Bette Midler was one great show. She whizzed through all her greatest hits, up to and including From a Distance and Wind Beneath My Wings, neither of which are my favorites, but even those, she was totally able to sell. And the ones I was looking forward to, like When a Man Loves a Woman and Do You Want to Dance? and, especially, Hello in There, were everything I wanted. Sophie Tucker jokes? Check. Dolores De Lago, the Toast of Chicago? Check, and complete with a chorus line of showgirl mermaids in wheelchairs doing precision maneuvers. You don’t see that everyday. And, of course, a bang up cover of Viva Las Vegas. I loved all of it.
The sound was a little overamped sometimes and everything you’ve heard about the incredible size of that place is true, and that’s not always a good thing. We were on the fourth row and when she hiked over to the far side of the stage, she might as well have been in another theater. Lots of charming costumes. For one song, she glided down some stairs, stumbled at the bottom, yelled “These fucking shoes,” hurled them into the wings, ran back up to the top of the stairs and took it from the top. She’s a star.
The Strip in Las Vegas turns out to be stuffed full of fat ugly people in not very nice, not very clean clothes reveling in drunken bonhomie. I’ve had my turn being plenty loaded in the streets, so I should be sympathetic, but so many of these yahoos seemed to be trying too hard, determined to have the time of their life or else.
We spent time in the Belagio, which is about the same size and quiet, understated good taste as the Vatican, and the Paris, excellent counterfeit charm. All in all, it is, as Bette said, a city that could teach Kraft about cheese.
I won 5 bucks on the slots in the airport. Hoo hoo.