9/11 Tribute: Bette Midler “Wind Beneath My Wings”

Bette Midler sings in tribute to those lost in 9/11

Music is always my “go-to” for emotional release. So it’s no wonder each year I revisit this clip of Bette Midler singing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ at a memorial at Yankee Stadium shortly after the horrific bombings on 9/11.

This encapsulates so much of what we felt then and still feel today.

Her “thank you” at the 4:30 mark says so much on behalf of so many.

As only Bette could deliver…

Also – my fellow LGBTQ blogger, Joe Jervis, shares his personal account of what it was like to be in New York City on that day. Well worth the read.

News Round-Up: January 20, 2021

lawn boy with no Donald Trump yelling

A photo of the meme lawn boy with no Donald Trump yelling (but the Proud Boys are turning on Trump)

Some news items you might have missed:

New Day: I thought a lot about the right image to lead this news round-up today. After years of the popular meme of the lawn boy being yelled at by Donald Trump, today – no yelling. #AndExhale #PoofHesGone

LGBTQ Nation: Antony J. Blinken, Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in his confirmation hearing that he will enact policies that will allow American embassies to support and protect LGBTQ rights around the world by flying the rainbow flag.

LA Times: The FBI raided the Huntington Beach apartment of openly-gay far-right extremist Kristopher Dreww, who boasted on social media about attending the invasion of the U.S. Capitol. No arrest took place but undisclosed items were removed from the residence.

Meidas Touch: Bette Midler has a message for Donald Trump. I’m so happy to wave ‘so long dearie’ to the Trump years in the White House, but how could I not post this?

Washington Post: Donald Trump had imagined a showy military send-off, however only a modest crowd of a few hundred loyalists showed up at Joint Base Andrews to see him off. The event had more of a feel of a county fair than a big-budget extravaganza. In a Trumpian twist, the music that played as he ended his remarks was the Village People’s “YMCA,” a singalong staple from his boisterous political rallies.

New York Times: The Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group who were staunch supporters of Donald Trump, have begun to turn on the Trumpster calling him “weak” and “a total failure.”

The Daily Beast: As it became clear that Trump was not, in fact, going to suddenly appear and order the arrest of all the Democrats, QAnon believers – like the Proud Boys – also began to wonder if they had been tricked.

Remembering 9/11

Bette Midler sings in tribute to those lost in 9/11
Bette Midler sings in tribute to those lost in 9/11
Bette Midler sings in tribute to those lost in 9/11

In that music is always my “go-to” for emotional release, this clip of Bette Midler singing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ at a memorial at Yankee Stadium shortly after the horrific bombings on 9/11 encapsulates so much of what we felt then and still feel today.

Her “thank you” at the 4:30 mark says so much on behalf of so many.

As only Bette could deliver…

My fellow LGBTQ blogger, Joe Jervis, shares his personal account of what it was like to be in New York City on that day. Well worth the reading – here.

And from the Twitterverse today – two statesmen who reflected on how the world saw today, and one who made it about himself.

Netflix: Spicy Lube, Throuples & More In Season 2 Of ‘The Politician’

L-R Bette Midler, Ben Platt, Judith Light in ‘The Politician’

 

The gloves come off, and the claws are out.

Get ready for the spiciest and most iconic election battle in NYC history. Netflix’s The Politician returns June 19.

Check out the trailer for Season 2 of Ryan Murphy’s The Politician, pitting Ben Platt against Judith Light and Bette Midler as he attempts his next run for office.

The new season time jumps three years ahead from the end of Season One where our hero, Payton Hobart (Ben Platt), is now in his third year at Colombia University and has set his sights on unseating New York State Sen. Dede Standish (Judith Light), a longtime incumbent and currently serving as the Senate Majority Leader.

Bette Midler is along for the ride as Standish’s no-nonsense Chief of Staff, Hadassah Gold, who promises her boss, “We’re destroying him – you’ll thank me later.”

