by Mara M. Mannella
“I am, after all, the People’s Diva!” Yes she is, and it shows in The Showgirl Must Go On taking place at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace. Bette Midler takes the audience on a wild ride through her career, all beginning with her rocky arrival via tornado to the showroom. For 90 minutes the Divine Miss M captivates the audience with a stage presence that is the perfect mix of Vegas glitz and genuine emotion.
Set in a plush and spacious venue, there is plenty to admire before the show even begins. The stage is set for Bette with a large video image of a billboard featuring the star erected in what looks like a rural Las Vegas desert scene. Comfortable rows of seats consistently fill the theater with fans, which is also home to Elton John and Cher. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture the memory of your evening on film, provided by feather boa toting photographers that circle the theater pre-show. The lobby lights flash and people move to their seats. The diva is in the building and the show is about to begin.
After a windy entrance on to the stage, Bette Midler welcomes her fans from all walks of life in her signature saucy manner. The show is non-stop entertainment not just from the diva herself but the gorgeous ladies who accompany her on stage. The Caesar Salad Girls, which drive home the fact you are bearing witness to a true Vegas production, are a talented group of dancers. Showcasing their skills from a full-blown kickline to graceful ballerinas, these ladies are also mean with a motorized wheelchair as you’ll see!
Gone are the days of strictly glitter and feather headdresses, these showgirls offer all that and more. The stage is also shared by The Staggering Harlots, Divine Miss M’s trio of bad girls, which she informs the audience she found all in the same lineup! Entertaining the audience with their antics throughout the show they add a spice to the already spicy program Bette Midler provides. A talented orchestra seated on stage guides the show flawlessly as it transitions from big band to symphonic and back again. The production gains depth with the inspiring and heartfelt vocal performance the timeless star delivers. As the blockbuster hits are performed the songs seem to gain new perspective and meaning to the audience whether it’s your first time seeing Bette Midler or your 100th.
The Las Vegas strip seems to have struck gold by adding a performer like Bette Midler to their catalog. The show, while not appropriate for a young audience due to some colorful language, has a nicely balanced array of humor and raw talent. The high energy show can be seen 5 nights a week at The Colosseum with dates scheduled until 2010. According to the singer Caesars Palace gave her “an adjustable mortgage”. Bette Midler is an icon and her show in Las Vegas is a perfect fit.