dedicated to the recently passed character,  Delores Delago,  the wheelchair rolling mermaid character Midler has played on stage for years.  Set to the tune of “The Glory of Love” the torch was passed.  Rest in peace Delores.

Bette Midler

The final segment of the show was all music. Backed by 14 live musicians and wearing a body hugging, cleavage bearing, wine color sequin gown,  proving she is still every inch a star, Bette wowed the crowd with a raucous Rolling Stones cover “Beast of Burden” delighted with the understated Ella Fitzgerald cover jazz standard “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most” and melted all of our hearts with hits “The Rose” and “From a Distance.” If the earlier segments proved Midler still has amazing comic timing, this last segment proved she has a soulful instrument without compare.

The deeply poignant “Stay With Me” ballad was devoted to all the people Midler has loved in the past who are “ghosts” now.  And I must confess during the encore of  “Wind Beneath My Wings,” I had to wipe away a tear. “This is for you” she whispered.   “You gave me and my family such a  wonderful life.  The greatest life anyone could imagine.” Bette, you returned that favor magnificently by gifting your fans affecting classics that have formed the soundtrack to our lives.  Never one to end on a ballad, Midler and her entire team again wowed with a spirited romp through “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” that got all the audience on their feet.  Simply divine, Bette!

Bette Midler Divine Intervention Tour played Chicago’s  United Center Thursday June 18, 2015

Stephen S. Best is currently a freelance writer for the Times Square Chronicles, covering the performing arts scene in the greater Chicagoland area. He has been a theater aficionado for years, attending his first live production, Annie, at the tender age of six. After graduating from Purdue University, Stephen honed his skills attending live theater, concerts and art installations in New York and Chicago. Stephen's keen eye and thorough appreciation for both theater patrons' time and entertainment dollar makes him a valuable asset and his recommendations key. Stephen currently lives in downtown Chicago.


Tabitha Brown That’s Your Business Farmer’s Market in NYC



Tabitha Brown is coming to NYC! On Tuesday, June 6th. Vegan actress and social media personality Tabitha Brown and McCormick will be hosting the free one-day-only “That’s Your Business” Farmer’s Market pop up from 12:30 PM – 4:00 PM (or until supplies last) at Studio 525 in Chelsea, NYC. Tabitha will be on-site to meet attendees and share all her favorite healthy eating tips and tricks!

 The event will be in celebration of the recent launch of five new salt-free, vegan seasoning blends and recipe mixes as part of the McCormick by Tabitha Brown collection and will highlight local produce with family-friendly games and photo moments. 

The location is at Studio 525, 525 W 24th Street.

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Dance In Times Square Today



Ailey comes to Times Square for a series of free outdoor dance classes led by Ailey Extension instructors and NYC dance artists. Classes are open to people of all ages and all levels of dance experience!. These dance workshops are presented by Ailey Extension and one will happen today June 2 at 5pm, Broadway & 46th St. The class is Broadway Jazz with Judine Somerville to register click here.

On Wednesday, June 7 at 6pm, at Broadway & 46th St LiveDance /Time: Study III with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company co-presented with New York Live Arts

Culminating its 40th Anniversary celebration, the world renowned Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company makes its Times Square debut with /Time: Study III. This piéce d’occasion, featuring the outstanding performers of the company and guest musicians, marks the third annual New York Live Arts presentation in Times Square.

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Midnight Moment: The Doors: Lizard Kings



From June 1–30, 2023 | Nightly 11:57pm – 12am metallic crystal-ridged lizards prowl and skitter across the screens of Times Square in The Doors: Lizard Kings by Zach Blas. Featuring five fantastical computer-generated creatures choreographed across 63 distinct channels, June’s Midnight Moment stems from Blas’s 2019 immersive media installation The Doors, a work exploring psychedelia, drug use, artificial intelligence, and Silicon Valley’s connections to California counterculture from the 1960s.

Slimy, glowing, and covered with mineral elements modeled after nickeline and tungsten, each of the five rendered reptiles takes on distinct personalities derived from AI neural networks trained on a constellation of sources, including Aldous Huxley’s 1954 novel The Doors of Perception and the 1960s California psychedelic rock band The Doors. Blas modeled the creatures after the prehistoric Barbaturex morrisoni, a now extinct lizard named after The Doors frontman Jim Morrison, a play on Morrison’s epithet “The Lizard King” and a prominent symbol of psychedelic liberation in the 1960s. As the lizards move through black mirrored passageways, Blas sees them as traveling in time between the psychedelic culture of the past and the present.