Standish’s reelection was supposed to be easy until Hobart jumped in the race.

All of this is part of Hobart’s master plan to eventually become president of the United States, a goal he’s held since he was seven-years-old.

The series also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoey Deutsch, Lucy Boynton, Laura Dreyfuss, Theo Germaine, David Corenswet, and Ryan Haddad. The always dependable Jackie Hoffman joins the cast for Season 2.

The trailer moves at warp-speed dropping morsels of plot points including Hobart obtaining proof that Standish was in a throuple, campaigns bugging the other camps, and team members turning ‘double agents.’

And then there’s Midler demanding a staffer quickly purchase some “spicy lube.”

The entire 8-episode season drops Friday, June 19, on Netflix.

Judith Light in ‘The Politician’ (screen capture)

Music: Nick Cearley Raises Us Up in Song With ‘Social Distance’

Nick Clearly of The Skivvies

Guest post by Lawrence Pfeil Jr.

When the going gets tough, the tough get creative.

With the news, updates, and outlooks about the coronavirus pandemic changing by the hour in ways unimaginable only a week ago, we need artists to bring us together while we are forced into isolation.

And that’s what Nick Cearley, the musical mastermind behind the wildly popular ‘undie rock’ duo, The Skivvies, has done with his latest inspiring song makeover, “Social Distance.”

The Skivvies have become one of the hottest tickets in New York City cabaret. The Skivvies perform stripped-down arrangements of eclectic covers and eccentric originals.

Not only is the music stripped down – cello, ukulele, glockenspiel, melodica – but The Skivvies literally strip down to their underwear to perform. And the critics cheered!

“…Distinctive musical style, highly original…smart…sophisticated…ingenious…” – Wall Street Journal

“…a hot musical comedy duo specializing in unexpected arrangements, incongruous mashups and, of course,
highly toned displays of skin.” – The New York Times

And it’s not just the critics who’ve fallen in love with The Skivvies. The group welcomes guest appearances by stars from the worlds of Broadway, TV, and the recording studio including Jeremy Jordan, Nick Adams, Nick Lachey, Laura Benanti, Tituss Burgess and more – all singing in their underwear.

Clad in only his red undies with a firm grip on his ukulele (no, that’s not a euphemism) and some divine inspiration (yes, that is a euphemism as in the Divine Miss M), Nick transforms Bette Midler’s 1991 Grammy Award-winning hit, “From a Distance” into a new 2020 song of hope.

Nick Cearley will be performing a live living room concert today, March 17 at 4PM Eastern on his Facebook page here.

Check The Skivvies official website for information regarding live performances here.

Lawrence Pfeil, Jr., is a freelance writer/playwright who has reviewed film and theatre, both on and off-Broadway, for media outlets including The Randy Report, the New York Blade, and Edge Publications.

Twitter Round-Up: Weekend Edition

Some really fun stuff on Twitter lately, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites:

And then there was this exchange between woofy Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims and out recording artist Bright Light Bright Light that made my morning:

And while we’re on the subject of Bright Light Bright Light, check out his synth-pop version of the holiday classic, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” released in 2017.

Adam Lambert & Queen Announced To Perform At 2019 Oscars

Adam Lambert (image via Flickr/Tatianka1986)

The Oscars are promising a virtual homo-goulash of LGBTQ music artists and favorites when the 91st annual Academy Awards take place on Sunday, February 24.

This morning, the Academy announced that iconic rock band Queen, fronted by out singer Adam Lambert, will stage to the stage at the 2019 Oscars.

The Academy paired the lyric, “Is this real life? Is this just fantasy?,” with video footage of Lambert and Queen performing “We Will Rock You” in a post on Twitter Monday morning.

Lambert first met and performed with original Queen band members Roger Taylor and Brian May while competing on the talent competition American Idol in 2009. In 2012, the band invited Lambert to tour as frontman.

