The Divine Miss M is back! Bette Midler returns in this Las Vegas extravaganza taped before a packed house at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the 70-minute cavalcade features an exhilarating tour de force of some of Ms. Midler’s colorful and classic stage characters. Joining her is an entourage of talented performers, including the staggering Harlettes, 16 dazzling dancers she calls The Caesar Salad Girls and a 13-piece band. Thrilling audiences with her captivating performances, Ms. Midler’s superstar power continues to shine as she belts out show stopping renditions of her biggest hits including “The Rose,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “From a Distance,” “Hello in There” and “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Studio: STARZ/Anchor Bay
Year: 2010
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Run time: 67 minutes
Rating: R

Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Disc Spec: 1 BD
Region: 1

The Divine Miss M is back! Bette Midler returns in this Las Vegas extravaganza taped before a packed house at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, the 70-minute cavalcade features an exhilarating tour de force of some of Ms. Midler’s colorful and classic stage characters. Joining her is an entourage of talented performers, including the staggering Harlettes, 16 dazzling dancers she calls The Caesar Salad Girls and a 13-piece band. Thrilling audiences with her captivating performances, Ms. Midler’s superstar power continues to shine as she belts out show stopping renditions of her biggest hits including “The Rose,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “From a Distance,” “Hello in There” and “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Song List: Big Noise from Winnetka, The Showgirl Must Go On, Friends, The Rose, Do You Wanna Dance, From a Distance, Boolya JaDa, Hello in There, Pretty Legs/Hot in Here, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Wind Beneath My Wings.

Having seen Bette’s show live in Vegas I was very disappointed to see that the HBO special was shortened from the full 90-minute production. Glaringly MISSING is the classic, wonderful, and indispensable, “Delores Delago, The Toast Of Chicago” part of the show. Why this was omitted is unknown but not including this in the HBO special is like omitting any one of Bette’s signature songs!

I was thrilled that Showgirl came to HBO! I have been wondering for a long time why one of her more recent concerts tours has not been filmed and made available for purchase – which is really the only way to appreciate the kind of stage performance Bette puts on. The show looked spectacular in high-def and was the next best thing to being there in person. My only beef is that the show was cut in the broadcast. Was 90 minutes too long for a show? At times it felt like it was being hurried along from one song or monologue to the next.
Movie Quality: 7/10

Final Thoughts

The $10 million extravaganza played over 300 performances in a nearly three-year run. The production, which was taped for cable, is currently nominated for a 2011 Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special. If you are a fan you owe it to yourself to pick this up on Blu-ray.
Overall Rating: 7/10