BETTE IS BACK ON STAGE AFTER 10 YEARS-AND WHAT AN EXPERIENCE
The Event: Opening night of Bette Midler’s 30-night gig at Radio City Music Hall-highlighting her first concert tour in 10 years-followed by an exclusive fete at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Power Duos in the Audience: Mike Ovitz and Barry Diller, Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols, k.d. lang and Ingrid Casares (Madonna’s ex-gal pal). Worst Musical Offense: The African-Caribbean band at the party in the Met’s Temple of Dendur wing was so deafening that when the congas briefly subsided, Lauren Bacall’s gravelly baritone voice could be heard suggesting, ”Take a break!” Most Divine Party Favor: The temporary vanity tattoos of Bette (below left) included in the goody bags brought home by Calvin Klein, Oscar De La Renta, and 600 other guests. Best Token of Appreciation: ”The ring!”-as Midler, all agog, described the $25,000 Tiffany diamond band bestowed upon her by Radio City to mark the 10th anniversary of her last Music Hall concert. Greatest Numbers, Large and Small: *Number of bouquets delivered to Midler’s dressing room: 113. *Number of mermaids in wheelchairs on stage singing Blondie’s ”Call Me”: eight. *Number of hours it took to prepare the 500 handmade, gold-dusted chocolate roses served at the reception: 30. *Number of people who will see her 30 sold-out New York shows: 176,220. *Number of dollars Midler’s New York concerts will gross: 11 million.