The appearance will clearly be a tribute to the Freddie Mercury musical biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, which is nominated in five categories on Sunday including Best Picture, Best Actor (front runner Rami Malek), Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing.

The rockers will join previously announced performers Bette Midler, Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Hudson, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, who will perform songs nominated for Best Original Song.

Midler , a two-time Oscar nominee (The Rose, For The Boys) tweeted her news this weekend, writing, “So, (drum roll) Ladies and Gentlemen, I will be chanteusing (that’s singing) on the Oscars on Feb 24…the nominated song from ‘Mary Poppins’…’The Place Where Lost Things Go’ …so excited!!”

Gaga and Cooper will reprise the Grammy and Golden Globe-winning duet, “Shallow” from A Star is Born (a pretty sure bet to win the trophy); Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) will perform “I’ll Fight” from the documentary RBG; and nominees Rawlings & Welch will sing “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Tune in this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT for the 91st Academy Awards on ABC.

(h/t Hollywood Reporter)

Hillary Clinton Receives Standing Ovation At Broadway’s ‘Hello, Dolly!’

Hillary Clinton attended last night's performance of Hello, Dolly! on Broadway and received a standing ovation as she took her seat.
Hillary Clinton arrives at Hello, Dolly! on Broadway (image via JoeMyGod)

Hillary Clinton attended last night’s performance of Hello, Dolly! on Broadway and received a standing ovation as she took her seat.

The audience and the cast – again headed up by Tony Award winner Bette Midler – were thrilled.

(h/t JoeMyGod)

News Round-Up: July 2, 2018

Some news items you might have missed:

• I’m going to try this next time Michael is wrong and starts a disagreement – InstaHunks Rick and the Griffopotamus shared this pic today with the caption, “It was one of those Monday’s where every little annoyance felt like it would blow up into an argument. We decided to just keep our mouths busy doing other things… problem solved! #relationshipHack #husbands #lovewins #kiss #mondaymotivation”

• A gay couple in Ireland was attacked and brutally beaten by a gang of four young men. One of the victims suffered broken jaw bones, lost four front teeth and has nerve damage.

• Bette Midler, of all people, was accused of homophobia when she joked on Twitter about Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin: “Trump and Putin are meeting in Finland next month. That’s a long way to travel for a blowjob, but hey — Putin’s got the money.”

• Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former attorney and “fixer,” told ABC News that his loyalties lie with his family and country, not his former client.

• Congressional Democrats are asking the Pentagon why there was no official memo recognizing June as Pride Month nor was there any senior leadership at the annual Pride event. The concern is the lack of recognition marks a decline in LGBTQ support.

• Speaking at a rally for immigration reform this weekend, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) slapped back at Trump supporters calling for death threats against her:

“All I have to say is this: If you shoot me, you better shoot straight. There’s nothin’ like a wounded animal. I am not about to let this country go by the way of Donald Trump. How dare you? How dare you?”

Bette Midler Will Return To HELLO, DOLLY! For Final 6 Weeks On Broadway

Bette Midler in "Hello, Dolly!" on Broadway
Bette Midler in “Hello, Dolly!” on Broadway

The Associated Press is reporting that when Bette Midler sang “So Long Dearie” to her blockbuster Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! she really meant “See you in a while” as producers have announced that the Tony Award-winner will return for a six-week run before the production closes August 25.

Bernadette Peters, who took up the mantle of “Dolly Levi” after Bette departed in January will continue in the role until July 15. The Divine Miss M will be “back where she belongs” beginning July 17.

Additionally, co-stars David Hyde Pierce and Gavin Creel back as well.

Creel wan the Tony Award for “Best Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical” for his performance as “Cornelius Hackl,” and Pierce earned a Tony nod as “Horace Vandergelder.”

We won’t be saying goodbye to Dolly any time soon though.

Fans eagerly await the first national tour of “Hello, Dolly!” which will star Tony Award-winner Betty Buckley when it kicks off in October at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, Ohio.