Thursday, September 18

Fascism Break: The Devine Miss M

Some features of the Continental Bathhouse included a warning system that tipped off patrons when police arrived. There were also a STD clinic, a supply of A200 (a lice-killing shampoo) in the showers and K-Y Jelly in the sweets dispensing machine. --New York City's Ansonia Hotel, home to the Continental Bathhouse, where Bette Midler made her commercial breakthrough performing for gay men adorned in bath towels.

From Bette Midler's website:
At the age of 20, she moved to New York City and landed her first professional onstage role in a couple of off-off-Broadway plays. She went on to play Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway from 1966 to 1969. In 1970, Bette started singing the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse, where she was accompanied by pianist, Barry Manilow. Manilow subsequently produced Midler’s first album entitled “The Divine Miss M” in 1973, for which she won a Grammy for Best New Artist.
Bette sat with PBS's Charlie Rose for an hour of intimate revelations, including her Manilow-accompanied appearances at the NYC bathhouses and her performance for NBC's Tonight Show host Johnny Carson.

Her website cites these details for Miss M's 2008 agenda:
Bette is slated to headline at Caesars Palace in early 2008, replacing Celine Dion. She also has a movie, Then She Found Me, releasing in mid 2008 with Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, and Matthew Broderick. In late 2008, The Women, will release in which Bette Midler stars along with Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes, and Carrie Fisher.

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