Five Divine Things Bette Midler Must Do While in Houston
Can you get any more fabulous than the inimitable Bette Midler? Eh, probably not.
The Divine Miss M has a career that spans nearly half a century, and it began alongside a young Barry Manilow, performing bawdy comedy shows while he accompanied her on the piano. Her career started out with Barry Manilow.
Things only went uphill from there. Those steel nerves and her grand sense of comedic timing eventually earned her a spot on the stage in the theater, from which she'd eventually move on down to the sandy acting shores, starring in classics like Beaches and The Rose.
And now, after all of those years on stage, she's become a gay icon, a straight icon, a theater icon, and whatever else you can possibly pair with icon. She's toting around a boatload of Grammy Awards, Academy Awards, and Emmy Awards, and she's got walls lined with platinum records from her years being so darn fab.
So what else could she possibly want to do in this lifetime? Bette not only is everything; she's done everything, too.
Well, almost everything, that is. It seems that while Bette, who will be in town on Tuesday to speak at the Wortham Theater Center for the Brilliant Lecture Series, was earning all those awards and being all fancy and fantastic, she skipped over a couple of bucket list items -- Bette-centric items -- and they're things that happen right around our fine city. It's a wrong that should be righted as soon as possible.
But don't worry, Ms Midler. We know how important bucket lists are, and we're here to help you out on this one. Here is the guide to all of the Bette-related stuff to do in Houston. And yes, we left "hang out with us and take selfies" off the list.
We know our limits.
Burlesque! With Jazz Hands and E'rything There's no question that the iconic Bette Midler has served as inspiration to many a burlesque troupe. Houston's got a number of burlesque troupes that have shows worth taking in -- Ruby Revue, The Houston Burlesque Review, and Dem Dam Dames, just to name a few -- so taking in a burlesque show is definitely something that the theatre maven should do. She does, after all, know a thing or two about jazz hands.
Take in a Drag Show at Michael's Outpost If there's one thing that Bette should not miss while perusing the Houston nightlife, it's Michael's Outpost. Their weekend drag show is legendary, and the performers pay homage to all of the fabulous icons and divas. And that means one thing, and one thing only: there's Bette Midler drag!
Yep, Bette Midler is one of the larger than life performers that the show pays tribute to, which is just fantastic, because double the fun and all. But there's an added bonus to this drag equation, too. With Bette being a gay icon, she's bound to have tons of devoted, adoring fans at Michael's Outpost, which is always good for an ego boost or six.
This story continues on the next page.
Photo by Brittanie Shey
Grab a Hawaiian Drink at Lei Low Ms Midler was born in Honolulu, so what better way to welcome her than to bring a bit of the Hawaiian island to Houston? And if you want to do tiki and Hawaii in Houston, you head to Lei Low, where the rum flows like...rum, and the straw thrones are fit for a queen.
Want to have a drink in a coconut? Or suck down a drink that's on fire? Yeah, somehow that's all Hawaiian, and it's all fantastic, so Bette should definitely head that way. Really, the only way to make this campy, themed bar more Midler-centric would be to to drop it in the midst of the gayborhood on Pacific. (Can we do that? Please??)
Check Out Nick Greer at Corkscrew So, Nick Greer, the resident artist at the wine bar Corkscrew, is a piano playin', good time havin', clown nose sportin' son of a gun, and he reminds us a bit of Barry Manilow. In case you're lacking on the Bette Midler knowledge, a relatively-unknown Manilow used to play piano for the Divine Miss M back when she was in her bawdy comedy days, which is awesome for obvious reasons.
It would be a shame for Bette to miss a Houston version of her old sidekick -- or a glass of wine or two while she sits piano-side -- and the world needs more Bette and show tunes, so she definitely needs to be making a pit stop by Corkscrew to check him out. Nostalgia by way of Nick Greer. It sounds like a total win to us.
LaGanja Estranja and Gia Gunn at F Bar Yes, this show is more drag, but it's Tuesday night in Houston -- what else would Bette want to do? We've got some of the best drag shows this side of WeHo, and sometimes one just needs an overdose of rhinestones and glitter, even when you're fabulous enough all by your lonesome.
Besides, this is LaGanja Estranja and Gia Gunn from RuPaul's Drag Race performing at a drag show at F Bar, one of the most posh gay bars in the city, which is known for its freaking amazing drag show on Tuesday nights. So basically it'll be all sorts of diva-tastic fun for Bette, even if she happens to have already taken in the Outpost show.
Or, if all else fails, we suppose she could always check out our beaches.
Get the Theater Newsletter
Get a rundown of upcoming theater events and ticket deals in Houston.