The Doors: Lizard Kings also nods to the contemporary psychedelic trends of microdosing LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, as well as taking nootropics. Blas suggests that this new drug culture, popularized in the tech industry, re-engineers psychedelic experience to optimize labor, promising to “unlock” doors of the mind for workers  to labor faster and more efficiently. The Doors: Lizard Kings proposes a new generation of Barbaturex morrisoni, computational symbols for a 21st century psychedelia predicated on worker productivity, smart drugs, and AI hallucinations.

Film Credits
Zach Blas, The Doors: Lizard Kings 2019 / 2023
Originally commissioned by Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg, Germany; de Young Museum, San Francisco, US; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands

  • Computer Graphics Supervisor: Harry Sanderson
  • Animation: Mikkel Aabenhuus Sørensen
  • Animation Assistant: Yan Eltovsky
  • Modeling and Visual Effects: Dayne Kolk
  • Simulation Assistant: Aslak Kjølås-Sæverud
  • Compositing: Felix Lee
  • Video Editor: Martin Gajc
  • Project Manager: Talia Golland
  • Project Assistant: Audrey Amman

Sound Credits
The original presentation of The Doors featured an aural accompaniment that oscillates between abstract soundscapes and poetry spoken in AI generated voice resembling Jim Morrison’s.

  • Machine Learning Engineers (video and poetry):  Ashwin D’Cruz and Christopher Tegho
  • Machine Learning Engineers (voice and music): Sam Parke-Wolfe and Cameron Thomas
  • Musicians: xin and Aya Sinclair
  • Supervising Sound Editor: Tom Sedgwick
  • Mix Engineer: Ben Hurd

Zach Blas (b. Point Pleasant, West Virginia) is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans moving image, computation, theory, performance, and science fiction. Blas engages the materiality of computational technologies while also drawing out the philosophies and imaginaries lurking in artificial intelligence, biometric recognition, predictive policing, airport security, the Internet. Blas has exhibited, lectured, and held screenings at venues internationally, including the 12th Berlin Biennale, Walker Art Center, Tate Modern, British Art Show 9, 12th Gwangju Biennale, de Young Museum, the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, ICA London, Van Abbemuseum, e-flux, ZKM Center for Art and Media, and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. His practice has been supported by a Creative Capital award in Emerging Fields, the Arts Council England, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, and the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. His work is in the collections of Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, and Whitney Museum of American Art. Blas’s practice has been written about and featured in Artforum, Frieze, ArtReview, BBC, The Guardian, and The New York Times. His 2021 artist monograph Unknown Ideals is published by Sternberg Press. Blas is an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.

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League of Professional Theatre Women’s 10th Annual Women Stage The World March



 The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) will hold its 10th Annual “Women Stage the World March”  — a Suffragette-inspired project to educate the public about the role of women in the theatre industry — on Saturday, June 17.   The march will begin at noon, at Shubert Alley and weave through Times Square and the Broadway Theatre District, wrapping up at about 2 p.m.

“The event is FREE and LPTW invites all theatre women and allies to join us as we increase awareness, lift our voices, and advocate for more opportunities for women in theatre,” said Ludovica Villar-Hauser, Co-President of LPTW.

“The Women Stage the World March is designed to educate the public about the role women play in creating theatre and the barriers they face as men continue to outnumber women by 4 to 1 in key roles such as playwright, director and designers.  Women buy 67% of the tickets and represent 65% of the audience, yet 80% of the storytelling on stage is shaped by men’s voices,” said Katrin Hilbe, Co-President of LPTW.

Handouts during the March will prompt ticket-buyers to ask three questions as they make buying decisions: (1) Who wrote, directed and designed this play? (2) What is this theatre’s track record in giving opportunities to women? (3) How can you spread the word and promote women’s voices?

“All participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite historical theatre woman, or dress all in white.  March participants will gather at Shubert Alley starting at 11:30 AM, in preparation for the start of the march at noon.   Women Stage the World sashes and signs will be provided, as supplies last,” noted Penelope Deen, LPTW member and organizer of the event. Those interested in participating in the event please R.S.V.P. at: or contact Penelope Deen at:

LPTW Co-President Ludovica Villar-Hauser added:  “The League of Professional Theatre Women stands alongside the Writers Guild of America (WGA) as they demand fair wages and take action to ensure more protections for artists. We encourage LPTW members to find a time to join the WGA on the picket lines this month as the strike continues.  Women writers are the future of the film and television industry, just as they lead the way in theatre.  LPTW supports the women on the frontlines of this movement as they call for long overdue change. We are stronger together.”

