Thursday, May 30, 2013

First performance review...but not the last for Al!

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/30/13

This was written a long time ago, after a performance by Bette Midler at the Greek Theater in Hollywood CA.

     Sunday night, I was fortunate enough to experience and be part of one of those rare moments when an entertainer and an audience share one another's love. My friends, my wife Rose and myself arrived at the Greek a little earlier than we usually do. It was raining. We parked and sat in the car, talking about the good B.B.Q. dinner we had just consumed. When the rain let up, we took up a position on a bench to enjoy a favorite pastime---people watching and making appropriate comments. "Look at that hair!!!"---Why do the fattest girls wear tank-tops?" ---"Definitely high!!!!"---"She can't own a mirror"---"Definitely Gay!!!"---"Positively Hollywood"---The T-shirts, as usual made great statements about the Southern California lifestyle. The saying seen most often by far---"BETTE! I LOVE YOUR TITS"---It was universal. Regardless of sex or sexual orientation. Guys, gals, straight and gay all seemed to have this 'thing' for Ms. Ms's, boobs. The audience weren't the only ones to admire her breasts. The inimitable Bette Midler did 15 minutes on the subject herself.  An amazing performance. One minute her mouth was full of whorehouse and the next she was the complete vocal artist. Costume, choreography, interpretation, voice---all creative and perfect---a visual and audible sensation.

She completed her performance and then did the encore the audience demanded with their rousing applause. She sang "The Rose".  Unending, enthusiastic applause brought her back again. She repeated the song, explaining that it was the only thing she had left that they were prepared to do. She asked that we sing along if we cared to and many people did. Bette Midler sings the s--- out of that song. The audiences response to this second encore was even greater than before. No one had left. (unusual for L.A.). Almost everyone was on their feet, applauding, loud, hard and untiringly. Ms. Midler returned to the center of the stage. The applause thundered down. She took the mic in her hand and it seemed she was looking each  and every one of us in the eye. Bette asked, "Where were you the last 3 nights?". Again she explained that "The Rose" was the only encore and to please sing along. She counted it and the band picked up the melody and the rhythm---She and the audience started the lyric. Bette sang the first verse with us, then she stopped and motioned the band to "bring it down". The combined voices of the audience showered Ms. Midler with love. She lowered her head and covered her eyes with her hands. The last notes faded into the now clearing night. She bowed long and deep and looked up---no act---no show biz---no big ending---just Bette Midler and an audience. She ran off, head held high. I wiped a tear from my eyes.  
Al's Disclaimer:
A short note: The reason I write this is because I love music and words. I do not book acts. I do not promote acts. I do not accept invitations to review artists. I go to venues of my own choice. When and where is not influenced by anything other than who I would like to hear that night or day. If I don't like what I hear, I won't write about it. When I like it I let you all know. I never mention a name without asking permission. "Pardon me, Miss. Would you like to dance?"       

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