Bette Midler's New Las Vegas Act is Bigger, Bolder, And Still Naughty

August 26, 2008

The Divine Miss M Makes a Date with Shure in Sin City LAS VEGAS, NV, August 26, 2008 — As effusive and irrepressible as ever, these days Bette Midler takes to the Colosseum stage at Caesars Palace with all the sass and bawdiness that first captivated audiences in the 70s, singing, hip-wiggling, and strutting through her latest extravaganza, The Showgirl Must Go On. "I suppose in a way this show looks back at my career," the Divine Miss M admits, "but more to the point it's an entertainment retrospective. It's an old-line show with showgirls, like T&A but not that hardcore. This is a fantasyland: Men love it because the girls are so beautiful; women love it because the songs are so moving. I've been telling some of the jokes forever, but people laugh like they've never heard them before. That's real unconditional love, and it comes pouring over the footlights every night." Backed by a 13-piece band, Ms. Midler performs all of her signature tunes and brings her beloved characters to life on a truly enormous Colosseum stage measuring 120 feet wide. Her trio of backup singers, the Harlettes, is here, as are 18 leggy showgirls, "the most gorgeous in town," she says. Delores DeLago, Midler's wheelchair-riding mermaid character with the stink-o lounge act, finds her place too, as does Soph, her character channeling Sophie Tucker, queen of the dirty joke. A high-speed, kinetic romp that unwinds with paroxysms of wit, charm, and whimsy in an almost cinematic fashion, Showgirl whirls like a desert dust devil across the stage, making wireless audio a necessity, not a luxury. With Midler's longtime sound engineer David Morgan installed behind a Digidesign VENUE console at front-of-house, Shure's UHF-R® wireless was picked for the task, with Her Divineness given a champagne-finished, KSM9-equipped handheld transmitter to hold every night.Both Morgan and monitor engineer Brian Hendry are extremely pleased with the KSM9 microphone and the Shure UHF-R wireless system they are employing. “All the vocals are incredibly warm and present, providing the audience with a uniquely personal experience of our singers,” Morgan says. “The transmission quality creates a sound that is nearly indistinguishable from a wired version, and the reliability of the signal is unparalleled. As always, Shure has been a very important partner in making this big show a reality, and we very much appreciate their contribution.”That said, Midler, at age 62 notes that "I've seen a lot of evolution in technology over the years. Before wireless was what it is today, we would use hardwired microphones with funny little custom holders on Delores' wheelchair. Then we moved on to headset microphones. With the tremendous amount of movement we have in this show today, there is simply no way we could do it without wireless microphones. Thanks to my collaboration with Shure, I really believe we're getting the full benefits of a hardwired microphone in terms of sound quality, all without the fuss of being tied to a cord." Midler chose her champagne-hued KSM9 handheld transmitter from among offerings shown to her by David Morgan, but, being the showgirl she is, can't help but dream of other, flashier possibilities. "Do you think I could get one with rhinestones?" She wonders aloud with coy flourish. Indeed. That would stand out, even on this stage, where sequins and showy boas are some of the more conservative accessories.