For the past 10 years LPTW members, affiliated union members, theatre artists and their allies have hit the streets in a March reminiscent of the Suffragette parades of the early 20th Century, with some marchers dressed in traditional suffrage garb and colors. ​ Like the Suffragettes before them, participants in the Women Stage the World March empower women and men to become aware, take action and influence others.

The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) is a membership organization championing women in theatre and advocating for increased equity and access for all theatre women. Our programs and initiatives create community, cultivate leadership, and increase opportunities and recognition for women working in theatre. The organization provides support, networking and collaboration mechanisms for members, and offers professional development and educational opportunities for all theatre women and the general public.  LPTW celebrates the historic contributions and contemporary achievements of women in theatre, both nationally and around the globe, and advocates for parity in employment, compensation and recognition for women theatre practitioners through industry-wide initiatives and public policy proposals.   LPTW is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2023.

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The Glorious Corner



G.H. Harding

LASSO’S MOM CITY — I believe that the best ever episode of Ted Lasso was dropped this week, entitled Mom City. It started off innocently enough with Ted leaving for work and walking right past his mother! He realized it and turned back to her. Turns out she had been in London for a week and was just now seeing Ted.

Ted introduced her to just about everyone and she immediately bonded with the team as well as Leslie and Rebecca. As Ted watched he realized that good-time feeling she generated (and he did too) with everyone held back a devastating fact: that Ted’s dad committed suicide.
They eventually resolved their issues, but Ted’s mom said she was there for a far more specific reason; that his son Henry was missing him. It immediately set up perhaps the last-ever episode of the show next week.
Elsewhere, Jaime dealt with his own family issues. Re-connecting with his mother and step-father. Keeley and Roy joined him and found themselves at one point alone in Jaime’s childhood room and at one point spied posters of themselves from years back. It was, quite possibly, the funniest moment ever in the series.

Harry Nilsson

Also, Harry Nilsson’s “Puppy Song” was a key musical moment in the EP. Harry, we love you!

All resolved, the show ended abruptly as Ted was going to tell Rebecca some news.
Many have said that in this third season, the show had lost it’s way a bit. In this episode, it was all pulled together quite beautifully. All I can say is, what a great show. It will be missed for sure.

Joel Diamond

SHORT TAKES — The #1 iTunes song currently is Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do with It.” Much deserved … Producer Joel Diamond used to live at 220 Central Park South in NYC. His building was torn down and re-built. It is now part of what they call Billionaire’s Road. WSJ-reporter Katherine Clarke’s new book is about just that.. Via Random House, Billionaire’s Row is out on June 13 …

Sasha Prendes

We dropped the name of new Latino-artist Sasha Prendes last time; we just saw a teaser clip for her new video “Shake This.” Check it out here: … Micky Dolenz headlined at this week’s Abbey Road On The River and delivered his usual high-octane performance.

James Burton

He leaves for England this week for the James Burton & Friends/One Night Only event June 4 at London’s Palladium … Terry Jastrow interviewed by Brad Balfour for his podcast this week …

Finally caught A Man Called Otto starring Tom Hanks and enjoyed it immensely. Hanks did a movie, with Steven Spielberg in 2004 called The Terminal, which was fantastic. This movie reminded me of that; a tremendously nuanced performance by Hanks as a peculiar man who found trouble with almost everyone and everything after the death of wife. He describes his life and wife in one great line: My life was in black and white and she was the color. Based on the film A Man Called Ove and with a sensational screenplay by David Magee and directed by Marc Forster, I just loved it …

Whoopi Goldberg

ENDQUOTE: Via Deadline: The View’s Whoopi Goldberg Claims ‘American Idol’ Led To The Downfall of Society. Ouch! Check it out here: … Happy Bday Buddy Blanch and Bobby Shaw!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Jodi Ritzen; Rich Dart; Daryl Easlea; Ali Hawthorne; Adrianba Kaegi; Wayne Avers; John Billings; Jane Blunkell; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Chris Gilman; Zach Martin; Anthony Noto; Anthony Pomes; Rhonda Shore; Howard Bloom; Robert Funaro; Michael Jensen; Bob Merlis; Roy Trakin; Evan Evanston; and CHIP!
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